Piscine Molitor Patel – known as Pi – grows up in Pondicherry, India; both spiritual and philosophical in his approach, he has a deep love of reading and of the animals which surround him in his parents’ zoo. But when he is sixteen, his parents decide they need to escape the political turmoil in India, and so they head for Canada. Boarding the cargo ship, Tsimtsum, they take along some of their animals to a new life in Northern America. But they have barely left when the ship sinks and only Pi survives, alone in a lifeboat – with only some animals for company, including a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. This begins his 227 day trip across the Pacific, where he tries to come to terms with the nature of belief and also the importance of asserting one’s own will.