Pi, the fifteen year old son of a zookeeper from Pondicherry, India is the lone survivor on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. Well, the lone human survivor that is. Joining him in the small lifeboat is a bengal tiger (by the name of Richard Parker), a zebra with a broken leg, a severely depressed orangutan and a crazy hyena. Soon however, only Pi and Richard Parker are left. Because Pi knows so much about zoo animals, he is able to establish his "territory" on the lifeboat over the 227 day ordeal. Besides surviving on the lifeboat with the tiger, he also manages surviving an encounter with another shipwreck survivor and a short stay on a mysterious island. When Pi is finally rescued and recounts his harrowing tale, the two detectives are (understandably) skeptical so Pi retells his story in a more believable fashion. You get to decide which story you want to believe.
I have to admit that when I got the book from one of my bookmooch friends I was a little skeptical myself. I sat down to read it one night and after reading the first 5 pages, promptly told my husband "well, I don't think I'm gonna be finishing this book". However, I decided to stick with it a little longer and by the time midnight rolled around, I was deeply into it. I finished it the next day!
I found that the storyline was indeed slighltly unbelievable however the author kept you entertained with the mishaps of the young boy and the tiger. There are some parts that were a little more graphic than I would have liked (I have a pretty squeamish stomach) but nothing too major and I loved all the descriptions of how Pi was able to keep himself and Richard Parker alive. It was an extremely unusual and exciting book that left you thinking about religion, life and your views.