A heartfelt memoir that reflects the author’s respect and love for a wild and pitiless world.

GREAT SOUL OF SIBERIA

PASSION, OBSESSION, AND ONE MAN'S QUEST FOR THE WORLD'S MOST ELUSIVE TIGER

A memoir from a researcher who tracks rare and elusive wild beasts.

Documentary filmmaker Park has been studying Siberian tigers for more than 20 years, following their traces across nature reserves and spending frigid winter months in underground earthen bunkers, his camera trained on the snow-covered landscape. In evocative prose, the author recounts his search for several of these naturally secretive animals: a female he named Bloody Mary and her cubs, whose territory covered more than 500 square kilometers of treacherous terrain. As he sadly notes, Siberian tigers are threatened with extinction by poachers, who can get more than $30,000 for a wild animal. A population that was once 10,000 is now merely 350; at the same time, the number of indigenous Ussuri also has been reduced from several hundred thousand to 10,000, a woeful decimation of culture. Hunters, fishers, and root-gatherers, the Ussuri, Park writes, “see this world as a place where spirits pass through eternal cycles,” where “everything in the world is a living thing that gives and receives energy.” Their animistic beliefs lead them to feel a special bond with birches and willows and to worship tigers; they call the strongest male tiger the Great King. Tracing prints, claw marks, urine markers, droppings, and the remains of prey, Park closes in on Bloody Mary. But tigers, he knows, are crafty and smart. “They figure out human intentions based on behavior, expressions, and the energy radiated by people and take precautions or even attack accordingly,” he writes. They can distinguish between an herb collector’s satchel and a hunter’s rifle, between the smell of cigarettes or cosmetics. Living in solitary confinement during the brutal winter months, waiting patiently for Bloody Mary to appear, Park felt he had gained access to “the intimate depths of nature,” and he shares this intimacy with readers.

A heartfelt memoir that reflects the author’s respect and love for a wild and pitiless world.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-77164-113-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Greystone Books

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

more