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6+ Works 2,513 Members 126 Reviews 4 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Journalist John Vaillant at the 2015 Texas Book Festival. By Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44599458

Works by John Vaillant

Associated Works

Storm: Stories of Survival from Land and Sea (2000) — Contributor — 43 copies


adventure (25) animals (45) biography (17) book club (9) British Columbia (54) Canada (44) Canadian (31) conservation (29) ebook (21) ecology (29) endangered species (12) environment (38) environmentalism (18) fiction (37) First Nations (19) forestry (21) goodreads (12) Haida (21) Haida Gwaii (11) history (60) hunting (21) Kindle (12) logging (31) mental illness (9) Mexico (17) natural history (34) nature (88) non-fiction (268) Pacific Northwest (13) poaching (13) read (20) Russia (80) science (17) Siberia (24) signed (9) survival (20) tiger (14) tigers (47) to-read (184) trees (28)

Common Knowledge

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Places of residence
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Vaillant, George C. (grandfather)
Awards and honors
Windham–Campbell Literature Prize (2014)
Short biography
John Vaillant has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, National Geographic–Adventure, Outside and Men’s Journal. He lives in Vancouver with his wife (an anthropologist and a potter) and their two children. (from www.randomhouse.ca)



I liked the first three-quarters of the book with the science of fires and personal accounts of the Fort McMurray fire as it attacked people's homes and properties. Felt like I was there myself. But the last quarter of the book was very negative bordering on cynical wavering into paranoia. There has to be a middle ground where responsible oil and gas extraction meets with environmental standards. People need to eat and work and if we are really past the point of no return like the author suggests maybe we should cover ourselves in sackcloth and ashes and sit outside and hope God will be merciful. I know one thing environmentalists don't have a monopoly on the truth.… (more)
charlie68 | 1 other review | Oct 20, 2023 |
A nonfiction story of a series of tiger attacks in eastern Russia, the investigative team that tracked the tiger, and the culture surrounding the hunting and worship of tigers throughout history in the area.

I enjoyed it, but I think the balance between the story at hand and the historical and cultural background information was a little off, or maybe just not quite structured well. Overall, though, a good read and a really interesting topic.
electrascaife | 64 other reviews | Aug 10, 2023 |
A thorough analysis and consideration of the 2016 Fort McMurray fire and all it represents, defining, as the author indicates, the "Pyrocene."

The story of the 2016 Fort McMurray fire is set forth in expansive detail, driven by many first-person interviews and perspectives. Yet it is continually set in its full context: the tar sands bitumen oil boom which allowed Fort McMurray to grow, the capitalist/colonialist drive to exploit resources to the full, and making an allegory of the irony of how the place built by exploiting resources that burn itself burned to the ground.

I have never read a more thorough and comprehensible explanation of what hydrocarbons are, how tar sand bitumen is made into crude oil, or the properties of fire than in this book. The complete history of the development of fossil fuels - and the discovery of the climactic effects of their burning - are set forth.

And the author does quite well at expressing how this is the "new normal" we have created for ourselves, the result of willful blindness and delay 40 years ago, and it's going to be here with us for quite some time. Our obsession with burning will burn us all.

Highly recommended.
… (more)
deusvitae | 1 other review | Jul 19, 2023 |
You can't be an animal lover and not admire Siberian Tigers. They are such beautiful, powerful, and magnigfecent animals. But after reading this book by John Vaillant I came away with a profound sense of, lets call it awe, of just how truly amazing Siberian Tigers are. I also admired the way Valliant told this story. At it's core it is the true story of a man eating tiger and the men who valiantly hunted him down. And in that sense it's a book that belongs in the nature section of a bookstore. But Valliant is so encompassing in his telling of the story that one can argue that it could also be shelved in Russian History, Cultural Studies, Current Affairs, Anthropology, Hunting, or perhaps even True Crime… (more)
kevinkevbo | 64 other reviews | Jul 14, 2023 |



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