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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall

Driving West

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Intriguing, fun, full of information.

I loved this book, near the end it had me on the edge of my seat. I'm bummed it's over.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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alright but not his best

good book but meat eater was better also if this book was narrated by Steve himself or the guy who narrated meat eater it might have been better. not sure in my mind if it was worth a credit but I did listen to it twice in a row. ultimately Steve jumped around a lot and it distracts from the overall story of the hunt. Not to say I didn't like all the extra facts I did just didn't enjoy 4 minutes of the hunt to 20 minutes of facts ratio.

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Enjoyed the book

I really enjoyed the book as I enjoy most of Rinella's writing. This was my favorite to date. As a listener of the author's podcast it was odd to not hear his unique voice and Michigan-Scandinavian dialect (I often wonder if Steve realizes he sounds just like Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman from House of Cards.) It is no slight against the narrator who did a great job and I very much enjoyed it.

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OK

What made the experience of listening to American Buffalo the most enjoyable?

Not a very analytical treatment of the subject, but informative.

What aspect of Patrick G. Lawlor’s performance would you have changed?

Too enthusiastic and, at times, cutesy. He uses foreign accents for quotes by foreigners (Spanish accent for Cabeza de Vaca, German accent for Maximilian, etc.) which is really sort of over the top and unnecessary. The theatricality detracts from the subject by drawing too much attention to itself.

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

Not really.

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great book I will listen to this again.

listened to it straight through. Steve rinella had a way of painting the scene in a way that makes you feel like your there in the cold and wet Alaska. It was a very informative book. I didn't expect to get a history lesson that pour me on the prairie with the great beast.

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Great!

A great listen for any hunter or conservationist interested in history. Glad to have purchased this audiobook and will recommend to friends!

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FANTASTIC!

Steve Rinella is one of the most unappreciated writers hands down! so good! Very captivating

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Good, but better in Steve's voice?

Would have been better in the writer's very distinct voice and cadence, but good book and reading!

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Needed narration by the author.

It lost something by having a narrator who could not correctly pronounce the names of animal species and places.