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Feature
Five For The Diary: Books To Read Before Oscar Season
Prepare yourself for this year’s awards contenders

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Five For The Diary: Books To Read Before Oscar Season | 3. Life Of Pi
3. Life Of Pi

THE BOOK Life Of Pi, by Yann Martel (2001)
THE FILM Life Of Pi, directed by Ang Lee

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Yann Martel’s Booker Prize-winning book tells, in three parts, the story of Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel. A boy whose family owned a zoo in Pondicherry, India, Pi sets off to Canada aboard a tramp steamer with his family and their animals – but the ship sinks and Pi is set adrift in a lifeboat with a tiger, a hyena, an orangutan and a wounded zebra. Only two of these characters make it across the Pacific. Then, in the book’s latter section, the question turns to what really happened (presumably for people not paying attention to the middle bit, since that’s totes the bit that’s true). The whole thing is a discussion of faith, hope and perseverance in a largely non-preachy style, an uplifting tale about a boy, a tiger and the endless Pacific.

Given the book’s enormous popularity, talk of a film adaptation was inevitable and extensive. Given its thoughtfulness, richness and layers of storytelling, that film’s development process was inevitably complicated and extensively long. M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuaron and Jean-Pierre Jeunet were all considered for the job before Lee nabbed it. It finally reaches us on December 21 with unknown Suraj Sharma in the lead and star support from Irrfan Khan and Gerard Depardieu.

DO SAY “Like Barack Obama said, the book’s ‘an elegant proof of God, and the power of storytelling’.”
DON'T SAY “I prefer Tony the Tiger, personally.”

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Your Comments

1
I'm not usually one to complain about these features, but no Cloud Atlas? More

Posted by AxlReznor on Monday October 1, 2012, 17:09

2 Quick Correction
Sal Paradise was Kerouac's alter ego in On the Road, Dean Moriarty was based upon his friend Neal Cassady. Although, you'll be pleased to hear that Burroughs and Ginsberg also have literary equivalents in the novel and I'm guessing, film. All three at once! More

Posted by Roll on Monday October 1, 2012, 15:02

3 No Maguire in Life of Pi
I was sure I read somewhere that Tobey Maguire was cut out of Life of Pi and replaced with Rafe Spall because Magure was too famous or something. Shame... More

Posted by Mclovin94 on Monday October 1, 2012, 11:06

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