My book club selected this book to read. I'd had it sitting by my bed for the past two years and several times I attempted to read it, but got distracted by something I considered more interesting.
I enjoyed the book. I didn't love it. A lot of people that I know absolutely love the book. I found it interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed the beginning when Pi is experimenting with different religions and is participating in three different ones, much to his modern, secular-minded father's horror.
But then Pi's family decides to move to Canada. Pi's father owned a zoo, and he's sold most of the animals to other zoos in America, so they're on a boat filled with animals when the boat sinks. Pi and a tiger named Richard Parker survive. This is when the real story begins. The book details Pi's attempts to survive on this boat in the middle of the ocean with a tiger as his only companion.
In the beginning he fears the tiger, but eventually they come to depend on each other and he regards the tiger as his friend.
This book is steeped in symbolism and probably requires multiple readings, or as the case with me, a thorough discussion involving multiple viewpoints.
To me though, this was a story about the power of one's imagination, and the way a person learns to survive in extreme circumstances. When the world becomes too unbearable to survive, Pi creates a new world in which he can exist until his situation changes.