Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Tiger by John Vaillant: Book Review

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival
by John Vaillant
Vintage Canada (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-307-39715-7
Release Date: May 3, 2011

Buy From Indigo

Description: It's December 1997 and a man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia's Far East. To the horrified astonishment of a team of hunters, 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 two main characters: Yuri Trush, the lead tracker, and the tiger itself.

Culminating in a showdown deep in the Siberian forest, The Tiger is a haunting, spellbinding tale of a hunt to the death; of man and nature in collision; of the ancient relationship between predators and prey; and an intimate portrait of a remarkable animal and its increasingly threatened world., horrifyingly, his own.

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 think
The 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 way
Favorite 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 already
Who 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 tigers

5 Dewey's

I 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 own

1 comment:

  1. Wow! From your plot summary, it almost sounds like a thriller. Pretty amazing that this is non-fiction, eh? I've heard lots of good buzz about this book, but I'm not much of a non-fiction reader, and even less of a nature/animals book reader, but your post just made it sound very exciting. I wonder if I'll be on Team Tiger as well... After all, they did give us viagra... ;)