A True Story of Vengeance and Survival
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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 taiga.
From the Hardcover edition.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
A great true story about the last frontier on our globe. A story so full of characters and a country yet so unknown and hostile. A must for all lovers of great stories of survival and "an eye for an eye" stories. I started the book and finished it without break.
Fabulous story of predator and prey. Start out hunting tiger, to learning the origins of the tiger, to early man and our relationships with tigers on the savannah back to Russia and this man eating tiger. Gripping from beginning to end....
One of the best books I have read in a long time. Impossible to know if the tale was embellished or not but it made for great reading regardless. Highly recommended.
- Category: Nature
- Published: Aug 24, 2010
- Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
- Seller: Random House, LLC
- Print Length: 352 Pages
- Language: English