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The Tiger

The Tiger

It’s December 1997, and a man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote Russian village. 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.

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.
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Genre: Biography & True Stories / Biography: General

On Sale: 4th August 2011

Price: £10.99

ISBN-13: 9780340962589


'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, <i>Independent</i>
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.
<i>Daily Mail</i>
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.
<i>Seattle Times</i>
fascinating and compelling plot
<i>Ottawa Citizen</i>
<i>Washington Post</i>
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
Breathtakingly exciting
<i>Vancouver Sun</i>
'affectionate account'
<i>Times Literary Supplement</i>
An absolutely superb book.
George Schaller, Wildlife Conservation Society & Panthera
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 <i>Animals in Translation</i>
'A personal favourite of mine, an extraordinary account of a tracker on the trail of a Siberian man-eating tiger in 1997. Along the way we get a load of tiger facts and a beautiful portrait of a forbidding region. It is a stunning, lovely, lovely book.'
'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.'
<i>Washington Times</i>
instant classic
<i>Calgary Herald</i>
'astoundingly gripping'
<i>Toronto Star</i>
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.
<i>San Francisco Chronicle</i>
'Few writers have taken such pains to understand their monsters, and few depict them in such arresting prose.'
<i>New York Times Book Review</i>
'This masterful account of the terror, death and grief caused by a man-eating Amur tiger in Russia in 1997 is as mesmerising, rangy and relentless as the creature in question.'
<i>Sunday Telegraph</i>
Writing in a vigorous, evocative style . . . Vaillant paints a haunting portrait of man's vexed relationship with nature.
<i>Publishers Weekly</i>
'Enriched by sparkling sidetracks into nature and history, this enthralling true-crime narrative takes us on a snowbound search not only for a beast but for a motive. Like its superb quarry, Vaillant's book moves with grace and stealth, covers a vast terrain and shakes the observer's soul'
'John Vaillant is a literary shaman.'
<i>Quill & Quire</i>
'part natural history, part Russian history and part thriller; it tells a gripping and gory story of what it's like to stalk - and be stalked by - the largest species of cat still walking the Earth.'
National Public Radio (USA)
'This masterful account of the terror, death and grief caused by a man-eating Amur tiger in Russia in 1997 is as mesmerising, rangy and relentless as the creature in question.'
<Sunday Telegraph</i>
A masterpiece
'extraordinary ... a brilliantly told tale of man and nature'
Tim Flannery, <i>New York Review of Books</i>
'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 <i>Ghost Soldiers</i>
<i>Christian Science Monitor</i>
'This is an altogether different kind of manhunt story . . . . The pursuit culminates in a breathtaking stand-off of man versus cat in a forest clearing - a denouement every bit as explosive and surprising as the raid in Abbottabad earlier this week.'
Hampton Sides, <i>Wall Street Journal</i>
a remarkable story, exceptionally well told.
<i>Financial Times</i>
'The structure of Vaillant's nonfiction hunting tale echoes that of "Moby-Dick," alternating a gripping chase narrative -- the search, in the late 1990s, for a man-eating Amur tiger in the Primorye region, on Russia's far eastern border -- with dense explanations of the culture and ecology surrounding the chase.'
<i>New York Times</i>
<i>US Library Journal</i>
read this fine, true book in the warmth, beside the flicker of firelight. Read it and be afraid. Be very afraid.
Simon Winchester, <i>Globe and Mail</i>
A hair-raising tale in which conservation, madness and even murder collide.
<i>Montreal Gazette</i>