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on June 15, 2014
I bought the book after watching the movie (there were a number of plot discrepancies which was not surprising). While well written, I found the book a bit obscure in places. Nevertheless, good reading and well worth the time.
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on March 19, 2016
What a great little gem of a book. I picked it up after I saw the movie, which I must say I liked more because perhaps I don't like open ended stories too much. But still, Julia Leigh pulls you in with her spare prose. The story unfortunately does not say much about the Tasmanian Tiger itself and that might disappoint some , but that wasn't the point I think (it could have been as easily about a Dodo instead). The novel is more about loneliness, isolation, being alone (all three terms signify different things to different people and the story brings out that difference) and of course it about searching (while being lonely, alone and isolated) for something so elusive that common sense and experience might tell you to forget your search and turn back (sound familiar, it did to me!!). Highly recommended!!
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on November 29, 2012
M. (aka David Martin, for this trip at least) is being sent on a hunt of a nearly extinct, borderline mythical, creature, the thylacine (a Tasmanian tiger). He is, above all things, a hunter. M is solitary, efficient, and ruthless; lacking the social skills to interact with his kind with ease. This is the man of whose mind we inhabit in reading this book.

As the book is being told from the perspective of M, in fact, we are privy to his thoughts whether it runs to his awkwardness is social situation, his delight in setting up good traps, his pain, his secret wish...

"She is happy to see him. At of the sound of his car she has come out of the house to wait on the lawn, with one hand deep in her pocket and the other waving - feebly, it seems - in greeting. She's smiling that big smile. He manages to twinkle the fingers of one hand in response, thinking: What's this? A Welcoming committee?"

This was an interesting take to the story which opened the flaws of the character directly with the reader however because of this, we are missing other things that are outside of his mind and I felt this keenly. As with many other readers, M. is not a character you'd come to love so whilst I can definitely appreciate this bend of creativity, I can't fully enjoy it. It became just so very sad...

On the other hand, the setting of the book was not picturesque. Rather, it was wild unforgiving relentless yet daunting in its beauty (or maybe, it's the beauty of the words that I've been called to).

"This is no god's country, this is god-forsaken: it is perfect and precise. Perfect thousand-year-old trees, their lowest feathered branches almost tip-tipping; an open, soft and fragrant floor; the hard petals of each pine cone divisible by the golden mean. It is cold in here and dark, too, freckled with the faintest light."

A short novel with utterly flawed protagonists and powerful language.
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Though some critics have said that this book resonates long after they have finished it, it resonates because its message is so bleak, even hopeless. And one suspects that Leigh, an Australian author, is intentionally playing with the reader here by turning "quest fiction" on its head, as she criticizes those who make a conscious decision to sacrifice the essence of humanity and compassion while despoiling Nature for profit.

"Martin David," which may or may not be a real name, is in search of the thylacine, a Tasmanian tiger which may be extinct. In no sense a "hero," Martin is being highly paid by a corporation to find the last tiger and to extract its DNA, to be used to clone it. He is so obsessed with fulfilling his mission, however, that he becomes virtually a hunting machine, referred to not by his name at all, but simply as "M." During days that he is not hunting, he stays with the Armstrong family, dysfunctional since the disappearance of the father, Jarrah Armstrong, and we see some niggling traces of humanity as M begins to respond to the two wonderful, resilient Armstrong children, desperately in need of his help.

In other "quest fiction," such as Faulkner's The Bear, the reader can easily distinguish between hunter and prey and gain some enlightenment about the role of man in the universe as the hunter's respect for his prey grows during the duration of the hunt. Here, however, the edges are blurred. Readers can never sure whether M or the thylacine is really the hunter. As our knowledge grows, so does our understanding of which is the more ruthless, and which, if either, triumphs during the hunt. Though the prose is brutally compelling and the sense of drama very high, the message here actually feels like a message, and it is very grim. Most readers will conclude the novel wishing it were the M's of the world who were becoming extinct--and that, perhaps, is the author's point. Mary Whipple
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on October 6, 2013
One of the best books I have read. The movie was also good, the music soundtrack excellent :-) I will also buy from the seller again. Very fast service and the book was brand new as described.
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on February 10, 2013
Hunter - Saw the movie first and knew the book would be great. Haven't read it yet but the book arrived in great sondition. thanks!
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