The Tiger

The Tiger

A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

eBook - 2010
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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. To their horrified astonishment it emerges that the attacks are not random: the tiger is engaged in a vendetta. Injured and starving, it must be found before it strikes again, and the story becomes a battle for survival between the two main characters: Yuri Trush, the lead tracker, and the tiger itself.


As John Vaillant vividly recreates the extraordinary events of that winter, he also gives us an unforgettable portrait of a spectacularly beautiful region where plants and animals exist that are found nowhere else on earth, and where the once great Siberian Tiger - the largest of its species, which can weigh over 600 lbs at more than 10 feet long - ranges daily over vast territories of forest and mountain, its numbers diminished to a fraction of what they once were. We meet the native tribes who for centuries have worshipped and lived alongside tigers - even sharing their kills with them - in a natural balance. We witness the first arrival of settlers, soldiers and hunters in the tiger's territory in the 19th century and 20th century, many fleeing Stalinism. And we come to know the Russians of today - such as the poacher Vladimir Markov - who, crushed by poverty, have turned to poaching for the corrupt, high-paying Chinese markets. 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 once fit seamlessly into the tiger's ecosystem.

Above all, we come to understand the endangered Siberian tiger, a highly intelligent super-predator, and the grave threat it faces as logging and poaching reduce its habitat and numbers - and force it to turn at bay.

Beautifully written and deeply informative, The Tiger is a gripping tale of man and nature in collision, that leads inexorably to a final showdown in a clearing deep in the Siberian forest.


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010
ISBN: 9780307375278
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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s
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.

e
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.

s
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.

s
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.

t
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.

c
crazy_teacher
Apr 06, 2014

Wow, I love John Vaillant's writing. This story is absolutely brilliantly written, with so much detail. He clearly did amazing research on the subject matter.

This is the true story of a Siberian tiger living in the Taiga, near Vladivostok, Russia, which becomes a human killer. The story explains what happened, and allows the reader to try to understand why it happened. John gives us, however, enough information to draw a clear conclusion, and to feel empathy for all the major characters.

I cannot recommend it enough.

r
rooibos
Dec 18, 2013

Excellent read. Informative, exciting and very readable. Great plane reading. Enjoyed it so much I gifted it to a few friends.

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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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