I saw the trailer last week for the upcoming movie The Life of Pi based on the book by Yann Martel. Directed by Ang Lee, it premiered in September at the New York Film Festival. The trailer was dramatic, showing a young Indian boy on a raft with a fierce tiger for company, in the middle of the ocean. It made me curious about the book and of course about the movie.
Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the book is expected to be a good film, with Ang Lee and his history of cinematic successes such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Eat Drink Man Woman.
Publisher's book description: "Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior, a fervent love of stories, and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.
The ship sinks.
Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again.
The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional-but is it more true? Life of Pi is a realistic adventure tale of survival that explores the redemptive power of storytelling and the transformative nature of fiction."
Author Yan Martel calls the movie version "sumptious," in his comments. I am slowly reading this book at the library, hoping to finish before the film arrives here next month.