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The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival (Vintage Departures) Paperback – May 3, 2011
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“Magnificent. . . . Suspenseful. . . . The Tiger offers readers a shiver-inducing portrait of a predator.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Mesmerizing . . . a blistering good tale, stocked with fascinating characters, none more compelling than the tiger itself . . . the adventure book of the year.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A masterpiece. . . . What elevates The Tiger from adventure yarn to nonfiction classic is Vaillant’s mastery of language.” —Outside
“A riveting story.” —The Washington Post
“Brilliant . . . A tale of astonishing power and vigor . . . Read this fine, true book in the warmth, beside the flicker of the firelight. Read it and be afraid. Be very afraid.”— Simon Winchester, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“[A] riveting story . . . Vaillant’s book teaches a lesson that humankind desperately needs to remember: When you murder a tiger, you not only kill a strong and beautiful beast, you extinguish a passionate soul.”—Washington Post
“[An] epic story. . . . A travelogue about tiger poaching in Russia’s far east opens up a new genre . . . [the] conservation thriller."—Nature
“If ever a nonfiction author has used the techniques of fiction any better to recount a real-life narrative, it is difficult to imagine who that author would be. . . . Think of Vaillant as a younger version of John McPhee, but on steroids.” —The Seattle Times
“Riveting, often chilling. . . . A remarkable, thoroughly researched, informative chronicle that will appeal to readers interested in the conservation of wildlife.”—Providence Journal
“Nonfiction as riveting as any detective story. . . . Vaillant sets the stage for an epic encounter that unfolds dramatically and inexorably, climaxing in a stunning encounter.”—Christian Science Monitor
“An extraordinary book, bringing vividly to life this rare and terrifying creature and the men who are setting their lives at stake every day in a barely civilized part of the world. This is a real-life adventure story that is rarely encountered.”—The Washington Times
“A remarkable and thoughtful account of a distant place where man and animal meet with fatal consequences.”—Richmond Times Dispatch
“Told with passion and deep knowledge of the history cultures, folk tales, flora and fuana of this part of the world . . . The Tiger has the pace and precision of a spy thriller.”—Waterbury Republican-American
About the Author
John Vaillant’s first book was the national bestseller The Golden Spruce, which won the Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction, as well as several other awards. He has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Outside, National Geographic and The Walrus, among other publications. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife and children.
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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.
This book was such a great read, I gave my copy to my mother and ordered
a replacement for me. Not only is the exact avenging tiger of the title covered quite
well, you learn about the history of Russia's Far East(the area near Vladivostok),
including the various indigenous groups, man's relationship over the years with
both tigers and predators in general, some of Russia/China relations over the years
since China also has both Amur tigers and the critically-endangered
Amur leopard. And here, in this book, I learned that famous blue pill,
Viagra, is from a Sanskrit word for tiger.
and the last part, when the main person goes to the tiger sanctuary, and the
reaction of the tiger there, was just mind-boggling. Everything in this book
makes you realize tigers are much smarter than we generally think that they are.
Yes, overall a great read.
However, this story line accounts for roughly about 15% of the book. The rest of the book is filled with the background and history of how the far eastern Primorsky Krai (Primorye) region became inhabited following Perestroika. I found myself nearly as interested in this aspect of the book, as I did the actually tiger investigation, which is a testament to the author.
That being said, although the theme of "tigers" mostly persists throughout the book, you'll find yourself reading many more pages about the history of Russian life in the remote taiga than you will about tigers.
Still a worthy read, however. I came for the tigers, and stayed for the history lesson.