Yann Martel’s Life of Pi explores spirituality and the nature of existence through the adventures of a young boy named Pi. Pi’s parents decide to sell their Pondicherry zoo to escape the repression of 1970’s India, taking on their voyage the few animals they plan to sell: a hyena, a zebra, an orang-utan, and a formidable tiger, named Richard Parker. A shipwreck drowns the passengers and crew, save Pi and the four animals, who must coexist aboard a 26-foot-long lifeboat. In the months lost at sea, the animals demonstrate the rule of the food chain, successively devouring one another until only the tiger and Pi remain. The two maintain an uneasy peace, dependent upon Pi’s ability to feed the carnivore. After some unsettling encounters with floating islands, the lifeboat washes up on the shore of Mexico, where the tiger returns to the wild. When officials question Pi about the shipwreck and its aftermath, he tells two different versions of the survival story: the seemingly fantastical account involving the animals, and a brutal rendition detailing the plight of four humans forced to cannibalize each other. Martel's compelling tale leaves the reader to decide the unnerving question - which is the true story?