The life of Pi by Yann Martel puzzled me right off the bat because I couldn’t figure out if it was a true story or not. It’s touted as fiction, but as the marvelous tale unfolds, with each successive incident seeming to be more spectacular and fantastic than the last, it didn’t become any easier because the author was brilliantly able to root every event in the reality of the child’s life whose story it is. Even as the bulk of the novel takes place on a large lifeboat populated solely by the small child and a 500 pound Bengal tiger, I was at war within my mind as to the veracity of the events being related. the writing is so thoroughly convincing that I was taken in completely by this beautiful novel. With his precise prose, Martel carries the reader through from the vivid disaster of the floating menagerie that results in the two unlikely shipwreck companions, to an impossible oasis in the middle of the ocean that feels perfectly real, and onto the inevitable end that manages to convey the strange amalgam of emotions that broils within the survivor of such a harrowing ordeal. I balked at the premise upon first picking it up, but escaping into The Life of Pi was time well spent.