For 227 days with little to no food, a 16-year-old boy from India shared a small boat with a hungry Bengal tiger...
Piscine "Pi" Molitor Patel from Pondicherry, India grew up with beautiful and exotic animals from his father's zoo. His familiarity with the animals has led him to love and revere these wild animals, observing their behavior and studying their way of living and adapting despite their captivity.
Because of the sudden political instability, the Patel family found that it will not be able to continue the expensive upkeep of the zoo. The father decided to sell the zoo and its animals, start anew and try his luck across the ocean.
Pi and the rest of the family were eager to be able to journey to Canada, to where another zoo has purchased a variety of their best animals. But in the middle of crossing the great ocean the ship sank and the only human survivor was Pi.
In a small lifeboat Pi cowered with fear, anxiety, hunger and all the chaotic jumble of thoughts in his head. Pi had company in that small space, too. An injured zebra, an orangutan named Orange Juice, a frisky hyena, and finally, at the head of the lifeboat, a royal Bengal tiger who sleeps fitfully underneath a tarpaulin cover. Though the lifeboat's inhabitants manage the first few days without any occurences, it didn't take long for nature to do its dirty work. The hyena grew hungry and attacked the poor zebra; and though the orangutan managed to fight back at first, exhaustion and malnourishment became her undoing and she grew too weak to defend her life. After a time, the hyena found Pi and almost makes him his next meal, but it was the exact time that the royal Bengal tiger woke up, attacked the hyena and goes back to sleep without harming Pi.
Because of his upbringing in the zoo, Pi has an absolute understanding of the dangers he is going to face with just him and this ferocious animal...
Pi's life rested on his ability to think of ways to face the tiger down, not to drown in the wide and deep expanse of the Pacific Ocean, nor to become a shark's lunch. Or to succumb to both the screaming pains in his body and the dark pits of despair in his mind.