The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

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The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival audiobook

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Review #1

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival audiobook free

Siberian tigers hunt bears. Thats how badass they are. Okay, but why should you read a book about a search for a man-eating Amur tiger, the worlds largest land predator, in the most remote parts of the earth? Because its one of the best damn books youll ever read, thats why. And in the process, youll learn about Russian history, Communism, Russian-Chinese relations, Siberian tundra and taiga, tiger lore, perestroika, tiger physiology, the Afghan war, poaching, black markets, being a nature warden, extinction, duty, vengeance and survival. Vaillants sorcery is in his ability to take you inside the head of the hunted villagers, the hunters, and the Amur tiger, as if you are there. The whole thing reads like a thriller, and yes, you will probably stay up way too late reading it. I came away with a deeper appreciation of the majesty of nature and our place in it as current top predator.


Review #2

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Let me start by saying that I really, really wanted to like this book. It was highly recommended and has great reviews. But it was… not what I expected.

Don’t get me wrong, this book is superbly well written. But I was expecting a reasonably straightforward tale about revenge and survival in the Siberian taiga. And there are elements of that throughout the book. But the story of a man eating tiger and its pursuit by Russian game officials is sparsely scattered through pages upon pages where the author meditates on ecology, history, Russian politics, paleohistory, and even existential philosophy.

Now, I have pretty broad interests, and I’m happy to read about all the above subjects when I’m in the mood. But they are not what I was hoping for when I picked up this book.

In fact, you could toss out all the pages pertaining to the actual tiger attack and investigation and still have a pretty big book left over. In many respects, this book isn’t even really about a tiger attack at all– it’s a lengthy meditation on history and philosophy, with a few spatterings of the actual story scattered here and there.

I can read a book on philosophy or history with little difficulty, but I found myself positively slogging through The Tiger. It took me quite a long time to finish it, and there were times when reading it felt like a chore.

Imagine if you picked up a book about one particular shipwreck, looking forward to reading the harrowing accounts from the survivors, but you have to read through hundreds of pages about ship construction, maritime lore, international politics, and indigenous philosophy first.

Very well written, and the author is clearly extremely intelligent, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for in this book. The two star rating reflects the mental exhaustion and boredom I feel after finally finishing it.


Review #3

Audiobook The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant

This book is an exciting true story that seems impossible to put down at times. The Tiger that is being hunted by and hunting man is a complex individual with motives that seem both rational and moral when analysed by the scientists and people who live among them. The Tiger only hunts the individuals who hurt him or his family or pose an active threat to him. Tigers have existed for thousands of years next to men who respect them and accept their right to live and hunt to survive. The tigers have lived peacefully among the men who have refused to hunt or harm them.

By the end of this book you will support efforts to save the Amir tiger from extinction. The welfare of the tiger is a significant indication of the health of the society which surrounds him.


Review #4

Audio The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival narrated by John Vaillant

When I looked at The Tiger on the Amazon I surmised it would be similar to Corbetts tiger hunting classic. I was wrong. The Tiger is a literary and psychological analysis of the tiger as predator, metaphor and psychological symbol. The true story of a tiger killing a Russian poacher and the hunt to put this tiger down gets lost in the simultaneous analytic narrative. This is two stories in one.
If you are looking for a dynamic hunting story to read, you will have to fast forward through what will be extraneous, useless narrative to you in order to read the hunting story. On the other hand, if you like cultural, historical and literary analysis you will enjoy the authors view of The Tiger and its place in the forests of the mind as well as the Taiga.
What did not make sense were the cryptic references to Korea. For example, Korea did not have mandarins, but landed yangban, who were the intellectual, social, economic, and political elite that dominated the Choseon Dynasty. The mandarins were Chinese.


Review #5

Free audio The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival – in the audio player below

Ive always been fascinated with stories of life in harsh environments and I love mysteries, spy novels, and historical fiction. When the BBC ran a brief piece on the series of events recounted in this book, it seemed like a good time to take a break from my reading routine and I was not at all disappointed. The book is an amazing account of both the impact of political and economic change wrought by perestroika and its impact on both the human and animal populations of the far East of Russia, and especially the Amur tigers which are unique to that area. The book manages to weave very complex discussion of geopolitical and economic events into the retelling of the events leading up to the death of a hunter/trapper/poacher and the subsequent investigations and tracking down of a man-eating tiger. By the end of the book one can only feel immense sorrow for all of the characters in the story; not only the people left to fend for themselves in an unforgiving land, and the desperate situation the Amur tigers face as they lose their status as the majestic masters of the wild, as their numbers dwindle due to habitat destruction, poaching, and as their human neighbors slowly lose respect for the tigers position as a sacred part of the natural environment all these beings share. As it happens the humans and the tigers in this story share the same fate: They are all in decline and its a tragedy of monumental proportion. All in all the author has done an amazing job of telling this tale with respect and empathy for all the players, and this book is well worth a careful read.


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