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It's December 1997, and a man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia's Far East. The tiger isn't just killing people, it's annihilating them, and a team of men and their dogs must hunt it on foot through the forest in the brutal cold. As the trackers sift through the gruesome remains of the victims, they discover that these attacks aren't random: the tiger is apparently engaged in a vendetta. Injured, starving, and extremely dangerous, the tiger must be found before it strikes again. As he re-creates these extraordinary events, John Vaillant gives us an unforgettable portrait of this spectacularly beautiful and mysterious region. We meet the native tribes who for centuries have worshipped and lived alongside tigers, even sharing their kills with them. We witness the arrival of Russian settlers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, soldiers and hunters who greatly diminished the tiger populations. And we come to know their descendants, who, crushed by poverty, have turned to poaching and further upset the natural balance of the region. Beautifully written and deeply informative, The Tiger circles around three main characters: Vladimir Markov, a poacher killed by the tiger; Yuri Trush, the lead tracker; and the tiger himself. It is an absolutely gripping tale of man and nature that leads inexorably to a final showdown in a clearing deep in the taiga.
'The Tiger also counts as a supreme example of true-crime writing driven by wide-angle empathy and compassion. Some readers may choose to shelve it, not among cosy wildlife yarns, but with Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.'
Boyd Tonkin, Independent
'This is an altogether different kind of manhunt story ... The pursuit culminates in a breathtaking stand-off of man versus cat in a forest clearing - a denouement every bit as explosive and surprising as the raid in Abbottabad earlier this week.'
Hampton Sides, Wall Street Journal
'A personal favourite of mine, an extraordinary account of a tracker on the trail of a Siberian man-eating tiger in 1997. Along the way we get a load of tiger facts and a beautiful portrait of a forbidding region. It is a stunning, lovely, lovely book.'
'extraordinary ... a brilliantly told tale of man and nature'
Tim Flannery, New York Review of Books
'a remarkable story, exceptionally well told.'
'The Tiger is the sort of book I very much like and rarely find. Humans are hard-wired to fear tigers, so this book will attract intense interest.'
'The Tiger takes us on a journey to the raw edge of civilization, to a world of vengeful cats and venal men, a world that, in Vaillant's brilliant telling, is simultaneously haunting and enchanting.'
Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers
'This book must be read by everybody who is interested in the conservation of wildlife. It takes you to the Russian wilderness to meet face-to-face with the Siberian tiger.'
Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation
'An absolutely superb book.'
George Schaller, Wildlife Conservation Society & Panthera
Publication date: 04/08/2011
Publisher: Sceptre an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
|Publication date:||4th August 2011|
|Publisher:||Sceptre an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, eBook Favourites, The Real World,|
John Vaillant is the award winning author of The Golden Spruce. He has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Outside, National Geographic and Men's Journal, among other publications. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife and children.More About John Vaillant