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Publisher's Summary

Steven Rinella grew up in Twin Lake, Michigan, the son of a hunter who taught his three sons to love the natural world the way he did. As a child, Rinella devoured stories of the American wilderness, especially the exploits of his hero, Daniel Boone. He began fishing at the age of three and shot his first squirrel at eight and his first deer at thirteen. He chose the colleges he went to by their proximity to good hunting ground, and he experimented with living solely off wild meat. As an adult, he feeds his family from the food he hunts.

Meat Eater chronicles Rinella's lifelong relationship with nature and hunting through the lens of 10 hunts, beginning when he was an aspiring mountain man at age 10 and ending as a 37-year-old Brooklyn father who hunts in the remotest corners of North America. He tells of having a struggling career as a fur trapper just as fur prices were falling; of a dalliance with catch-and-release steelhead fishing; of canoeing in the Missouri Breaks in search of mule deer just as the Missouri River was freezing up one November; and of hunting the elusive Dall sheep in the glaciated mountains of Alaska.

Through each story, Rinella grapples with themes such as the role of the hunter in shaping America, the vanishing frontier, the ethics of killing, the allure of hunting trophies, the responsibilities that human predators have to their prey, and the disappearance of the hunter himself as Americans lose their connection with the way their food finds its way to their tables. Hunting, he argues, is intimately connected with our humanity; assuming responsibility for acquiring the meat that we eat, rather than entrusting it to proxy executioners, processors, packagers, and distributors, is one of the most respectful and exhilarating things a meat eater can do.

A thrilling storyteller with boundless interesting facts and historical information about the land, the natural world, and the history of hunting, Rinella also includes after each chapter a section of "Tasting Notes" that draws from his 30-plus years of eating and cooking wild game, both at home and over a campfire. In Meat Eater he paints a loving portrait of a way of life that is part of who we are as humans and as Americans.

©2012 Steven Rinella (P)2013 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"An insider's look at hunting that devotees and nonparticipants alike should find fascinating." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing storytelling

Terrifically amazing story the only way I think it could have been told better was if Steve told it himself

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book, needs to be voiced by Rinella himself.

great book, but found myself wanting for Steven Rinella's voice, I listen to his podcast often and find it odd to hear what is clearly a phrase constructed my him coming from another.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Highly Recommend!

Rubella’s passion for hunting is beautifully communicated in this book. The book is full of useful tips on the how-to of certain hunting and fishing (including often the cooking side of things too) and yet its most exciting Element was the WHY of hunting. For anyone who has ever had an interest in hunting but is still on the fence, this book is for you. It shares the history of American hunters through the story of one particular, in my opinion excellent, hunter: Steven Rinella.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing book

Only gripe is I wish it was narrated by Steven, not that this narrator isn't fantastic, but Steven has a certain emphasis that I can see has been lost in foreign narration

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator can't properly pronounce "Mackinac"

I am not yet finished with this but felt compelled to post--I am not a hunter, though from a family of hunters; I am an animal lover, but I am fine with hunting for food; I am enjoying the book but the narrator needs an education in pronouncing Michigan names. To wit: "Mackinac" is pronounced "Mackinaw"--the final "c" is silent/becomes a "w". The author should bop the narrator over the head with a dead squirrel or something.

Enjoyable listen, brings me memories of my own Michigan country roots, not far from where he grew up and hunted. Looking forward to my trips in the car and visits to the gym to hear the rest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent storytelling

A fantastic book from acclaimed author/hunter/woodsman Steven Rinella. It's a must read for anyone interested in hunting and the outdoors.

I took a star off of the performance ONLY because it would have been better if Steven narrated himself. The actual performance was great though.

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Captivating stories makes me thing of my father as a hunter

The stories and the background are presented fully in your mind as you hear this book. I could feel the hunt and rethought my view of hunting in general as a quest to understand an animal so fully that you consume it both in spirit, nature and as food. As a vegetarian of 25 years in cause me some wonder and a realization that there is something that only hunting can give you. A look a nature that is , when done in the art of fair game has a mystical quality that submerges you into nature at it’s most brutal and most beautiful. The dichotomy of nature, it balance . Horror and beauty, peace and brutality, love and hate. Wonderful read

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A wonderful story and tale of an American hunter.

I was hoping that Steven Rinella would be the narrator, but unfortunately, he is not.

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  • CG
  • 08-09-18

CONNECTS OUR PAST AND PRESENT

It was easy listening from the start- lessons of what it is to be human. People used to get a crick in the neck from following animal tracks & trails but now get it from walking & staring into a smart phone.

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Fun Read

This was a great book that details one of the greatest modern hunters in the US. Steven Rinella has true reverence for hunting and that really shows in this writing.