The Tiger

The Tiger

A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

Book - 2010
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It's December 1997, and a man-eating Siberian 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. An absolutely gripping tale of man and nature that leads inexorably to a final showdown in a clearing deep in the taiga.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307268938
0307268934
Characteristics: 329 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (chiefly col.), maps ; 25 cm.

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Hillsboro_RobP Jun 09, 2020

John Vaillant's Tiger is every bit the monster you hoped it would be. He introduces the reader to Primorye, the russian far east--one of the only places on earth where sub-tropic and sub-arctic climates merge on the Taiga, and life is a long, cold struggle for survival. In this wilderness, he tells the tale of Yuri Thrush, a man charged with protecting tigers from men and men from tigers, who must track down a man-eater that defies all precedented rules of the taiga. Weaving together folklore, history, grand adventure, conservation and mystique, Vaillant's tiger is a creature of wonder and fear, frailty and power. I have a hard time recalling a book that portrays man's shifting relationship with nature so frighteningly well.

I’m primarily a reader of fiction, so it is a rare event when a book of non-fiction captures and holds my attention like this one did. It is a book that is difficult to categorize. Is it a treatise on the Siberian tiger, a majestic and endangered species that is also a man-eater? Is it the story of the Russian people eking out a brutal existence in the eastern panhandle? Or is it the story of the remarkable men who work to preserve and protect the wildlife of this little known area of the world? What it is, above all, is a riveting thriller, written with incomparable style and grace, that will have you up late at night turning the pages as fast as you can. (submitted by JK)

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spiderfelt_0
Jan 30, 2017

This was a captivating mix of narrative non-fiction with historical, political, and biological background. While not a subject matter of any particular interest or relevance to my life, the author kept me thoroughly intrigued. How sentient are large predators? Was this tiger deranged, opportunistic or was he seeking revenge? What part do humans play in this complicated ecosystem? The author poses troubling ethical questions that left me scratching my head.

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Eil_1
Mar 10, 2016

Although the story evolves around a man-eating tiger, it goes into depth about the regions in the far North-East of Russia. The desperate condition of the Amur Tiger reflects the same of so many of our wild mammals - the elephant, whales and dolphins to name a few. The Tiger's evolved intelligence is amazing. Greed, ignorance and superstition is lending itself to the wanton destruction of all these animals.

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sepharad
Feb 27, 2016

Top notch. Unlike others, I found the diversion into the historical background of the Siberian tiger and his interactions with humans fascinating, especially the history of the Korean Tiger Hunters Guild. I would have missed this extra material, were it excluded.

c
comicgeek
Feb 22, 2016

I really enjoyed this true account of a Siberian tiger out for revenge. Gripping suspense and I learned a lot too!

meeksfenny1986 Jan 22, 2016

Centered around the deadly hunt for a man-eating tiger in Russia’s Far East, this book is so much more than a simple hunting story. Valliant expertly provides a fascinating look at life in Russia’s Taiga and Primorya Peninsula, and the history of the relationship between Russian settler’s and the region’s most lethal predator; the now endangered Siberian tiger. This is the kind of book that sets a deep chill into the reader’s bones, all while simultaneously pressing them to look up flight deals to Vladivostok. A beautiful and informative read for anyone interested in Russian history, homesteading, predators, or conservationism.

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sess430
Jan 18, 2015

The narrative thread alternates between providing background information (the people, region, cat-primate relationship, etc.) and relating the story of the man-eater. I found the former plodding at times, whereas the part about the tiger was riveting -especially where Part Two begins on page 193. I questioned whether the revenge motive ascribed to the tiger crossed over the line between science and folklore. Still, the book satisfies my morbid fascination with the Big Cats. Apparently there will be a film based on the book starring Brad Pitt as Yuri Trush.

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tigershark855
Oct 28, 2014

This was a neat glimpse into Eastern Russia during the 90's, and a good real-life adventure read. There were several tangents one has to trudge through or skip, but overall, a decent read.

runfastread Apr 14, 2014

A shocking, sometimes gruesome tale, not for the faint of heart..... but a story about an isolated area of Russia that most Russians donèt even know, an are so impoverished that its inhabitants will do almost anything to find food for themselves... including hunt where they are not permitted to hunt. And incur the wrath, and the vengeance - yes vengeance! from the ferocious tigers that lives in these remotes parts. A story that will haunt you forever.

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LudditeLord Jan 18, 2012

" there were satellite dishes offering multiple channels that allowed Russians to see how far behind they really were. Nowadays, in many parts of the world, it is possible to starve while watching television."

LudditeLord Jan 18, 2012

"We seemed to be hard-wired to spot animals. People develop phobias for spiders and snakes, things that were ancestral threats. It is very infrequent to be afraid of cars or electrical outlets. Those statistically pose much more of a threat to us than a tiger."

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