329 pages, colour photos, b/w maps
When Yuri Trush was called to investigate an attack by a Siberian Tiger in December 1997, what he found was unlike anything he'd ever encountered. Nothing remained of the victim but stumps of bone protruding from his boots. Even more chilling was the evidence that this attack had been carefully orchestrated, as if the tiger was seeking revenge. Before long, the beast struck again, and Trush, leader of a tiger conservation unit, found himself forced to hunt this animal through the brutal cold of a Siberian winter, becoming intimately acquainted with the tiger`s history, motives and unique method of attack--until their harrowing final encounter.
This book recreates these astonishing events against a backdrop of Russia's most remote frontier, a place where the native peoples worship tigers but poachers threaten the species` survival. The author describes the historic collisions between Chinese and Russian settlers (trappers, thieves, deserters and exiles) and the struggles of their descendants, who, in the chaotic aftermath of perestroika, turn to poaching to survive--in this case with deadly consequences.
Writing in a vigorous, evocative style . . . Vaillant paints a haunting portrait of man's vexed relationship with nature.
- Publishers Weekly
"'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. In addition to tiger lore and scalding adventure, Vaillant shows us Russia's far east and its inhabitants, their sometimes desperate lives interwoven with the economics of poaching and the politics of wildlife conservation. I was startled to learn about the zapovedniks and Russia's primary place in global conservation. This is a book not only for adventure buffs, but for all of us interested in wildlife habitat preservation."
- Annie Proulx
"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. Obsessively well-researched and artfully written, '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
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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 children.