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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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Performance

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Story

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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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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  • Story

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Derek
  • West Chicago, Il, United States
  • 10-02-14

A comprehensive history on the American Buffalo.

If you could sum up American Buffalo in three words, what would they be?

Rinella knows Buffalo!

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

There were some aspects surrounding the history were the facts had been lost with time and Rinella used his best judgement and expertise to fill in the gaps. That's not something I typically enjoy in non-fiction. These parts were minimal and didn't take away from the facts.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

As he described the kill and butchering I was sickened; however, after his explanation about being a responsible advocate for the buffalo I felt more like a hypocrite for being a meateater.

Any additional comments?

I made some initial judgments and had preconceived notions about hunters before reading the book. I was wrong, to Rinella's credit he is not a stereotypical hunter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

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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  • Story

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.

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  • Story

Wish Steven would have read his own book.

The narrator was hard to listen to after knowing Steve's voice and cadence. The book was incredible, I've recommended it to all my hunting friends.

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  • Story

Great book

This was a great book! I enjoyed the cadence between the main story and the history.