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American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon | [Steven Rinella]

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon

Steven Rinella won a lottery to hunt for a wild buffalo in the Alaskan wilderness. One of only four hunters that year who succeeded in killing a buffalo, he carried the carcass down a snow-covered mountainside and floated it four miles down a white-water canyon while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years' worth of buffalo hunters in North America and the place of the buffalo in the American consciousness.
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Publisher's Summary

In 2005, Steven Rinella won a lottery to hunt for a wild buffalo, or American bison, in the Alaskan wilderness. One of only four hunters that year who succeeded in killing a buffalo, he carried the carcass down a snow-covered mountainside and floated it four miles down a white-water canyon while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Through this experience, Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years' worth of buffalo hunters in North America and the place of the buffalo in the American consciousness.

American Buffalo is a narrative tale of that hunt. But beyond that, it is the story of the many ways in which the buffalo has shaped our national identity. Rinella takes us across the continent in search of the buffalo's past, present, and future: to the Bering Strait Land Bridge; to buffalo jumps, where Native Americans ran buffalo over cliffs by the hundreds; even to the Bronx Zoo, where legend has it a depressed buffalo served as the model for the American nickel.

Rinella's erudition and exuberance, combined with his gift for storytelling, make him the perfect guide for a book that combines outdoor adventure with history, science, and the natural world. And yet it also tells us as much about ourselves as Americans as it does about the creature who perhaps best of all embodies the American ethos.

©2008 Steven Rinella; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (53 )
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Performance
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  •  
    D. hanson 07-30-09
    D. hanson 07-30-09 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Driving West"

    If you love to travel the western and mountain states,and you love your history , this book is a must listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek West Chicago, Il, United States 10-02-14
    Derek West Chicago, Il, United States 10-02-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A comprehensive history on the American Buffalo."
    If you could sum up American Buffalo in three words, what would they be?

    Rinella knows Buffalo!


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    There were some aspects surrounding the history were the facts had been lost with time and Rinella used his best judgement and expertise to fill in the gaps. That's not something I typically enjoy in non-fiction. These parts were minimal and didn't take away from the facts.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    As he described the kill and butchering I was sickened; however, after his explanation about being a responsible advocate for the buffalo I felt more like a hypocrite for being a meateater.


    Any additional comments?

    I made some initial judgments and had preconceived notions about hunters before reading the book. I was wrong, to Rinella's credit he is not a stereotypical hunter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russel Willis, TX, United States 09-12-14
    Russel Willis, TX, United States 09-12-14 Member Since 2010
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    "All you ever wanted to know about the Bison Bison"
    What made the experience of listening to American Buffalo the most enjoyable?

    All you ever wanted or need to know about the origin of Bison Bison or as its also known the American Bison/Buffalo. Steven makes you feel as though you are standing beside him on his epic Alaska adventure. If you want real hunting watch him in Meat eater..


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rinella, of course


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin tampa, FL, United States 03-04-13
    Kevin tampa, FL, United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2011
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    "I really enjoyed this book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of American Buffalo to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version, but the audio version was excellent.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of American Buffalo?

    The hunt and the history.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walter 08-20-12
    Walter 08-20-12 Member Since 2009
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    "American Saga, Alaskan Saga"

    Fatastic story of Rinella's hunt for a buffalo in Alaska (he won a permit to do so), interspersed with facts, fiction and musings about the buffalo and their meanings for the prehistoric, native and Euro-Americans who have come into contact with them.

    The narration, when speaking in Rinella's voice, is fine - but this is one narrator who should perhaps avoid accents - whether French, German or any other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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