Did this story really happen?
You are not the first person to ask this question. On August 22, 2003, ABC News held a question and answer session with author Yann Martel. One of the questions asked by an audience member was "Is any of this story true?" Martel's response was the following:
"Of course it's a true story. All good art is true. May Richard Parker keep purring the truth to your ears."
Unfortunately, Martel doesn't mean that the events of the story are true. Pi, the shipwreck, and his time with Richard Parker are not true, historical events. That's why readers will find the book in the fiction aisle of book stores. What Martel means by his quote is that the themes of the book are true. Art reflects truth, and Life of Pi is a wonderful piece of art. It's full of bravery, selflessness, determination, identity, and faith. Those are all true parts of humanity, and Martel's book uses those truths to string together a wonderfully fun story.