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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
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 7 people found this review helpful

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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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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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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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I love Steven Rinella

I love his story telling style and ability. He is a wealth knowledge. thanks for another great book

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Must listen!

If you are a real hunter or fisherman this book has it all! Steven gets it! I enjoy his pod casts, his show meat eater and this book has made more since to me than anything I've ever read. Now I'm even more amped for the fall!

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Great read

I have always liked Steven Rinella since seeing his show, Meat Eater. This book was an interesting walk through his life and gave me a sense of the people and experiences that shaped the "entertainer" whose show I enjoy. His accounts of past hunting/fishing expeditions and the skills and knowledge he acquired from each one is inspiring...if someone who hunts professionally and for survival can find something to learn in every outing, hunting and fishing will never be boring to us normal folk. only issue with this recording is that it was weird to know it was Steven Rinella's words but not his voice....not sure I ever really got past that. lol

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Best hunting book I've read

loved the book finished it in one sitting on a road trip.
great stories and accounts of Steven Rinella's adventures.

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  • JM
  • 04-18-18

excellent book

Rinella is an excellent story teller and has a great ability to insert related facts and tidbits into the book.