This book is about the son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior. When Pi is sixteen his family emigrates from India to North America. They go aboard a Japanese cargo ship along with zoo animals. The ship then sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat. He is accompanied by a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra and Richard Parker, a 450 pound Bengal tiger. Pi must coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. He finally gets on land and they don't believe his story.