The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

by John Vaillant


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The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 105 reviews.
Morgan D'Olympia More than 1 year ago
Don't read this book before bed. It is so frightening to even fathom that wildlife could seek revenge especially in the form of a several hundred pound tiger. It gave me nightmares for weeks but I couldn't put it down and when i get up the courage I'll read it again!
juleecm1 More than 1 year ago
If you love wild animals you'll find this story fascinating. It's about a little known area of the world, and a thinking animal. I love tigers and all felines, but knew very little about tigers, and had never heard of the Amur tiger. After reading this you'll be hard pressed to believe that animals have no ability to reason. Also, this book will open your eyes to poaching and the pathetic plight of top tier predators, whose habitats are disappearing more and more rapidly as time goes by. If you don't become a tiger activist after reading this book, I'd be surprised. It's a story you've never read or probably even heard of before, which makes it a page turner. I really had a hard time putting it down. Extremely engrossing and well told.
AmeliaNY More than 1 year ago
An investigator of forest crimes, Yuri Trush, and his crew hunt a Siberian (Amur) tiger who has brutally killed and eaten two men living in the desolate southeastern region of Russia which borders on China and North Korea. The Amur tiger is facing possible extinction, primarily due to poachers who can exact high dollar for these animals. The Amur is the largest tiger known (can weigh 600+ pounds with a length of 12-14 feet) and is the only tiger habituated to arctic conditions. The actual hunt for the tiger takes about 1/3 of the story with the remainder spent in digressions into Russian history and tiger fact & lore. Well researched and interesting of kind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be rather long in length, and short in story. I was very disapointed that I read 340 pages, and the actual "tiger and human conflict" was less than half the book. If i had wanted a book on the conflicts of Russia, Japan, China, etc I would have sought out conflicts b/t countries. If i had wanted a book dealing with the plight of the tiger and conservation efforts, i would have purchased such a book. However, i read the book jacket and was led to believe that the book dealt with "maneater" vs man, and an in depth account of their battle. I wanted the "attacks", the savagery and the "scare the wits" out of me. Sadly, instead i was bored, but kept reading in hopes the book would get better; it never did. Waste of time and money...Google provided better info of the attacks.
ShaunJ More than 1 year ago
Great story about revenge, Russia, and tiger conservation. Worthy of all the praise it received !
watcherNC More than 1 year ago
I had to wait on this until the ebook price dropped to 9.99 from its original 12 or 13.99 . Leaving that aside, the book paints a chilling picture of what can happen when an intelligent and physically gifted carnivore feels the need for vengeance. The book also makes salient points about how greed and misinformation (folk medicine) in combination with great poverty are combining to remove a magnificent if dangerous creature.
tlblakburne More than 1 year ago
I really liked the way the author was able to tie a present day situation with a lot of the history and science dealing with the Siberian Tiger and the local people. I was amazed by some of the lore as well as facts of the tigers and the lands of Siberia. A slow read, but still a good one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A classic sportsman's story and a book that "Field and Stream" readers will cherish. A hair-raising, spine-tingling adventure that will leave readers with a new appreciation for the intelligence, stealth, and power of wild tigers. ---MAW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent story, with equal parts science, history, action, and drama.
glauver More than 1 year ago
This book blends elements of Peter Capstick's stories about hunts for man-eaters, the Russian lore and corruption of Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko novels, and the mysticism of Barry Holstun Lopez's Of Wolves And Men. At times it does seem as if we get too much peripheral information, but most of it is interesting and relevant.This is an unforgettable picture of tigers and people with their backs to the wall. Vaillant is balanced and sympathetic to both men and animals even as he pleads for the preservation of the wild Siberian tiger.
gmanpma More than 1 year ago
It is impossible not to be drawn into the drama of this book. A great read, it is time well spent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great story, well reported. Especially interesting for the author's having included so much background history.
gypsysmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Based on what I had heard about this book I expected it to be the true tale of a man-eating tiger and the hunt to kill it. And it is that but it is also so much more. Vaillant weaves in facts about ecology, anthropology, shamanic beliefs, predation, recent and ancient history and psychology to the basic story. He captured the horror of a tiger attack and the beauty of the ancient taiga forest. He showed how the native Russians lived in harmony with the land while the newcomers, for the most part, saw it as a place of resources to be pillaged. He also demonstrated how these same newcomers suffered once perestroika removed the support of the state. Without the need to put food on the table by hunting the same animals that the tiger hunted Markov, the first victim, might still be alive. The people who live in this area are desperately poor and that desperation causes them to take risks. The Siberian tigers are amazing creatures able to survive in the harshest climate. Unfortunately they have lost much of their traditional hunting area because of man. Sometimes the tigers become desperate too. Thus the conflict between man and beast arises. Will there be tigers in the wild 100 years from now? I hope so and Vaillant shows there have been some recent attempts at protection. Time will tell how effective these measures will be.
mountie9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Good Stuff One of the most brilliantly written non-fiction that I have ever read Factual and Informative without being dry or boring and at the same time fascinating, powerful and intriguing This is the first piece of non-fiction that I just didn't want to put down, I was totally riveted The geography is so eloquently explained that you are amazed and interested by it all Author does a fabulous job of making you truly understand and see the strengths of Trush. You can also see the authors fascination and respect for Trush The way the author describes the Tiger is almost poetic (But in a good way as you all know of my dislike of most poetry) Extremely thoroughly researched and impressive Bibliography Fascinating glimpse into the lives and world of people in the Russian Far East which I am ashamed to say I pretty much knew nothing about Ok at times I was totally cheering for the Tiger to win, after all we are in their territory, not the other way around -- however you can see mans point of view as well. Really makes you thinkThe Not so Good Stuff Could have left out some of the detail Didn't like seeing the pictures of dead Tiger's - I'm a wee bit sensitive that wayFavorite Quotes/Passages"One of the many negative effects of perestroika and the reopening of the border between Russia and China has been a surge in tiger poaching. As the economy disintegrated and unemployment spread throughout the 1990's, professional poachers, businessmen , and ordinary citizens alike began taking advantage of the forest's wealth in all its forms.""The Amur tiger, it could be said, takes a Stalinist approach to competition.""The one certainty in tiger tracks is: follow them long enough and you will eventually arrive at a tiger, unless the tiger arrives at you first."What I Learned The Sanskrit word for tiger *vyagghra* was Anglicized into "viagra" -- hmm I wonder why Tigers have fabulous memories and if hurt by a human they will exact revenge (Must remember that when playing with my kitten Oreo, as I am convinced she is part Tiger) So many other interesting things, I really don't want to spoil it for you -- go buy the book alreadyWho should/shouldn't read Anyone with an interest in Tigers There is pretty much something in this for everyone. That being said there are some nasty descriptions that might upset the sensitive reader and there are some pictures of dead tigers5 Dewey'sI received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much guys, you are constantly opening my eyes to works that I might never have picked up on my ownPosted by mountie9 at 9:31 AM
Meggo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Time for another confession - I was rooting for the tiger. That being said, this was an extremely well-written story that was part history, part socialogical treatise, part biography, all fascinating -- a story about the Siberian tiger in general, and one man-eater in particular. Fascinating, if weighty, this was a very enjoyable book and well worth reading.
LynnB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book takes you into the far-eastern portion of Russia, near the border with China. This is a world of many unique species of plant and animal. The most interesting members of the area's population are the large tigers and the people who eke out a living in the area by hunting and gathering. John Vaillant does a remarkable job of bringing the reader deep in the territory's history, culture and modern-day environment and economy. This well-painted scene is the setting for the story of a sometime-poacher resident in the area who angers the area's largest tiger. The tiger seeks revenge against the man, and goes on to kill another person. A team of local law enforcement officers, the "Inspection Tiger" team, is responsible for tracking and hunting down the tiger before he kills anyone else. This part of the story is as gripping as any crime-novel thriller I've ever read.In his first book, The Golden Spruce, and in this one, John Vaillant has displayed an ability to get into the head space, and physical space, of people (and a tiger) who are so different from those mos of us know. He's also proven to be a first-rate story teller.
msf59 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the deep wilderness of eastern Russia, a tiger hunts a man. He is a local hunter and poacher. The tiger is methodical and patient, like an assassin. It does not stalk for minutes or hours but for days. It is the dead of winter and the man is doomed.Enter Operation Tiger, an under-funded agency, who¿s primary job is to protect the endangered tiger. It¿s a small group, led by Yuri Trush, a skilled hunter and environmentalist. They are given the special and dangerous task of tracking down this rogue man-killer, before it strikes again.This fascinating and intense story, is not only about this harrowing true-life incident, but also covers many other topical issues, like Russia¿s dire economic situation and describes the hard-scrabble lives of these inhabitants of the Far East, mostly outcasts and ex-cons.The book also delves into the complex relationship of this magnificent predator and man himself, which stretches back eons.This is impeccably researched and exceptionally well-written. Narrative non-fiction at it¿s very best.Here the author sketches the tiger:¿¿picture the grotesquely muscular head of a pit bull and then imagine how it might look if the pit bull weighed a quarter of a ton . Add to this fangs the length of a finger backed up by rows of slicing teeth capable of cutting through the heaviest bone. Consider then the claws: a hybrid of meat hook and stiletto¿¿I¿ve always admired this wonderful animal but now my adoration and respect, has gone to a whole new level.
Knud on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book over three days at Thanksgiving (here in Canada), which is the first time that's happened in a long time, especially for non-fiction. The other reviews will tell you the basic storyline, but for me it was John Vaillant's writing that really was the key thing. For everyone I've told about this book (and there are many to match my enthusiasm), I've said that at time John's writing was like a combination of Hemingway and Conrad. There passages where you literally have to remember to breath. That being said, the other great strength is the pacing and spacing of the book. If John had written only about the events concerning the tiger and main characters, the book would likely be 1/4 to 1/3 its length. It's all the other background, mysticism/old religion, anthropology, psychology, and other information current and historical that he provides that makes it so enjoyable. It will definitely be a book on my list to gift this Christmas.
wrensong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A truly great book if you are interested in Tigers, wildlife preservation and the incredible history of the Russian people. Included is lots of tiger mythology and the interaction of people with the tigers they live along side. The book traces the life of Vladimir Markov, his encounter with the tiger. Yuri Trush of the Inspection Tiger unit follows the path of Markov unraveling the sequence of events leading to Markov's decisions and eventual death. A very good read!
NWcats on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is enthralling. Valliant does a great job bringing out the terror of the great beast, the tiger, and painting a picture of life in Russia's Far East. It's entertaining and extremely fascinating.
dickcraig on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The author follows the story of a Russian man who has tried to kill a Siberian tiger for its value on the black market. Instead, the tiger takes specific steps to eat this hunter and leave nothing more that a few scraps stuck in his boots. The agency in charge of the preservation of the tiger is called in to hunt this tiger and kill it. At first the agent in charge would like to find a way to not have to kill the animal, but after another killing he knows he must hunt it down and destroy this beautiful animal. In addition to this hunt, the author traces the history of this tiger and how it has been able to survive from the dawn of man's arrival in this region.
zibilee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On December 5th 1997 in the remote village of the Russian Primorye territory, a vicious and startling tiger attack took place. The tiger, mad with blood-lust and rage, attacked and almost totally consumed a hunter and trapper named Vladimir Markov. But this tale isn't as simple as it first seems. When Yuri Trush and his team of investigators arrive at the scene of the attack, they find not only the startlingly gruesome remnants of Markov, but also discover that this particular tiger seems to have been inflamed with a desire for vengeance against Markov due to injustices committed by the hunter. Now injured and haunting the countryside for more human meat, the tiger is not only dangerous to humans and animals alike, but cunning enough to lure other unsuspecting humans right into its traps. The group of rangers responsible for catching this tiger have never dealt with a situation quite like this one before. Going by the name Inspection Tiger, these men are usually working on illegal poaching cases, and most of the time it's their job to protect the tigers from the men who want to kill them. This time, it's their responsibility to protect the men from the tiger, and it seems that this tiger isn't willing to play by the rules. Melded into this tense and absorbing storyline is the story behind Russia's total economic and political collapse in the years after perestroika and the total reorganization of the lives of Russia's people. Living on the fringes of society and exploiting the the wilderness for sustenance, this group of disenfranchised people are not only frightened by the wild tiger in their midst, but are also mistrustful of Inspection Tiger, making this a complex melange of danger that drastically affects the local population. Both gruesome and shocking, The Tiger tells a frightening story based on one of humankind's most primal fears and expounds on the miraculous killing machine that is the Amur Tiger.A few months ago I was perusing the blogs and checking everything out and I came across The Boston Bibliophile's mention of this book. Though I had seen it mentioned before, I wasn't all that interested in it and had decided to pass it up. But something overtook me when I was reading Marie's thoughts on it. Her enthusiasm was so great that I immediately went over to the publisher's site to check it out. From that point on, I was hooked and knew that I had to read it. I can't put my finger on what it was about this book that so intrigued me, but whatever it was, it was hard to ignore. When my copy arrived and I settled down to read it, the people in my house were constantly being bombarded with tiger lore and myth until finally they politely told me to go away and be quiet. This book was such an interesting piece of non-fiction that I had trouble tearing myself away from it, and as such it was one of my best reads of the year.Everyone is familiar with tigers. But do you really know just what makes a tiger such a lethal killing machine? Is it the claws that are described as having a double edge as sharp as a surgical scalpel, or the fact that its claw is needle sharp at the tip and closely resemble the talons of a velociraptor? Or is it the fact that its fangs are the size of a human index finger and are backed up by rows of slicing teeth? Perhaps it's the fact that when a tiger attacks it uses its tail as a stabilizing device, making its aim truer and its balance steady. Now imagine all this wrapped around five hundred pounds of muscle and turned against a human with a measly hunting rifle filled with buckshot. Factor in that this particular tiger was not merely angry but infuriated with Vladimir Markov. Even in the in the most optimistic outcome, Markov never had a chance. As Trush and his men begin to canvas the area, they discover that Markov may have engaged in some serious breaches of etiquette toward this tiger and that his infractions may have been the last straw that finally pushed the tiger into the realm of insanit
Marlissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I listened to the audible version of this book, which is narrated by the author. At first his flat delivery really bothered me (most audible books are narrated by actors), but once I got a little deeper into it, I appreciated being read to by the person most intimately connected to the material. The tale at the core of the book was a simple one. After being wounded by a hunter, a Siberian tiger starts stalking and killing local hunters. The agency charged with protecting this endangered species now has to hunt this particular tiger down.But the larger tale is one of context: a relic habitat in a remote area, and the native people and Russian newcomers who struggle to survive in very tough economic times. Discussions of anthropology, ethology, human evolution and prehistory, Sino-Russian relations (past and present), environmental protection (or degradation), and more, made this one of the most fascinating listens I've tuned in to for some time.
oapostrophe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So much information is packed into this book along with a truly amazing story. The awesome and terrifying power of the Amur tiger is made abundantly clear as the author tells of several deadly tiger attacks in far eastern Russia. It's so much more than that. The main thread is one particularly large tiger that has crossed the line into man-eating. The brutal environment of the taiga, the impoverished lives of the Russians and native peoples who live there, and the men who are charged with hunting this tiger made it difficult to put the books down.
JoshMock on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
John Vaillant's "The Tiger" revolves around the true story of a man-eating tiger in the far western reaches of Russia. The story mostly follows the main investigator, Yuri Trush, but also fills in the gaps through stories about various other affected townspeople. Those looking for a straightforward animal attack story will be disappointed as the book is also filled with boatloads of information related to Tigers, the Native population and Russia in general. Some would view this as information overload, and sometimes it did feel this way, but I mostly found that it balanced out the main "story" well by providing further insight into the situation and events that lead up to the attacks.