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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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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.

5 of 5 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

3 of 3 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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Thought provoking

As a fellow hunter, I found the book to be extremely thought provoking. I initially felt anger towards the author due to his cavalier attitude towards game laws; despite this I continued on and found must respecting and admiring him as he grew into being a completely ethical hunter.

Now for the bad, I felt that the narrator selected to read the story was distracting. I couldn't help feeling as though this story about hunting was be read by someone who would never consider hunting themselves. I could be wrong but it just did not seem like a good match for this book.

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Excellent Book

Any additional comments?

Very good hunting and fishing stories and information on a wide variety of game.

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I just couldn't get into it

This book was alright. I really wanted to like it based on all of the stellar reviews. It was really just a lot of stories about hunting and fishing tied together with some of the author's thoughts about the morality of killing to eat. I never really got to the point where I was eager to listen more. I've been hunting and fishing before, so I thought I might enjoy this more. I think if I were an avid outdoorsman I may have enjoyed this book a little more.

The narration seemed fine though and I thought that Jeffrey did a good job. There were a few small mispronunciations of places that I'm familiar with, but not a big problem.

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Meh....

Being a huge hunter i thought I’d be able to connect with this book. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The stories were sporadic and anticlimactic. But what really made my skin crawl was the narrator. His voice along with the gutting and dismembering of animal scenes made me cringe. I pushed through to the end though and it started to get good right when it ended.

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Excellent look at the hunting life, one criticism

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes should any of my friends have an interest.

What other book might you compare Meat Eater to and why?

None I have read

Which scene was your favorite?

Too many to name

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

I listened to it over two days so close to one sitting

Any additional comments?

I grew up on a 200 acre farm in Ontario, Canada. As a young boy/teenager I spent many hours wandering the fields shooting squirrels, porcupine and ground hog, the latter considered a menace to farm animals who broke legs if they stepped in the animals holes. My exploits were very tame compared to those described here.

Author does a great job describing many aspects of being a hunter, the physical and emotional pieces alike.

I have only one criticism.

In the course of the book when he refers to Canada he refers to our country's "draconian" gun lawsI would point out that none of the firearms he uses would be unavailable to him in Canada. We do restrict the possession of assault weapons and concealed handguns, given their usage south of the border I have to believe that is a good thing.

That point aside I enjoyed the book and applaud the author for the respect he garners for the game he kills and the great lengths he goes to in order to ensure nothing is wasted. Our grocery stores should be so mindful.

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needs read by Steve himself

Great book reminds me of my own childhood in many ways . Only 2 problems it needs to have more stories and be read by mr. Rinella himself.