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Death in Yellowstone by Lee Whittlesey
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Death in Yellowstone (1995)

by Lee Whittlesey

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2863039,411 (3.87)15
  1. 00
    Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite by Michael P. Ghiglieri (prosfilaes)
    prosfilaes: Similar, but with better writing.
  2. 00
    Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Michael P. Ghiglieri (infiniteletters, Helcura)
    Helcura: In the same vein, but much more engagingly written.
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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Note: This is an audio book that I received as part of the Early Reviewers program.

If I had to sum up this book in two words, those words would be "fascinating" and "long." The author has basically composed an encyclopedia of every known death in Yellowstone, dating back in some cases to the early-to-mid 1800s. Of the two large sections of the book--nature-caused deaths and human-caused deaths--deaths by nature was much more interesting to me. Overall though, many of the stories were downright fascinating. The only downside to the book was its sheer length--13 hours. I was not sure if I was ever going to get to the end! ( )
  jclemence | Feb 8, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this audio book from the Early Reviewers program and, once again, I had not read the description of what I requested closely enough. I thought this was going to be a murder mystery set in Yellowstone, but instead, it is a chronicle of seemingly every death that has occurred in the park since it's inception.

I will say three things about this book:

1. It is not for the squeamish. The author graphically relates stories of people being boiled alive in thermal springs, being flayed and eaten by bears and being gored by bison. It came as a relief when people just started dying by falling trees.

2. The stupidity of people apparently knows no bounds. The vast majority of the deaths related in the book could have been avoided if the victims ha just followed basic safety rules prominently displayed at the park.

3. About two thirds through the book I just got bored at so much death and it just was not interesting (or shocking anymore)

This is a good cautionary book for anyone venturing into America's National Parks, but the author would have better served the reader is he had eliminated some of the deaths he relates. We did not need to hear about every last one of them. ( )
1 vote etxgardener | Jan 16, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Yellowstone historian Lee H. Whittlesey did a magnificent job of documenting deaths occurring in or near Yellowstone National Park. He spent hours pouring through newspaper accounts and locating testimony of persons who witnessed the accounts as well as reading official superintendent reports which often included accounts of such incidents. The "in Yellowstone" portion of the title is a bit misleading as some of the reported deaths took place outside the park or in gateway cities. Since I was listening to the book in audio format, I wish these portions had been omitted to make the book not quite so long and seemingly repetitive. I really think this is a book which probably works best in print or e-book format where one can "skim read" portions. Much of this book needs to be read by persons preparing to visit Yellowstone so they are aware of the dangers of not following guidance of rangers and park literature. The narrator, Stephen R. Thorne did a good job convincing the reader he was the author and witnessed much of the book although he pronounced a few names of Southern locations a bit strangely. I received the audio version of the book from the Tantor Media through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program in exchange for a review. This review refers to a reading of the 2nd edition of the book. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jan 11, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Let us not tame wilderness. Let us respect and enjoy wilderness in all of its glory and danger. Mr. Whittlessey did a great job with identifying the glories of Yellowstone National Park. He also provided "real life/death" stories about those who either on purpose or accidentally did not respect the wilderness.

The book captures the wonders of the hot springs/pools. And yes if you get the feeling you want to lean over and touch the water - don't. The water is hot and dangerous. Read and heed the warning signs, do not walk on the unstable ground near the geysers etc.

Read or listen to this book! ( )
  p1nes | Jan 10, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Death in Yellowstone is both fascinating and relentlessly cautionary. I've never been to the park but thanks to a healthy dose of shock and awe from Mr. Whittlesey I now know to always hike in groups, carry bear spray (I didn't even realize this was a thing), read and obey every frickin' sign, and never ever climb over a retaining wall. Ever. And a host of other warnings.

After hearing only a handful of ill-fated stories, I couldn't imagine it's simply a lack common sense that puts so many at risk. It's more like people believing themselves to be exceptions to the rule. Such is human nature, unfortunately. This book is on its 2nd edition and I doubt it will be the last.

To my delight, despite the macabre subject matter, a number of Yellowstone incidents date back to the time of the park's founding in the late 19th century even though many of the records are vague and possibly inaccurate. This is a glimpse back to a young America. You get a sense of Yellowstone's early history through these accounts and their telling would be at home in any number of history books.

I recommend Death in Yellowstone whether you enjoy the great outdoors, are an avid reader of history or are simply morbidly curious. I also think other parks, both large and small, would benefit from publishing their own versions as kind of a public service to help remind us all why we keep wilderness preserves wild. ( )
  Daniel.Estes | Jan 5, 2017 |
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It is a mystery why anyone would dive head first into a Yellowstone hot spring merely to save a dog, but that is precisely what happened on July 20, 1981.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Yellowstone National Park has a long history of deaths by everything from earthquakes to bear attacks, poison gas, and lightning. Since 1870 there have been 300 deaths, all brought together in this fascinating book by a long-time chronicler of Yellowstone's history.… (more)

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