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Publisher's Summary

Jack Olsen's true account, traces the causes of the tragic night in August 1967 when two separate and unrelated campers, a distance apart, were savagely mangled and killed by enraged bears.

©2014 Jack Olsen (P)2014 Gregg Olsen

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  • Michael
  • ARCADIA, CA, United States
  • 12-19-14

The night the bears lost their fear of humans

Jack Olsen, the legendary reporter, delivers a superbly crafted non-fiction account of a night of unprecedented violence, that is also a meditation on Man's humanity, and our relationship with the environment. The first part of the book is a comprehensive description of Glacier National Park, and the flora and fauna that inhabit it. This sets the tone of the book. One can hear the birdsong, the splash of rippling waters, feel the frigid cold of the altitude, smell the scents of pine and loam. And we're presented with descriptions of the difficult, short lives of the beasts that live there.

The second act focuses on people who live in the park; grandfathered in because their homesteads existed before the park became a national park, the hikers, fishermen and rangers that enjoy and protect it. Then a long section on the history of bears in North America, the Black Bear, the now extinct Golden Bear, and Ursus Horribilis, the Grizzly bear. (No mention of a polar bear--though). The second act rises in tension as rogue bears begin to behave very oddly. The fear mechanism that has prevented Grizzly bears from attacking humans for almost 60 years of Park history is beginning to fade, and the bears are becoming bolder, and more aggressive. And it's not just one. It's as though a bear group-think has occurred, and they've told each other they're mad as hell and they're not going to take it any more. The third act is a description of the atrocities that occurred that night, and the human reaction to it. It is by turns terrifying and deeply emotional.

Kevin Pierce narrates with just the right tone of authority and passion. Like his earlier books that I've heard: the Bundy Murders, and the Black Dahlia Avenger, Mr. Pierce has a special sensitivity for the plight of victims. He humanizes them and gives their stories dimension and impact. I found myself tearing up several times. The Night of the Grizzlies is a really great story, and an important story, told by two masterful storytellers.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Just like you are THERE!

Would you consider the audio edition of Night of the Grizzlies to be better than the print version?

It was like listening to a very REAL campfire story--a great way to hear the tale.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Night of the Grizzlies?

As a camper and hiker and someone who has lived in Alaska, I truly appreciated the ENTIRE STORY. There were so many great moments…don't want to give any spoilers. But here's one: at the end when The Journalist gets outraged about killing one of The Grizzly's Cubs, he unsheathes his knife which he flings to the ground and yells, "Dammit, the cubs would not come around if you just stopped feeding them!" Pretty much sums up the whole book. Also, I truly appreciated all the changes that came about from the deaths of the campers.

What about Kevin Pierce’s performance did you like?

LOVED the narrator and his deep piercing voice.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

ABSOLUTELY!!!! I didn't want to to end! : (

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Stunningly beautiful park for chilling story....

Having just seen The Grizzly Man, I guess I went on a bear kick--and I love the way Jack Olsen writes. It's a beautifully written book that intertwines peaceful and beautiful imagery with a parade of guests and official personnel--a cast of characters, some more distinctive than others as they move closer to the truly terrifying events. I wouldn't have thought the descriptive passages about the beauty of the wild flowers and shrubs and the trees and birds and even the flying insects were enough to hold my fascination but all of this is soft buildup that is anything but dull. I it takes a talented writer to coax us gently through the ordinary while full of anticipation for what we know is soon to come. Yes we know what this story is all about and it makes the soft gentle moments to introduce it that much more chilling. Eerily calm and well written Fascinating in fact. Enjoy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The Grizzlies

Any additional comments?

A good non-fiction book I have listened to.. The story especially in the later chapters is brisk and captivating. The audiobook is very interesting to listen to.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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More captivating than I expected

Reading the reviews about the long introduction about the natural history of
Glacier national park I didn't expect to be so engrossed in the narrative right away.
Interesting and well told story

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wow!

I have never been out west. I entered this story clueless.The writing and narration did a fabulous job of taking me into this territory I have never experienced. I could place myself in the descriptions of the areas. It was beautiful and fascinating!
And this is a tragic story. The way the writer brought the reality to the pages really hit the heart. The narrator didnt falter taking you through the horrors of that night. I cried. Wow unimaginable. So sad.
This is a true and gut wrenching story, eloquently told and superbly written.
This is my honest review via a promotion.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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An outstanding rendition of a classic book

Which character – as performed by Kevin Pierce – was your favorite?

"Night of the Grizzlies" stands out as one of the late, great Jack Olsen's most remarkable works. Kevin Pierce is a marvelous narrator of Olsen's sharp prose.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great story and performance

Where does Night of the Grizzlies rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The reader was good, and the overall story is great. But I've read the actually book in the past, and reading of the book is better. But there is a reason we listen to audio books, including myself, so if you can't read the book, the audio is a great A1 option.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The ranger that was managing the people at the hut.

Have you listened to any of Kevin Pierce’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When they first heard the noises of the girl getting dragged away by the bear, but not really realizing what they were hearing.

Any additional comments?

I've been to Glacier National Park and going back this year which is the reason I wanted to listed to it. It's a sad story, but a good reminder that are the visitors in the bears and other animals home.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Jack Olsen and Kevin Pierce are a dream team!

I love every one of the books I’ve listened to by Jack Olsen with Kevin Pierce narrating. Olsen’s stories are so well written and researched, and have spoiled me for most other true crime books. I am very picky about a narrator’s voice or inflection, and have on more than one occasion given up fairly quickly on a good story if I feel like words are being mispronounced, or if it seems that the reader doesn’t quite understand what he is reading. This book was pure pleasure to listen to - I only wish there were more of the combination of Olsen and Pierce. So very good!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Never wanted to go to Glacier so much

This is a great story about a tragic accident. The author paints a wonderful scene in his description of nature. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful