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A true account of the deadliest animal of all time, and the hunter on its trail. Nepal c. 1900: The single deadliest animal in recorded history began stalking humans, moving like a phantom through the lush foothills of the Himalayas. As the death toll reached an astonishing 436 lives, a young local hunter was dispatched to stop the now legendary man-eater before it struck ag A true account of the deadliest animal of all time, and the hunter on its trail. Nepal c. 1900: The single deadliest animal in recorded history began stalking humans, moving like a phantom through the lush foothills of the Himalayas. As the death toll reached an astonishing 436 lives, a young local hunter was dispatched to stop the now legendary man-eater before it struck again. At the turn of the twentieth century, as British rule of India tightened, and bounties were placed on tigers' heads, a tigress was shot in the mouth by a poacher. Injured but alive, it turned from its usual hunting habits to easier prey—humans. For the next seven years, this man-made killer terrified locals, growing bolder with every kill. Colonial authorities, desperate for help, finally called upon Jim Corbett, a then unknown railroad employee of humble origins who had grown up hunting game through the hills of Kumaon.


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A true account of the deadliest animal of all time, and the hunter on its trail. Nepal c. 1900: The single deadliest animal in recorded history began stalking humans, moving like a phantom through the lush foothills of the Himalayas. As the death toll reached an astonishing 436 lives, a young local hunter was dispatched to stop the now legendary man-eater before it struck ag A true account of the deadliest animal of all time, and the hunter on its trail. Nepal c. 1900: The single deadliest animal in recorded history began stalking humans, moving like a phantom through the lush foothills of the Himalayas. As the death toll reached an astonishing 436 lives, a young local hunter was dispatched to stop the now legendary man-eater before it struck again. At the turn of the twentieth century, as British rule of India tightened, and bounties were placed on tigers' heads, a tigress was shot in the mouth by a poacher. Injured but alive, it turned from its usual hunting habits to easier prey—humans. For the next seven years, this man-made killer terrified locals, growing bolder with every kill. Colonial authorities, desperate for help, finally called upon Jim Corbett, a then unknown railroad employee of humble origins who had grown up hunting game through the hills of Kumaon.

30 review for No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Man-Eater in History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    I enjoyed learning about the history of the area and how it and the inhabitants and how they lived changed through the years. I also liked how the political changes and of course of colonization and the detrimental effect on the people and tigers of this region. The Hindus revered the tiger, many of the Gods they worshiped were pictured on or with a tiger. Hunting tigers was once the privilege of only the royalty and this changed quickly with colonization, where bounties were placed on the tiger I enjoyed learning about the history of the area and how it and the inhabitants and how they lived changed through the years. I also liked how the political changes and of course of colonization and the detrimental effect on the people and tigers of this region. The Hindus revered the tiger, many of the Gods they worshiped were pictured on or with a tiger. Hunting tigers was once the privilege of only the royalty and this changed quickly with colonization, where bounties were placed on the tiger. Within gift years, 80,000 of them would be killed. The tiger in this book, this killer of men, when usually humans are not their prey, is said to have killed over 400 men and women. What made this tiger decide to go after humans? That too is explained, as is the backstory and present story of Corbett, the man who decides to take on the challenge of killing this tiger. So far so good, but I had problems with the narration. The narrator, Corey Snow tended to over dramatize at key places in the book. Stressing certain words, and ending chapters in a manner more given to fiction thrillers. The hunt itself was thrilling enough and didn't need any embellishments. One of my main gripes in non fiction is repetition and there is quite a bit of that here, especially of what a tiger can do to its prey. Also dont like when an author puts thought or enters suppositions on what was said and done. He even did this with the tiger, telling us what the tiger was thinking and why. I am glad I read this, the history of the region is one of which I had little. So, this was good, but could have been better.

  2. 5 out of 5

    J.K. Grice

    NO BEAST SO FIERCE was just an incredibly engrossing and captivating book. Author Dane Huckelbridge breaths life into a fascinating story that happened over 100 years ago. This is the tale of the Chumpawat man-eater, a tigress that was responsible for killing 436 people in northern India and Nepal between 1900-1907. The tigress was eventually shot and killed by Jim Corbett outside the town of Chumpawat in May of 1907. Over the next few decades, Corbett became famous for his skill in tracking dow NO BEAST SO FIERCE was just an incredibly engrossing and captivating book. Author Dane Huckelbridge breaths life into a fascinating story that happened over 100 years ago. This is the tale of the Chumpawat man-eater, a tigress that was responsible for killing 436 people in northern India and Nepal between 1900-1907. The tigress was eventually shot and killed by Jim Corbett outside the town of Chumpawat in May of 1907. Over the next few decades, Corbett became famous for his skill in tracking down man eating tigers and leopards. He was of Irish descent, but was born and raised among the Kumaoni people in Nainital. Jim Corbett was an amazing, enigmatic man who, like the indigenous Tharu people of NE India, held the tiger in spiritual esteem. He later championed efforts to help save this magnificent apex predator from extinction. Corbett worked diligently to help establish preserves where the tiger would be forever safe and protected. The Jim Corbett National Park in India is named in his honor. Another critical aspect presented by Huckelbridge in this book deals with the political and social history of India, particularly in the 19th century. When the British established The East India Company, colonialism soon followed, and India was forever transformed. It is a common tale of greed and power, in which India's jungle forests were cleared for timber and farming. Any consequential effects on the natural world weren't even given a second thought. Tigers were looked upon as dangerous and therefore needed to be exterminated by the English, to make the lives of all Indian people "safer and better." The British would not be satisfied until all of the forests were cleared, thus destroying the habitat for tigers and their prey animals as well. Much as the Anglo-Saxons had eradicated wolves and bears in Britain centuries ago, the English would not end their war on India's natural environments until they became profitable and properly "civilized." So it came to pass through loss of habitat and prey species that the number of fatal tiger attacks on humans increased dramatically toward the end of the nineteenth century, and on into the early twentieth century. Quite often injured tigers also turned to man-eating to survive. Unlike the Tharu people of the Terai Lowlands, who lived symbiotically with the animals and natural resources in a vast area, Europeans had no intention of doing so and failed to understand the magnitude of their actions in the name of progress. Thankfully in recent years, it actually appears that Asian tiger populations are slowly on the rise. "No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity. But I know none, and therefore am no beast." ~William Shakespeare

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    I am glad I have read No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Animal in History by Dane Huckelbridge, so I am willing to give it three stars. I will explain both what I like and what I don’t like. I definitely do prefer John Vaillant’s The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival. It is also about a vengeful man-eating tiger. OK, they are different, so sure, go ahead and read both. You learn different things. One is a Bengali tiger, the other an A I am glad I have read No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Animal in History by Dane Huckelbridge, so I am willing to give it three stars. I will explain both what I like and what I don’t like. I definitely do prefer John Vaillant’s The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival. It is also about a vengeful man-eating tiger. OK, they are different, so sure, go ahead and read both. You learn different things. One is a Bengali tiger, the other an Amur tiger. One plays out in India and Nepal, the other in Russia's Far East. Dane Huckelbridge’s book gives background information about tigers in general, their natural habitats, feeding patterns, physical and behavioral attributes, their origins and the myths that have risen up around them. It speaks of the different kinds of tigers that have existed and those that still exist today. Encroachment of their habitats, an ever diminishing quantity of prey and ecological changes wrought by man have led to decimation of the species. An accusatory finger is pointed at man. The book comes to focuses on one particular tigress, one that became a man-eater, humans became the tigress’ prey. By providing historical background, the book shows very clearly how this came to be and it shows why we human beings are at fault and thus why we must mend our ways. By looking in depth at one particular tigress, who killed a huge number of people, and by putting the events in an historical perspective, the cause and effect process becomes crystal clear. Statistics and data are rigorously documented. All of this I have liked. I must mention though that at times the author repeats himself and oversimplifies. This happens more at the beginning than at the end of the book. At the beginning he tells us that tigers are big, fast, strong and smart. Oh really?! It sounds at this point that the author is speaking to a class of kids. As the telling continues, the author fills out with interesting details—about the English in India, for example. About the man who eventually outsmarted and killed the Champawat tigress. Be patient. I found particularly interesting the historical information about the Tharus people living in Terai, the wetlands / grasslands at the foothills of the Himalayas. OK, so the presentation of facts is clear, and the information provided is interesting. However when the author turns to the chase and the final killing of the tigress, the telling switches style and tries to become an exciting, suspenseful adventure tale. The author goes overboard. His words now are meant to incite fear and horror. To make matters worse, he abruptly interrupts the telling and retreats into the revelation of more historical facts. I see this as a ploy to increase suspense, and I do not like it. I listened to an audiobook read by Corey Snow. In the sections he deems to be the exciting parts, he dramatizes, and he does it in spades. I do not like this. I have given his performance two stars because in those parts, when he quits with his overdramatization, the reading is fine. You clearly hear what he says. It has been difficult for me to separate the audiobook performance from the book itself, but I do think I have managed to distinguish between the two. I do not like narrators to overdramatize. When both Huckelbridge switches to the adventure tale style of writing and Snow to his dramatization mode, I had difficulty enjoying the book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy Bruestle

    “That when it comes to truly behaving as a beast — to killing wantonly and without reason — it is our kind, not theirs, that is the fiercer of the two.” I won this book through a giveaway in exchange for an honest review....Technically, I won a different book, but the publisher had some issue and wasn’t able to send out the books to the giveaway winners, but didn’t want to leave them empty handed, so instead sent this book. This was a wonderfully written nonfiction book about the Champawat Tiger! “That when it comes to truly behaving as a beast — to killing wantonly and without reason — it is our kind, not theirs, that is the fiercer of the two.” I won this book through a giveaway in exchange for an honest review....Technically, I won a different book, but the publisher had some issue and wasn’t able to send out the books to the giveaway winners, but didn’t want to leave them empty handed, so instead sent this book. This was a wonderfully written nonfiction book about the Champawat Tiger! Honestly, I didn’t actually think I would finish it. I figured I would just kind of skim it....However, that was not the case! I actually really enjoyed it. Not to mention, I learned quite a bit too - which is always a great feeling after reading a book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Written in an engaging style, this is primarily an extended journalistic piece on the life and times of the Champawat tigress. Incorporating a wide ranging investigation into the history of the area, the book considers how and why this particular tiger turned man-eater, while attempting to explain the wider pattern of tiger attacks right up to the present day. It's clear that the research is both detailed and extensive, but the language and style often veer towards sensationalism, especially dur Written in an engaging style, this is primarily an extended journalistic piece on the life and times of the Champawat tigress. Incorporating a wide ranging investigation into the history of the area, the book considers how and why this particular tiger turned man-eater, while attempting to explain the wider pattern of tiger attacks right up to the present day. It's clear that the research is both detailed and extensive, but the language and style often veer towards sensationalism, especially during imagined and reported scenes of predation. What saves the book is author's refusal to turn the tiger into a monster. Her story is one of limited choices: injury, degradation of habitat, loss of prey. A 'man-made disaster'. There's a sadness to it all, for those affected by desperate tigers and for the animals themselves, pressed into ever closer contact with humans. It's notable that the man who finally killed the Champawat tiger, Jim Corbett, on whose memoir this book is based, became a leading name in tiger conservation, playing a significant role in establishing the first Indian National park, which was named after him. The slight protection offered by such parks is welcome but tigers are still threatened by poachers and the ceaseless human need for more space. The negative impact of such human population growth and expansion, especially into lands previously occupied by such predators, is obvious and remains problematic, with tiger extinction an increasingly likely outcome. In explaining this process, and the resulting human/tiger conflict, in terms of human habitation, colonialism, and ecological mismanagement, rather than any innate predatory desire for human flesh, the book aims primarily for understanding, of our own failures and the ways in which they might affect the world we share. That the author strays into creative embellishment for the sake of a good story might well affect the reading, but hopefully the book will inspire people to find out more about how we can work towards a more effective means of coexistence with these beautiful/deadly animals before they are gone forever. ARC via Netgalley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    Tiger's gonna do what Tiger's gonna do. Basically that was what each chapter covered. Can't imagine what living in those communities must have been like for those people who had no choice about sending kids to get water, girls needing to walk through forests to work, fathers hunting food for dinner - and none returning. . . .in the hundreds. I love sharks, and reading about sharks, planning my TV watching around shark week. . .well this book showed me I'm missing the land part of that obsession Tiger's gonna do what Tiger's gonna do. Basically that was what each chapter covered. Can't imagine what living in those communities must have been like for those people who had no choice about sending kids to get water, girls needing to walk through forests to work, fathers hunting food for dinner - and none returning. . . .in the hundreds. I love sharks, and reading about sharks, planning my TV watching around shark week. . .well this book showed me I'm missing the land part of that obsession - however, I think it is simply because we have so few of them left. . . .so scary. Once limiting boundries are abolished. . . .no reason to hold back. Book probably went on a little longer than it needed to, but otherwise a startling read. I am unaware of tigers in our neighborhood, but I've been more diligent about checking every lock since reading this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    If all you want is to learn the story of the Champawat tiger, the undisputed deadliest single animal in history, you can get that from Wikipedia or websites such as https://curioushistorian.com/jim-corb.... However, if you really want to know the story, then this is the best book out there, short of perhaps reading Jim Corbett's books themselves. Like any good book that at first blush appears to focus on a single narrow topic - I'm thinking something like The Library Book here - it should approac If all you want is to learn the story of the Champawat tiger, the undisputed deadliest single animal in history, you can get that from Wikipedia or websites such as https://curioushistorian.com/jim-corb.... However, if you really want to know the story, then this is the best book out there, short of perhaps reading Jim Corbett's books themselves. Like any good book that at first blush appears to focus on a single narrow topic - I'm thinking something like The Library Book here - it should approach that topic from every conceivable angle, and as a result suck you into a whole number of peripheral stories. In this case, we not only get the intimate story of the Champawat and her ultimate dispatch at the hands of a then still-green Jim Corbett, but also history lessons on the Nepalese dynasties and colonial India; an overview of all man-eating animals; tutorials on the biology, geology, ecology and sociology of the Himalayan foothills; a neat biography of Corbett as a product of the Irish diaspora; and several other fascinating topics. In this modern world of national borders and human-on-human disputes, it's important to remember that nature doesn't respect lines on a map; and that up until the late 19th century South/Southeast Asia was largely one contiguous forest that spread from northern Pakistan and India down through Burma/Thailand and the Malay Peninsula before leaping the Straits and continuing into Indonesia, (see the famous story of Singapore's last tiger being shot in the Raffles Hotel). And that's why (other than Siberia's enormous Amur tigers), panther tigris roamed largely unimpeded for centuries across the entire region in such oh-so-subtly speciated iterations as the Malayan, Indochina, South China and Sumatran tigers. However, with today's over-exploitation of Asia's forests and over-hunting of all its remaining megafauna, not only has this endless forest been largely reduced to a series of few-and-far-between nature preserves, ALL of the above species are now critically endangered, (while at least two others - the Bali and Javan tigers - are already extinct). I remember when we lived in Kuala Lumpur in the late 90's, we would regularly read heartbreaking stories about tigers "having to be" caught and/or killed in places where their former jungle home had been cut down and converted into the neat (and endless) rows of oil palm plantations, the sad result of unceasing human encroachment into their historical hunting grounds, all in pursuit of ever-cheaper shampoo ingredients... (PHOTO: top half is original rain forest; bottom is oil palm) Don't get me wrong: one doesn't root for the tiger in this story - his killing and devouring of nearly half a thousand people is just too horrendous, especially as described by Hucklebridge. But one does feel enormous sympathy for this magnificent creature, who turned to man-hunting only because his initial wounding at human hands left him incapable of catching anything but this slower and dumber bipedal prey. This is a fascinating story artfully told,* and a solid recommend for any student of nature, animals or the price we continue to pay for our ongoing desecration of the natural world. * SAMPLE: "...the Champawat's human victim never even knew what hit her. Perhaps the faintest rustling when it launched from the ground, a soft puff of displaced air from its careening body, all registered in the back of the mind at nearly the same moment nature's nearest equivalent to a short-range missile exploded upon its target." BONUS FEATURES: (1) Totally coincidental, the below photo just won National Geographic's 2020 Wildlife Photo of the Year: (2) While no film version of this story has yet been made (but definitely should), any interested reader might enjoy 1996's "The Ghost and the Darkness," which tells the similar - and, amazingly, contemporary - story of the hunt for the "Tsavo Man-Eaters," a pair of lions which were responsible for killing a number of construction workers on the Kenya-Uganda Railway in 1898. While a thin Val Kilmer and young(ish) Michael Douglas are no longer to be found, the reconstructed lions can still be seen in Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, coronavirus permitting. (3) And finally, this fun fact that continues to blow my mind: the words "general" and "specific" come from the taxonomical terms "genus" (e.g., "homo") and species (e.g., "sapiens"). So obvious in hindsight, but I never realized that until it was pointed out to me recently, and now it's my go-to fact to either impress the hell out of someone (one type of person), or totally kill a conversation (the other type).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I’m for the animals!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joe Jones

    The true story of a Bengal tiger that killed over 400 people in Nepal and India a little over 100 years ago. I had no idea of how efficient a killing machine tigers are and how many people they have killed over the years. One instant you are standing at the edge of the woods and the next the tiger is already sprinting away with another victim in its mouth. Chilling. All set within the backdrop of the Indian subcontinent and the changes over the years leading to more human deaths. Nonfiction fans The true story of a Bengal tiger that killed over 400 people in Nepal and India a little over 100 years ago. I had no idea of how efficient a killing machine tigers are and how many people they have killed over the years. One instant you are standing at the edge of the woods and the next the tiger is already sprinting away with another victim in its mouth. Chilling. All set within the backdrop of the Indian subcontinent and the changes over the years leading to more human deaths. Nonfiction fans will eat this one up. Sorry for the bad pun...

  10. 4 out of 5

    AnnaG

    A fascinating history of a man-eating tiger and the wider history of how humans encroaching on tiger territory lead to this tragedy with 436 dead humans and one dead tiger. This was a really interesting history book that looked into the history of tigers generally, why this tiger became a problem, how the villagers responded, how the colonial authorities responded and how attitudes towards tigers changed over time. I found this an eye-opening book giving all sides of the story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Giselle Bradley

    DNF'd 35%. This just isn't doing anything for me. The author presents a lot of scenarios in a play by play manor, even telling what people are thinking and then at the end will say roughly "I'm guessing something like this happened at some point". Very frustrating to read! The writing was also not engaging. Maybe I'll revisit this interesting topic from another author in the future but I wont be picking this back up. DNF'd 35%. This just isn't doing anything for me. The author presents a lot of scenarios in a play by play manor, even telling what people are thinking and then at the end will say roughly "I'm guessing something like this happened at some point". Very frustrating to read! The writing was also not engaging. Maybe I'll revisit this interesting topic from another author in the future but I wont be picking this back up.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Books on Stereo

    Non-fiction at its finest.

  13. 4 out of 5

    KB

    "...what tigers normally do, and what they're capable of doing, are two very different things." No Beast So Fierce tells the story of what would come to be known as the Champawat tiger, a man-eating beast active in Nepal and India between the late-1800s and early-1900s. The tiger would allegedly kill and eat 436 people before being killed by then-railway worker Jim Corbett in 1907. This book certainly isn't something I would normally read, but I needed something to keep me occupied while at work "...what tigers normally do, and what they're capable of doing, are two very different things." No Beast So Fierce tells the story of what would come to be known as the Champawat tiger, a man-eating beast active in Nepal and India between the late-1800s and early-1900s. The tiger would allegedly kill and eat 436 people before being killed by then-railway worker Jim Corbett in 1907. This book certainly isn't something I would normally read, but I needed something to keep me occupied while at work one day and chose this on a whim. I loved it. This book isn't just an account of the tiger's killing spree. Huckelbridge provides plenty of context as to why this took place. How does a tiger - an animal that would usually hide or back away from confrontation with humans - come to take so many lives? People being killed by tigers didn't begin or end with the Champawat, but its tally sets it apart. We learn that while in Nepal, the Champawat had been wounded and left with only 2.5 canine teeth. This reduced its ability to successfully hunt, or hunt the prey it usually would. Colonialism also comes into play. Changing laws meant weapons were not supposed to be in possession of the local population. By the time the Champawat turned to killing humans, many of these villages had little means to kill the tiger. There were also political and environmental changes. Forested areas had been taken over by the government to supply their timber exporting. This changed the hunting area of the tiger, forcing it to look for food where it normally wouldn't and bringing it into closer contact with people. A good deal of the book talks about the relationship between the Nepalese and Indians and tigers throughout history: how they were viewed in local religions, how a balance was struck between humans and nature, and the history of tiger hunting by royals. We learn about the habitats the tiger lived in, and the local populations as well. This was all an excellent way to round out the story. While the majority of the book is written in an accessible but academic style, when detailing the life of the Champawat tiger the story is told in a more literary way. I see in some other reviews that there are readers that didn't appreciate this. I can see why, but I found it exciting to read. I think it adds to the intensity. Besides, the only full account we actually have of the tiger was from Corbett, who wrote his book decades later. And that account only really deals with the tail end (ha!) of the tiger's life. There's lots of gaps for Huckelbridge to fill in, so making realistic assumptions and presenting them almost like a story rather than an academic account was fine by me. Had there been more primary material (Huckelbridge addresses this at the end of the book), I don't think the author would've gone this route, but he can only work within the confines of what's available. Huckelbridge does a great job of giving a sense of time and place, and the feeling of dread and fear the affected people of Nepal and India must have felt. But at the end of it all, we know that the tiger was just doing what it needed to do to survive: "There is no malice or cruelty in what they do, any more than there is malice and cruelty in how a cow eats grass." Wounded and unable to hunt what and where it normally would, the tiger turned to easier targets. I had zero expectations for this book, but I couldn't stop reading it. Don't let the more 'story' aspect of parts of the book put you off from reading this. Like I said, the author had only so much primary source material to work with, but the facts are all there and pulled from these sources; Huckelbridge was merely filling in gaps. The book was informative, engaging and just really, really interesting.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    The story of Jim Corbett’s hunt of the Champawat man-eater was reasonably interesting - it just took almost half the book to get there, through long detours about Nepalese and Indian history framed by tigers. I might go read Corbett’s memoirs, but I really can’t recommend Huckelbridge’s account. I found myself bored a lot, the style is melodramatic too often, and the author’s frequent conjectures and assumptions about what Corbett must have been feeling or thinking were annoying. I had high hope The story of Jim Corbett’s hunt of the Champawat man-eater was reasonably interesting - it just took almost half the book to get there, through long detours about Nepalese and Indian history framed by tigers. I might go read Corbett’s memoirs, but I really can’t recommend Huckelbridge’s account. I found myself bored a lot, the style is melodramatic too often, and the author’s frequent conjectures and assumptions about what Corbett must have been feeling or thinking were annoying. I had high hopes, but the book didn’t deliver.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cav

    "A serial killer that happened to be a Royal Bengal tiger. Specifically, a tiger known as the Man-Eater of Champawat. Far more than an apex predator that occasionally included humans in its diet, it was an animal that—for reasons that wouldn’t become apparent until its killing spree was over—explicitly regarded our species as a primary source of food. And to that end, this brazen Panthera tigris tigris hunted Homo sapiens on a regular basis across the rugged borderlands of Nepal and India in the "A serial killer that happened to be a Royal Bengal tiger. Specifically, a tiger known as the Man-Eater of Champawat. Far more than an apex predator that occasionally included humans in its diet, it was an animal that—for reasons that wouldn’t become apparent until its killing spree was over—explicitly regarded our species as a primary source of food. And to that end, this brazen Panthera tigris tigris hunted Homo sapiens on a regular basis across the rugged borderlands of Nepal and India in the early 1900s with shocking impunity and an almost supernatural efficacy. In the end, its reported tally added up to 436 human souls—more, some believe, than any other individual killer, man or animal, before or since..." I love books about real-life sagas, especially historic ones, so I put this one on my list as soon as I came across it. Author Dane Huckelbridge was born and raised in the American Middle West. He holds a degree from Princeton University, and his fiction and essays have appeared in a variety of journals, including Tin House, Literary Hub, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and The New Republic. Dane Huckelbridge: No Beast So Fierce tells the incredible true story of the Champawat Tiger. The writing here follows its unprecedented killing spree, and efforts to hunt and kill the tiger, headed by British hunter, tracker, and naturalist Jim Corbett. Huckelbridge cites Corbett's memoir Man-Eaters of Kumaon numerous times here, which went on to become a best-seller, with over 500,000 copies sold. Jim Corbett: Huckelbridge provides the reader with a brief history of man-eating tigers early on. Somewhat more historically common than one might think, these man-eaters were typically animals with damaged teeth or other injuries that would render them unable to hunt their traditional prey animals. The reading of the audiobook version was very well done; the narrator reads the book in a very enthusiastic manner. Unfortunately, however, there was something about the author's writing style here that felt a bit dry for me. This may be a subjective thing; as I am fairly particular on how readable a book is. In a somewhat perfect storm, Huckelbridge writes that part of the reason the tiger was not found and stopped earlier, was that firearms were both very expensive, and not widely available during the period the attacks took place. Huckelbridge tells the reader that the colonial British did not want the resident Indians to own firearms in any substantial numbers. Huckelbridge also mentions John Vaillant’s book The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival here, which talks about an Amur (or Siberian) tiger that stalked Russia's far-east, killing a few victims before it was finally found. I really enjoyed Valliant's book, and would recommend it to anyone reading this review. No Beast So Fierce was a decent book that covers an incredible story, although there was something about Huckelbridge's telling of it here that did not resonate with me as much as I had hoped. 3.5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    Dane Huckelbridge writes an engrossing story that pulled me in from the very beginning and kept me picking up this book to find out the outcome. During the early 1900's a Bengal Tiger began hunting men as food in northern India and Nepal. Huckelbridge explores not only the deaths this animal caused(estimated at more than 400) but the reasons behind why the Tiger suddenly began stalking humans. Many were called to hunt this man-eater down, but the animals rampage continued for years. Enter Jim Cor Dane Huckelbridge writes an engrossing story that pulled me in from the very beginning and kept me picking up this book to find out the outcome. During the early 1900's a Bengal Tiger began hunting men as food in northern India and Nepal. Huckelbridge explores not only the deaths this animal caused(estimated at more than 400) but the reasons behind why the Tiger suddenly began stalking humans. Many were called to hunt this man-eater down, but the animals rampage continued for years. Enter Jim Corbett, of Irish decedent, but born and raised in the jungles of India. Although Corbett was somewhat of a conservationist, he knew there could be only one ending to this story in order for the Tiger to be stopped. The Book began with the premise that the Champawat Tiger was not a freak of nature, but rather a man-made disaster...the direct result of decades of environmental mismanagement...a catastrophe at least a half a century in the making Warning If you are the least bit squeamish, this book is not for you. Bold and bloody descriptions of both human and animal deaths.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    Recently finished reading this book about a tiger in Nepal at the dawn of the twentieth century that stalked, killed, and ate 436 people, averaging a person a week for ten years. I was initially wary of reading this because I love the John Vaillant book so much but this won me over with its insistence on looking at the influence of the loss of habitat, prey, and colonialism on the tiger's behavior. One of the fascinating things I noticed was how colonialism resembles a more brutal version of gen Recently finished reading this book about a tiger in Nepal at the dawn of the twentieth century that stalked, killed, and ate 436 people, averaging a person a week for ten years. I was initially wary of reading this because I love the John Vaillant book so much but this won me over with its insistence on looking at the influence of the loss of habitat, prey, and colonialism on the tiger's behavior. One of the fascinating things I noticed was how colonialism resembles a more brutal version of gentrification, replacing physical violence with economic violence. I think this book makes a compelling argument for humans being the most savage species, as Shakespeare said so well: “No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity. But I know none, and therefore am no beast.” ― William Shakespeare, Richard III

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I only know a slight bit of information about the Champawat Tiger. Therefore, I found this book to be very interesting to learn about animals from other countries. To be honest, when I think of "deadly" animals; the Champawat Tiger is not one that makes the top ten list. However, after reading this book it is right up in the top animals of the world. This is no joke as the Champawat Tiger held four hundred and thirty six kills before Jim Corbett killed him. Although, reading this book, I can ima I only know a slight bit of information about the Champawat Tiger. Therefore, I found this book to be very interesting to learn about animals from other countries. To be honest, when I think of "deadly" animals; the Champawat Tiger is not one that makes the top ten list. However, after reading this book it is right up in the top animals of the world. This is no joke as the Champawat Tiger held four hundred and thirty six kills before Jim Corbett killed him. Although, reading this book, I can imagine in those moments when Jim killed the Champawat Tiger that it was with some remorse and respect for the beast. Mr. Huckelbridge writes as a good storyteller. He provided plenty of details without allowing the book to be bogged down with details. Also, it felt as if I was transported back in time and stepped into Jim's shoes as he hunted the Champawat Tiger. Anyone who likes to read nonfiction books, should pick up a copy of this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I love tigers. I think they are among one of the most majestic beasts on this planet, and it tears me apart that people continue to hunt them to the point of extinction. Between the cover and the title, there was no doubt I was going to pass on the opportunity to read about the Champawat tiger to find out what made her so deadly. Dane Huckelbridge and No Beast So Fierce does not disappoint. You would think that a story about man-eating tigers would change my mind about these fearsome beasts. Inst I love tigers. I think they are among one of the most majestic beasts on this planet, and it tears me apart that people continue to hunt them to the point of extinction. Between the cover and the title, there was no doubt I was going to pass on the opportunity to read about the Champawat tiger to find out what made her so deadly. Dane Huckelbridge and No Beast So Fierce does not disappoint. You would think that a story about man-eating tigers would change my mind about these fearsome beasts. Instead, I have even more compassion for these misunderstood animals. I say misunderstood because I feel that people view tigers or any animals that eat humans as vicious and vengeful. Mr. Huckelbridge shows, however, that in the case of man-eating tigers in India at least, the reasons why animals become man-eaters are often, if not entirely, the fault of humans. We are the ones encroaching on their territory. We are the ones changing their natural habitat. Because of our actions, we are the ones forcing them to compete with each other for a dwindling supply of food. With competition comes injury. With injury comes desperation. A desperate animal will do anything to survive, even if it means roaming far from home to find a more accessible, more attainable food source. The fact that I feel for these animals and the hardships humans have wrought on them does not mean I ever want to meet one in the open. Mr. Huckelbridge does not ignore any of a tiger’s weapons and makes sure readers understand how they hunt and how they kill. The pictures he paints and the facts he records are gruesome. They make a horror film seem tame by comparison. For all the gore though, Mr. Huckelbridge maintains his sense of reverence for these animals, no matter how many humans one killed, because he understands, and he makes sure readers understand, that for an injured, starving animal, discovering how easy it is to hunt these odd, two-legged animals is the animal equivalent of humans inventing the wheel. If humans can and do resort to cannibalism in times of starvation, there should be no surprise when an equally hungry tiger will look at humans as nothing more than easy prey. The story Mr. Huckelbridge tells is not just one of a tiger adapting its hunting to eat humans. It is also a story of the geopolitical conflicts arising during the Victorian era in northern India. It is another story highlighting the arrogance of the British colonials and the negative impact British occupation had on all aspects of native life, including but not limited to weapon ownership, hunting, agriculture, cultural rites, and respect for nature. Mr. Huckelbridge navigates readers through the sociological, economic, and political conflicts occurring before, during, and after the Champawat tiger’s reign of terror to help us understand how such a thing could happen and why it keeps happening. What No Beast So Fierce becomes is a conservation novel in the guise of a historical horror novel. In understanding the hows and whys of tigers becoming man-eaters, it allows readers to know how we can save these beasts and the reasons why we should. The knowledge does not remove the numerous weapons available to tigers while hunting, but it does make them a bit less terrifying. If knowledge is power, then Mr. Huckelbridge and No Beast So Fierce is a powerful weapon in the fight against extinction.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pegeen

    The narrator ruined the book for me , sounded like a 50’s late night tv ad pitch , eventually a few chapters in he could not keep up the inane voice. . Over emoted, over articulated. Eventually the narrator could not keep the inane voice up , and became more natural, still not great, but tolerable. The STORY itself was much better, told with respect .

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    "Where's the beef" (or in this case the tiger)? This is not a book about the Champawat tigress as much as it is a liberal screed about the evils of British colonialism and a long-winded description of north Indian historical minutiae. The very title of this book is completely deceptive and I don't recommend this one to anybody. "Where's the beef" (or in this case the tiger)? This is not a book about the Champawat tigress as much as it is a liberal screed about the evils of British colonialism and a long-winded description of north Indian historical minutiae. The very title of this book is completely deceptive and I don't recommend this one to anybody.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Casper

    I bought No Beast So Fierce and was really excited to read it, remembering how much my little brother had loved reading The Ghost and The Darkness. It was one of the only books he read as a child and we watched the movie so so many times. This book is interesting and well written but I think I expected it to be more directly about the hunt itself. The first two thirds of the book covered a history of colonial India, war and politics, a view of the contributing factors relating to tigers turning t I bought No Beast So Fierce and was really excited to read it, remembering how much my little brother had loved reading The Ghost and The Darkness. It was one of the only books he read as a child and we watched the movie so so many times. This book is interesting and well written but I think I expected it to be more directly about the hunt itself. The first two thirds of the book covered a history of colonial India, war and politics, a view of the contributing factors relating to tigers turning to humans as food and a history of Jim Corbett. This was all interesting but not entirely what I was looking for in this book. However, the final third of the book, detailing the hunt itself, was fantastic. The writing is vivid and clean. The hunt is terrifying and exhilarating and the stories of the bravery of the men involved (particularly that of the village residents and leaders who had seen their family members slaughtered by a seemingly unstoppable monster) made for a pretty excellent read. I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in Colonial India, hunting, the conservation efforts of India and Jim Corbett or stories of animals fighting to preserve their existence.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mac Morse

    I can only give 3 stars, because the real beast , so fierce it causes death by the hundreds and thousands is not tigers, at all. The beast, in reality is the relatively hairless, two legged creature, known most commonly as humans beings.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan Gallagher

    Very engaging story. Well written, well researched. Would have given 5 stars had there been just a wee bit more about this one tiger in particular, and less about tigers in general. I just wasn't expecting that. Very engaging story. Well written, well researched. Would have given 5 stars had there been just a wee bit more about this one tiger in particular, and less about tigers in general. I just wasn't expecting that.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Darcee Kraus

    I won this book in the first reads giveaway. I was enthralled and shocked by this terrifying, but true tale of the Champawat Tiger. Well written and entertaining, I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kitty Moore

    Brilliant, engaging, with a climactic ending that gave me goosebumps.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    The reason I gave it two stars was not due to the massive research that Huckelbridge managed to do into not only the history as well as the victims of the Champawat tiger but into other large cats that considered humans easy prey in India, Nepal, Russia and other locales. Nor was it due to his research into the possible causes of tigers changing their hunting techniques due to injuries by careless humans, shrinking prey herds and environment which has brought the large cats to the brink of extin The reason I gave it two stars was not due to the massive research that Huckelbridge managed to do into not only the history as well as the victims of the Champawat tiger but into other large cats that considered humans easy prey in India, Nepal, Russia and other locales. Nor was it due to his research into the possible causes of tigers changing their hunting techniques due to injuries by careless humans, shrinking prey herds and environment which has brought the large cats to the brink of extinction. It was due to - - well, I earlier commented that reading this book was like riding a bicycle with a bent front wheel. Sometimes you're going straight and the story flows consistently and the reader can keep track of what is occurring. But then there are other times, then it veers off into other topics - Corbett's early life, royal hunts and how they changed under the British Raj and how the natives had to deal with being unarmed and unable to protect themselves from predators. The customs of the Tharu people practices, history and dealing with tigers and lots more. I'm not saying it wasn't interesting, just jarring to be reading about the tiger and Corbett's activities and then off on this tangent. . . . And then back to Corbett's hunting of the tiger. It jumps around all within the same chapter. I understand that there is - what the author considers - important information to be added but perhaps, more chapters to finish a line of thought would have helped. And there was the actual hunt which - although interesting - read more like a adventure story printed in the nineteenth century. These negatives - IMO - reduced the stars likely by half. Informative. Interesting. A great deal of history and enlightening knowledge about India and it's people. And tigers too. The writing style was good when he wasn't trying to include too much outside/background information. And the soapbox regarding how humans have impacted the tiger's environment and likely were the basis of so many attacks - to this day - got repetitive. If you can put aside the negatives, it's a very interesting book to read and surprisingly enough, with the reduction of native habitat for the big cats, quite relevant to this day. 2019-181

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth Hardcastle

    Huckelbridge tells the story of the Champawat Tiger, a creature estimated to have killed more than 400 people in Nepal and India over a span of about a decade at the beginning of the 20th Century. It examines the likely history of the tiger - where it was born, and what happened to turn it into such a prolific predator. It also studies the political and social conditions in the area that contributed to the tiger’s reign of terror, the most obvious of which is British Imperial rule. Finally, the Huckelbridge tells the story of the Champawat Tiger, a creature estimated to have killed more than 400 people in Nepal and India over a span of about a decade at the beginning of the 20th Century. It examines the likely history of the tiger - where it was born, and what happened to turn it into such a prolific predator. It also studies the political and social conditions in the area that contributed to the tiger’s reign of terror, the most obvious of which is British Imperial rule. Finally, the book tells the tale of Jim Corbett, the Indian-born Englishman who eventually stalked and killed the killer. This is a work of solid investigative journalism. Though the author necessarily takes some license with events lost to history, he artfully ties together many different threads into a compelling story. There is a peculiar struggle with Colonialist ideas in the book. Huckelbridge would mock the image of a British hunter as a savior of the Indian villagers, protecting them from tigers as if the native population hadn’t been protecting themselves for centuries. Then he would turn around and try to not only justify, but idolize Corbett’s actions in undertaking exactly that. True, the Indians couldn’t legally own weapons to protect themselves as they used to, and Corbett was a lifelong resident of the region with evidently great respect for the Indian culture (though no doubt filtered through an Imperial British lens). It’s not all right or all wrong, and there’s always shades of grey in anything. A lot of the book is already dedicated to how awful Colonialism was, but I do think a little more care could have been taken in framing the story this way. Full disclosure, I abandoned this book pages from the end. The drama of the book was completed, and I ran out of steam and moved on to other things in the middle of the epilogue. Not fair, perhaps, but sometimes that’s how it goes.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Justin Nelson

    A lot of thoughts with this one! First, I am always a little more fascinated by nonfic that takes historic one-off stories and connects them to larger issues/events of historic significance. This one takes an interesting tale of a murderous tiger (at least 436 human kills attributed to this one tigress!) and uses this tale to not only tell a thrilling story of the hunt and kill of the animal, but to tell a larger story about Nepal and India. I know just the basic, history class minimum of the Ea A lot of thoughts with this one! First, I am always a little more fascinated by nonfic that takes historic one-off stories and connects them to larger issues/events of historic significance. This one takes an interesting tale of a murderous tiger (at least 436 human kills attributed to this one tigress!) and uses this tale to not only tell a thrilling story of the hunt and kill of the animal, but to tell a larger story about Nepal and India. I know just the basic, history class minimum of the East India Trading Company, British colonialism, etc. Here, Huckelbridge makes connections between the encroaching rules and exploitation of British conquest and the increasing clash man and nature. There is an interesting subtext of who is the actual beast, what is the nature of nobility, etc. Second, I really liked Huckelbridge's writing style. He has an amazing vocabulary. It does not make the text dense at all or come off as pretentious. It's actually refreshing and makes you think you're reading something of heft and significance. My only gripes are that more spotlight could have been given to Corbett's hunt and future hunts. They are the most exciting part of this tale. More eyewitness accounts would have added to the terror, too...though I understand the author has little control of their availability. Also, this book has sections that feel repetitive. I've noticed that in a few recent nonfic pieces and I wonder if it's a case of editing needing to be tightened up or an author trying to keep certain facts in the readers' minds...but I find it annoying. I would read more from Huckelbridge, though!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I have heard of the Champawat Tiger before, and was very curious about this book. Tigers are not known to be "man-eaters", as a general rule, unless something has gone VERY wrong. In this book, Huckelbridge makes that case that it wasn't just one thing that went wrong - it was a triumvirate that basically led to the perfect storm in the creation of the Champawat notoriety. Huckelbridge writes out a very convincing case of why the tiger became what she was. It's interesting and heartbreaking, and I have heard of the Champawat Tiger before, and was very curious about this book. Tigers are not known to be "man-eaters", as a general rule, unless something has gone VERY wrong. In this book, Huckelbridge makes that case that it wasn't just one thing that went wrong - it was a triumvirate that basically led to the perfect storm in the creation of the Champawat notoriety. Huckelbridge writes out a very convincing case of why the tiger became what she was. It's interesting and heartbreaking, and sadly - it's ongoing today in most parts of the world. However, that historical aspect seemed to drag on a little long. The story of the hunting/death of the tiger itself was crazy good - my heart was pumping faster as I read it - but it was like a roller coaster ride. Super exciting, then...history. Super exciting. History. It was a bit uneven, all in all. Having said that, overall it was a fascinating read and I'm glad I picked it up. Jim Corbett, around whom the story centered just as much as the tiger, was a fascinating man and truly ahead of his time.

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