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No Beast So Fierce

The Champawat Tiger and Her Hunter, the First Tiger Conservationist
Narrated by: Corey Snow
Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

The deadliest animal of all time meets the world's most legendary hunter in a classic battle between man and wild. But this pulse-pounding narrative is also a nuanced story of how colonialism and environmental destruction upset the natural order, placing man, tiger and nature on a collision course. 

In Champawat, India, circa 1900, a Bengal tigress was wounded by a poacher in the forests of the Himalayan foothills. Unable to hunt her usual prey, the tiger began stalking and eating an easier food source: human beings. Between 1900 and 1907, the Champawat Man-Eater, as she became known, emerged as the most prolific serial killer of human beings the world has ever known, claiming an astonishing 436 lives.

Desperate for help, authorities appealed to renowned local hunter Jim Corbett, an Indian-born Brit of Irish descent, who was intimately familiar with the Champawat forest. Corbett, who would later earn fame and devote the latter part of his life to saving the Bengal tiger and its habitat, sprang into action. Like a detective on the tail of a serial killer, he tracked the tiger’s movements, as the tiger began to hunt him in return.

This was the beginning of Corbett’s lifelong love of tigers, though his first encounter with the Champawat Tiger would be her last.

©2019 Dane Huckelbridge (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"I had a feeling this book would hook me from the get-go. I was right." (Michael Wallis, author of The Best Land Under Heaven)

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A Jim Corbett adventure

I have been waiting for years for a book concerning Jim Corbett (c'mon Audible!!) and I thought this, at last, might be it. However I was left a touch disappointed. The book is certainly interesting and deals with Corbett (the hunter of man-eating Tigers and Leopards in India during the British occupation) and the build up to his hunt for the most prolific man-eating tiger known to exist. Yet the actual event itself, the hunting of the tiger, the climax, is in fact one of the least exciting of Corbett's many, many hunts.

Let me explain a little. For anyone who has read Corbett, his books and his life's work was not about 'hunting' it was about nature. It was about the beauty of India, the jungle, the hills and people as well as the wildlife, both in terms of hunting and natural history.

Jim Corbett's books were so wonderful because they were written with such understated intelligence and beauty and in terms of his man-eating adventures, building nerve-wracking excitement (I'll say it again; c'mon Audible, these are some of the greatest adventure stories ever told!). This book however, No Beast So Fierce, somehow manages to write in an exagerated, over-stated manner but the result is less exciting. There is a lot of background on the relationship and conflict between the people and tribes of people in the United Provences and the British, but the whole point about Corbett is that he was Indian-born and much admired by the people....so writing so exhaustively about the conflict is rather redundant and yet makes up a large part of the book.

I would say this book is, ironically, for people who have not previously read any Jim Corbett and would like to get a slightly long-winded introduction to him and, his undeniably dramatic first man-eater hunt, albeit a slight anti-climax. If it may interest...I might add that the much more dramatic story of the Thak Maneater can be heard in 'Best Hunting Stories Ever Told', also on Audible...better still, read Corbett's own books.

Ben Waddams

1 person found this helpful