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The Tiger Audiobook

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

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Publisher's Summary

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 19th and early 20th 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.

This ancient, tenuous relationship between man and predator is at the very heart of this remarkable book. Throughout, we encounter surprising theories of how humans and tigers may have evolved to coexist, how we may have developed as scavengers rather than hunters, and how early Homo sapiens may have fit seamlessly into the tiger’s ecosystem. Above all, we come to understand the endangered Siberian tiger, a highly intelligent super-predator that can grow to 10 feet long, weigh more than 600 pounds, and range daily over vast territories of forest and mountain.

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.

©2010 John Vaillant (P)2010 Random House

What the Critics Say

“Suspenseful and majestically narrated.... Vaillant has written a mighty elegy that leads readers into the lair of the tiger and into the heart of the Kremlin to explain how the Amur tiger went from being worshipped to being poached.” (Publishers Weekly)

The Tiger is the sort of book I very much like and rarely find.... In addition to tiger lore and scalding adventure, Vaillant shows us Russia’s far east and its inhabitants, their sometimes desperate lives interwoven with the economics of poaching and the politics of wildlife conservation. I was startled to learn about the zapovedniks and Russia’s primary place in global conservation. This is a book not only for adventure buffs, but for all of us interested in wildlife habitat preservation.” (Annie Proulx)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (449 )
5 star
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Overall
4.3 (305 )
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Story
4.3 (303 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 08-29-10
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 08-29-10 Member Since 2016

    Black

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    "All over the map - literally"

    The tiger is almost a bit player in this book that ranges from anthropology to cold war politics to conservation. All those topics are interesting in their own right but do not always work juxtaposed together. This is also one more example why, as a rule, authors should not read their own books. The reading in not bad, but neither is it great. I would have enjoyed it more at half the length and more on point.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nikita 11-05-16
    nikita 11-05-16 Member Since 2014
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    16
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    "Phenomenal"

    This book was so captivating I couldn't stop listening. John Vaillant does an incredible job maintaining an overall story with suspense and anticipation, while weaving in history, culture, biology, and the human experience. I wish I can find more books like this. Narration is perfect, and conveys the emotions expressed in the book. I would recommend this to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joao 10-20-16
    Joao 10-20-16 Member Since 2014
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    "incredible"

    a heart pumping story with tons of incredible information. heard it in one go. trully sad situation though...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 10-18-16
    Matthew 10-18-16
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    "Wonderful read and very detailed"

    I really enjoyed this book but it would lose me when going into detail about characters and history. It explained allot which I usually like, but I'm not very familiar with Russian/Eastern geography, history or names. Beacuse of this I would get lost with time lines and geography or confused with remembering location or characters names. However the moral and lessons were great and really made me think. Overall it is worth listening to especially if you can easily focused or have a good memory.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    InTheBurbs 05-25-16
    InTheBurbs 05-25-16
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    "Thoroughly misleading tag line"

    I was looking for a good adventure book, saw this tagline, and thought, "Ghost and the Darkness with tiger; that'll do it!" Nope, not what this is. Don't get me wrong, the story of the 1997 maneater on the edge of the Taiga is in there, it's just that you've got to sit through about 6 hours of the recent political history of the USSR, 2 hours of tiger structure/evolution, and a couple hours of environmentalism. At 12 hours for the whole thing, you're not getting a whole lot of tiger adventure here. What there is of it is quite good, but not good enough to wade through the other two (much longer) books the author seems to have wanted to write instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Cassidy 04-09-16
    D. Cassidy 04-09-16
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    "Terrible Ability to Keep the Story Moving Along"

    Chapter after chapter of introductory material that is not the story itself. All of it doesn't make the story better when it comes. This book needs an abridged version -- as in the first fifteen chapters need to be reduced to two chapters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne 02-12-16
    Anne 02-12-16
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    "Deadly narration"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    maybe my last 'read by author' book. Takes willpower not to be put to sleep. The story itself is interesting, but the narrator sounds self-absorbed and lacks quality.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    see above.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ethan 12-23-15
    Ethan 12-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Educational but deceiving title"
    Would you try another book from John Vaillant and/or John Vaillant?

    Maybe


    Any additional comments?

    I feel like the title is somewhat misleading in a sense though I did do little research on the book before I bought it. Though the chapters that focus on the actual tiger draw you in, you are then thrown into a history and economics of the region in the next chapter which to me at least loses interest in the book. To me it seemed like there was a lot of added filler that doesn't really pertain to the title of the book. At certain parts of the book between the actual story of the tiger the author tries to draw ambiguous lines between the governing powers and economics to tigers. Not saying there are not connections but I realize this book seemed to more of an educational read rather than an in depth survival story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 12-22-15
    Mark 12-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Awesome!"

    This book started a little slow for me; however, I'm glad I didn't give up on it. I absolutely was amazed by this true story and I couldn't get enough. Definitely my top five book of all time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Douglas Frank 12-03-15
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    "Interesting story with excessive back story"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The story about a man-eating tiger, and the subsequent hunt for it is quite interesting. However the author spends more time providing background detail concerning the geographic region and both the people and animals who live there than he does on the main story. As a result the book seems to drag out excessively.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The climax and the factual information that followed were quite interesting.


    Was The Tiger worth the listening time?

    Yes, but I'd grade the audio book a B minus. The story is interesting, as is some of the background information that was provided. However I felt the book would have been far more enjoyable if the author had moved the discussion about the tiger and the hunt for it along at a brisker pace.


    Any additional comments?

    The book does make one come away with a new found appreciation for both tigers and our need to both respect and protect them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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