Expect the Unexpected
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This book does an incredible job of creating a bizarre and intense reality and then completely turning it around at the end. This book is fully engaging, and manages to make the reader question everything they've been so absorbed in throughout the novel. Not only that, Martel manages to do it with a degree of humor that it is surprising and very welcome given the extremity of the situation.

I've recommended it often to others, and have heard that the first part of the book, about Pi's life in India and the development of his interest in each of the major world religions is a little slow. I think it all works together beautifully, but understand that it's a rather slow start for those expecting a story of shipwreck and survival from page one.