We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival | [John Vaillant]

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

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.
Regular Price:$35.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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)

More from the same

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (266 )
5 star
 (112)
4 star
 (87)
3 star
 (39)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (12)
Overall
4.2 (146 )
5 star
 (72)
4 star
 (41)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.3 (145 )
5 star
 (73)
4 star
 (48)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Richard Boston, MA, United States 09-10-10
    Richard Boston, MA, United States 09-10-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    115
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Very well written and a must for Big Cat fans"

    I'll begin with the author's reading skills: Pretty damn good. Above average voice and tone...While true that reading your own book at the Audible.com level is generally a poor idea....this proves to be an exception.

    Since it's very well written and tells a story that I found fascinating...I have to give four stars...more like 4.3...Some might not like the multiple digressions into Russian history, animal psychology, and lots of other words ending with "ology" but the digressions are the book...otherwise, it's a short magazine article about events that occurred on the border area between Russian and China where the biggest of the big cats dwell...in dwindling numbers...supported by some dedicated Russian "inspectors" and wildlife foundations....endangered by poachers seeking to sell tiger parts to morons in China and elsewhere that revere tiger penises and bones as "medicine"...The narrative revolves around the killings by a tiger in 1996 that terrorized the small region...the book is a travel book...history book...adventure book...nature book...and a must read for big cat fans.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew GILBERT, AZ, United States 09-26-10
    Andrew GILBERT, AZ, United States 09-26-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Interesting topic and well read"

    This book is a little like Cod, or Krakatoa, in that it centers on a single event or subject but spends most (or most) of its time on topic's periphery. I tend to enjoy books written this way. The Tiger is not equal to Cod or Krakatoa (I would rate both five starts) but is still informative and enjoyable.


    The reader (author) does a great job. I came away feeling confident in my pronunciation of Vladivostok.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda UT 02-16-13
    Melinda UT 02-16-13 Member Since 2009

    So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7917
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    578
    233
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4327
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thy Fearful Symmetry"

    "Did he who made the Lamb make thee? Tyger Tyger burning bright, in the forests of the night..." [Wm. Blake]

    Imagine--the largest species of tigers, the Amur, or Siberian tiger: 700 lbs., with a chest girth of 56 inches, 12 feet long from nose to tail, 4 feet high at the shoulder. The best camouflaged animal in the forest, stalking you, unseen--silently on giant paws hiding retractable claws the size of a velociraptor's. The golden eyes are unblinking and the mounth slightly open revealing teeth that are 5" long and over an inch thick at the base; the jaw has the power of 1200 psi; the tongue is covered with small hook-like projections that can lick the paint off a building--or strip meat from a bone. If you are average, you can run about 11 mph--but you are in knee high snow...the tiger can run 50 mp--in the snow. From a crouch, it was thought the tiger could jump 12 feet high, until at a San Francisco zoo an Amur tiger jumped a 12 1/2 ft. fence, escaping it's enclosure; launched from a run, the tiger can cover a distance of up to 30 feet . The roar of the animal is so loud it is in the *sonic realm* and distorts the neurological pattern. Now, imagine that animal has a memory, a temper, and a grudge against you!

    Vaillant has painstakingly combined the legends and facts about this amazing and endangered animal and woven them into both the political history of Russia, and the true story of the fateful expedition. The combination is fascinating and kept me absorbed--even though I wanted more tiger. The amount of research that has gone into compiling this book is mind-boggling, and Valliant has constructed a flawless platform for his closing statements.

    ..."the side effect of our ravenous success...we are in charge of this tiger's fate--an extraordinary power for one species to wield over another...what will be the results?"

    The dwindling Amur are not the stars of this book--it is Valliant's research and presentation...necessary to protect such majestic animals, and guarantee there will always be the Amur tiger.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Salt Lake City, UT United States 12-20-10
    Susan Salt Lake City, UT United States 12-20-10 Member Since 2005

    slc_reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    188
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    754
    35
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    2
    Overall
    "A great story well told."

    Tigers, Siberia, hunting man eating tigers in Siberia. I would never have considered this book had it not been recommended by a good friend. Lucky for me, I had the day off today or I'd have been up all night. A tiger kills a man in Siberia in a way that strongly suggests she chose her prey and stalked him for some time. The men who hunt her try to understand why. Do tigers hold a grudge? Is this all about retribution? If so, for what? It reads like a great mystery/thriller with enough history and psychology (or us and the tigers) thrown in to make it one of my favorite reads of the year.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert El Dorado Hills, CA, United States 12-02-10
    Robert El Dorado Hills, CA, United States 12-02-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Could become a classic"

    What an interesting book. The author weaves the story of Eastern Russia, China in all its splendor, geographic, cultural, political in this story of tigers, people and the boreal jungle. This book is very well written and tells congruent stories interwoven in the fabric of the area south of Vladivostok. Take your time with the book. This could easily be assigned reading in a literature course. A combination of Moby Dick, The Guns of August and A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. A pleasure through and through.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn 08-29-11
    Lynn 08-29-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    712
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    161
    144
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    375
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "W0W"

    The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival is one interesting read through which John Vaillant (The Golden Spruce) takes up the story of revenge by a Tiger victimized by a poacher. Along the way reader is taken in by the storyline while being introduced to related economic, political, and conservation issues. Frankly, I have never read anything quite like this story. It is John McPhee with a dark story and twist. It is Yann Martel’s Life of Pi in a nonfiction narrative. Most impressive are the sections in which Vaillant lets the reader into the mind and cognitive nature of the Tiger. I was taken aback several times. In sum, this is a very interesting book. At least pick it up and read a few passages before you make up your mind. Vaillant reads his own book to great advantage.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean BELVEDERE TIBURON, CA, United States 10-25-10
    Sean BELVEDERE TIBURON, CA, United States 10-25-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    291
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    84
    56
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    28
    0
    Overall
    "Moby Dick meets Brothers Karamzov"

    This book grabs you with a fast paced, exciting first chapter but never really delivers on that promise.

    In trying to describe the events of the attack and put them in context the author strays a little too far a little too often to hold the reader. Further, the big question introduced in the first chapter is never answered satisfactorily.

    I appreciated his description of post-perestroika Russia, which I was almost completely ignorant of before this book. But the background starts to feel like a history lesson and you keep asking "but what about the tiger?" This is even worse when he goes into the personal histories of the involved hunters and townspeople. I'm certain these people made a tremendous impression on the author, but the details of their lives do not really move the narrative along.

    The writing is excellent--having lived "up north" I really was transported by his descriptions and he re-creates the feel of village life quite well. I also enjoyed his narration. It is difficult for an author to read their own book, but he manages to inflect well enough to make you catch puns you might otherwise miss.

    With better editing this could have been another "Into Thin Air" but as is it requires some effort to get through.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 08-29-10
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 08-29-10 Member Since 2003

    Black

    HELPFUL VOTES
    592
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    356
    80
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    43
    0
    Overall
    "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 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Bedford, TX, United States 05-07-12
    Kathy Bedford, TX, United States 05-07-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    726
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4687
    132
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    231
    117
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extraordinary story"

    The author wraps the main story in a helix-like net of fascinating facts about animals, geography, politics and so much more. His writing is dazzling and the narration excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sona Pearl River, NY, United States 10-25-11
    sona Pearl River, NY, United States 10-25-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story, excellent performance"

    Not all authors should read their books out loud, but John Vaillant is not one of these. His narration, including representing his characters' mannerisms is spot on. I was not expecting as gripping a story, and certainly not the finely strung and explosive climax. This is a book for all ages and one all should read. It will make a tiger supporter out of all of us!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 26 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.