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Publisher's Summary

This is the tale of Tarka the Otter's growth to adulthood in the country of the Two Rivers. It is also the story of his life in the wild and how he is hunted by his enemy, the great hound Deadlock.

©1995 Henry Williamson (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Tarka the Otter

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Very British nature story

There's a certain kind of nature writing that I really associate with Britain (England specifically), and this is exactly it. Sort of for children but sort of not, very realistic and trying hard not to anthropomorphize. And maybe that's not my favorite kind of British writing because I just didn't love this.

I can't totally get why. I'm not particularly prudish about language but as a woman I don't love to hear the word bitch all the time (yes I KNOW it is a technical term. But words' meanings evolve and it's not an easy word to hear over and over). It's also a pretty violent book with all the hunting and while that's totally realistic, I just don't personally love it. If you're thinking about reading/listening with a child, just make sure they're cool with the violence. If you're reading/listening for yourself, if you are into nature writing, this is probably a good pick.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Fleur
  • Fleur
  • 02-03-18

beautiful, classic literature

Tarka the otter is a beautiful and heart breaking account of the short life of a wild otter. While charming it does not shy away from the harsh realities of the hunt and the cruelty of man, leaving many listeners with a deep sense of guilt for the crimes of their own race. A must- listen for anyone who loves otters and other British wildlife.

8 people found this helpful

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  • EllieB
  • 02-27-20

Heartbreakingly beautiful

A stunning book, beautifully read by Michael Maloney. It's a descriptive book, giving a lively insight into the life of a wild animal, which is sometimes bleak but also has its joys and freedoms. Mr Maloney's narration brought the North Devon countryside, and the animals and humans living within it to life - his voice is perfect for the poetic style of the book and he reads with feeling and understanding. He is also very good at the animal noises! I was moved to tears at times but am so glad I listened to it. This is a book that I'll listen to again and I'll also buy a paper copy too.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Purplelotus
  • 11-25-20

Mesmerising

You live every moment of this wonderful story about Tarka. Despite the horror it is quite enchanting. How dreadful are some humans to wild animals, on top of a very difficult existence and all for sport.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sara
  • 06-11-21

Beautiful & Brutal

I almost couldn’t continue but I’m so glad I did. The afterword is well worth listening to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • mike
  • 04-13-20

Excellent first choice

loved it , with closed eyes you can imagine your really there on the banks of the river watching the otters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. Steve Cavanagh
  • 09-07-16

Fantastic

Overall as above five stars. Recommend to any reader no matter how old. A classic

5 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 05-06-22

Very good story. Perhaps listen to the epilogue first.

I’m 59 years old. I’ve lived in Northumberland along the Tyne Valley and fished all of my life but I have never seen an otter; listen to this and you’ll know why. I did once see the otter hounds and huntsmen out on the River Allen near Ridley Hall / Allen Banks. How unbelievably cruel. Mankind killing otters to the point of extinction for ‘sport’ and because we considered them to be vermin.

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  • Teresa Lo
  • 04-15-22

A beautiful novel

This was read to my class as a child, but I missed hearing the end. Years later the book is still a delight. A descriptive feat about the life and perils of being an otter

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  • angela commons
  • 04-13-22

lovely

the narrator was excellent but so fast , I found I was missing bits so I would reccomend slowing this down to 90

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  • Lori
  • 08-29-21

Brilliant book

Listening to this book I could really picture the well described scenes that could be either beautiful or painfully ugly.
It completely involved me and was at times heart breaking.