The Tiger

The Tiger : A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

3.99 (6,729 ratings on Goodreads)
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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 nineteenth and early twentieth 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 ten feet long, weigh more than six hundred 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 more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 38.1mm | 703.06g
  • Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Sceptre
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 x 8pp colour + maps
  • 0340962569
  • 9780340962565
  • 220,545

Review quote

'extraordinary ... a brilliantly told tale of man and nature' -- Tim Flannery, New York Review of Books 'Few writers have taken such pains to understand their monsters, and few depict them in such arresting prose.' -- New York Times Book Review 20101003 'Vaillant exposes in graphic detail the toughness and raw energy required to live in this part of Russia.' -- Patrick Evans, Times Literary Supplement 20101003 'instant classic' -- Calgary Herald 20100909 'a remarkable story, exceptionally well told.' -- Financial Times 20100913 'astoundingly gripping' -- Toronto Star 20100910 'read this fine, true book in the warmth, beside the flicker of firelight. Read it and be afraid. Be very afraid.' -- Simon Winchester, Globe and Mail 20100903 Breathtakingly exciting -- Vancouver Sun 20100904 'A hair-raising tale in which conservation, madness and even murder collide.' -- Montreal Gazette 20100828 'fascinating and compelling plot' -- Ottawa Citizen 20110912 'Brilliant' -- US Library Journal 20110912 'Writing in a vigorous, evocative style ... Vaillant paints a haunting portrait of man's vexed relationship with nature.' -- Publishers Weekly 20110912 'A masterpiece' -- Outside 20110912 'Overall, this is a superb book -- hyper-intelligent, wonderfully well-written, with a great cast, both human and animal, and at its heart, the amazing and truly chilling story of one tiger's winter campaign of murderous revenge.' -- Daily Mail 20100827 'Riveting' -- The Washington Post 20100829 'Not so incidentally, if ever a nonfiction author has used the techniques of fiction any better to recount a real-life narrative, it is difficult to imagine who that author would be.' -- The Seattle Times 20100830 'An absolutely superb book.' -- George Schaller, Wildlife Conservation Society & Panthera 20100830 'The Tiger is the sort of book I very much like and rarely find. Humans are hard-wired to fear tigers, so this book will attract intense interest.' -- Annie Proulx 20100830 'This elegant work of narrative non-fiction has it all--beauty, intrigue, a primeval locale, fully realized characters, and a conflict that speaks to the state of our world. The Tiger takes us on a journey to the raw edge of civilization, to a world of vengeful cats and venal men, a world that, in Vaillant's brilliant telling, is simultaneously haunting and enchanting.' -- Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers 20100830 'This book must be read by everybody who is interested in the conservation of wildlife. It takes you to the Russian wilderness to meet face-to-face with the Siberian tiger.' -- Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation 20100830 By all means read Vaillant's magnificent book about the animal: The Tiger offers readers a shiver-inducing portrait of a predator that has been revered - and feared - like no other animal. -- San Francisco Chronicle 20100929 'Enthralling' -- Christian Science Monitor 20100831 'Brad Pitt has bought the movie rights to "The Tiger," but with all due respect to Mr. Pitt, there's no way the movie will match Mr. Vaillant's book.' -- Washington Times 20100910 'An extraordinary tale, told in a brilliant and extraordinary way.' -- Virginia McKenna, Born Free 20100910 'The Tiger also counts as a supreme example of true-crime writing driven by wide-angle empathy and compassion. Some readers may choose to shelve it, not among cosy wildlife yarns, but with Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.' -- Boyd Tonkin, Independent 20100910show more

About John Vaillant

John Vaillant is the award winning author of The Golden Spruce. He has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Outside, National Geographic and Men's Journal, among other publications. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife and more
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