MONTREAL – A lot of people thought the epic novel “Life of Pi” could never be made into a movie. It was too complex, too surreal. And then there’s the whole idea of sticking an actor in a boat with a man-eating tiger for a good chunk of the film.

Yann Martel, however, says he thinks director Ang Lee did a pretty good job of pulling it off.

“It’s very faithful to the book, it’s visually absolutely stunning and it’s a whole trip,” the Canadian author said in an interview as people lined up to see the film version of his novel at Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinema over the weekend. The movie will open across Canada next month.

“Life of Pi,” which has sold millions of copies worldwide since it was published in 2001, counts U.S. President Barack Obama among its fans. In a letter to Martel two years ago, Obama described the 2002 winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize as “a lovely book — an elegant proof of God, and the power of storytelling.”