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The Tiger Audiobook

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

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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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (531 )
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4.4 (374 )
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Performance
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  •  
    JACK RENO, NEVADA, United States 10-08-10
    JACK RENO, NEVADA, United States 10-08-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Definitely Not Tony the Tiger"

    The first half is a combination of Russian History and Tiger Conservation Education and alot of it. Second half gets to the heart of the story,which is really engaging and remarkable. I have to say because of all the Russian references to geography and characters, it may have been easy to keep track of names and places if I had read rather than listened. However the author reads his story very well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 08-29-10
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 08-29-10 Member Since 2017
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    "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 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 07-15-17
    Joseph 07-15-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Instant all time favorite list material."

    Everything I hoped it would be, and so much more. This book was an adventure into an unknown land, a lesson in geography, a political drama, an education in conservation.. and a terrible nightmare. I'll never look at another piano the same way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-26-17 Member Since 2016
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    ""Sit in the car and finish" kind of story"

    This was one of my top 3 listens and I am nearing about 60. Non-fiction and explorative. It was memorable and enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Saund 04-17-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Haunting"

    Beautiful, prosaic, complex, dramatic, and soulful. I've been raving about this book to everybody. It's more than a narrative but instead an exploration of our own natural world as if it were a fairy tale. Nuanced depictions of history and mans coexistence with nature wrapped in delightfully Hemingway-esque descriptions. Truly wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Carey 04-07-17
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    "A breathtaking story of humans and tigers"

    In a remote village in Russia's Far East, in the bitter cold of December 1997, a tiger started killing and eating people.

    As terrifying as that was, it soon became clear that the attacks weren't random; the tiger was engaged in a vendetta. The first man killed, a poacher named Vladimir Markov, had not just injured but antagonized the tiger, and the wounded, sick, starving beast was hunting down everything with the smell of him or his dogs on it.

    The lead tracker is Yuri Trush, an officer of Russia's Inspection Tiger, intended to protect the tiger, prevent poaching, and kill tigers only when absolutely unavoidable. Trush and his team have to track the tiger on foot, in a frigidly cold winter, with public fear and anger on the rise as the tiger stalks them.

    Vaillant weaves a remarkable portrait of not just Trush and his team, but the native tribes and their history with the Siberian tiger; the Russian settlers and the economic boom followed by bust of this remote town; the deadly mix of poverty, desperation, and greed that further endangered the already rare Siberian tiger.

    What's especially moving in all this is Trush's understanding that everyone involved, the tiger, the poachers, and everyone around them is simply doing what they need to do to survive in the post-Soviet collapse, failing economy, and increasingly threatened habitat. Vaillant's telling of this story is an amazing evocation of the human relationship to nature, unavoidable for both good and ill.

    Highly recommended.

    I bought this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nikita 11-05-16
    nikita 11-05-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Phenomenal"

    This book was so captivating I couldn't stop listening. John Vaillant does an incredible job maintaining an overall story with suspense and anticipation, while weaving in history, culture, biology, and the human experience. I wish I can find more books like this. Narration is perfect, and conveys the emotions expressed in the book. I would recommend this to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joao 10-20-16
    Joao 10-20-16 Member Since 2014
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    "incredible"

    a heart pumping story with tons of incredible information. heard it in one go. trully sad situation though...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 10-18-16
    Matthew 10-18-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Wonderful read and very detailed"

    I really enjoyed this book but it would lose me when going into detail about characters and history. It explained allot which I usually like, but I'm not very familiar with Russian/Eastern geography, history or names. Beacuse of this I would get lost with time lines and geography or confused with remembering location or characters names. However the moral and lessons were great and really made me think. Overall it is worth listening to especially if you can easily focused or have a good memory.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    InTheBurbs 05-25-16
    InTheBurbs 05-25-16
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    "Thoroughly misleading tag line"

    I was looking for a good adventure book, saw this tagline, and thought, "Ghost and the Darkness with tiger; that'll do it!" Nope, not what this is. Don't get me wrong, the story of the 1997 maneater on the edge of the Taiga is in there, it's just that you've got to sit through about 6 hours of the recent political history of the USSR, 2 hours of tiger structure/evolution, and a couple hours of environmentalism. At 12 hours for the whole thing, you're not getting a whole lot of tiger adventure here. What there is of it is quite good, but not good enough to wade through the other two (much longer) books the author seems to have wanted to write instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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