Download American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon Audiobook

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon Audiobook, by Steven Rinella Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Steven Rinella Narrator: Steven Rinella Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 11, 2019 ISBN: 9780593150955
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (464 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $18.95 Pre-Order
— or —
BEST PRICE!
FlexPass™ Price: $15.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Pre-Order learn more )

From the host of the Travel Channel’s “The Wild Within.”

A hunt for the American buffalo—an adventurous, fascinating examination of an animal that has haunted the American imagination.
 
In 2005, Steven Rinella won a lottery permit to hunt for a wild buffalo, or American bison, in the Alaskan wilderness. Despite the odds—there’s only a 2 percent chance of drawing the permit, and fewer than 20 percent of those hunters are successful—Rinella managed to kill a buffalo on a snow-covered mountainside and then raft the meat back to civilization while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Throughout these adventures, Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years’ worth of buffalo hunters in North America, as well as the buffalo’s place in the American experience. At the time of the Revolutionary War, North America was home to approximately 40 million buffalo, the largest herd of big mammals on the planet, but by the mid-1890s only a few hundred remained. Now that the buffalo is on the verge of a dramatic ecological recovery across the West, Americans are faced with the challenge of how, and if, we can dare to share our land with a beast that is the embodiment of the American wilderness.

American Buffalo is a narrative tale of Rinella’s hunt. But beyond that, it is the story of the many ways in which the buffalo has shaped our national identity. Rinella takes us across the continent in search of the buffalo’s past, present, and future: to the Bering Land Bridge, where scientists search for buffalo bones amid artifacts of the New World’s earliest human inhabitants; to buffalo jumps where Native Americans once ran buffalo over cliffs by the thousands; to the Detroit Carbon works, a “bone charcoal” plant that made fortunes in the late 1800s by turning millions of tons of buffalo bones into bone meal, black dye, and fine china; and even to an abattoir turned fashion mecca in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, where a depressed buffalo named Black Diamond met his fate after serving as the model for the American nickel.

 Rinella’s erudition and exuberance, combined with his gift for storytelling, make him the perfect guide for a book that combines outdoor adventure with a quirky blend of facts and observations about history, biology, and the natural world. Both a captivating narrative and a book of environmental and historical significance, American Buffalo tells us as much about ourselves as Americans as it does about the creature who perhaps best of all embodies the American ethos. Download and start listening now!

apav

Quotes & Awards

  • This is a big-game hunting story like no other: Steven Rinella is in search of an animal, quite literally. But also historically, existentially, and maybe even spiritually. Follow him on this curious armed quest– and, like him, you will quickly find yourself immersed in the fate of our mightiest and most talismanic beast. Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder

    “Steven Rinella’s American Buffalo is a boldly original and ultimately refreshing book. It is also fearsome and occasionally frightening, and one wonders if the author is quite mad. There are insights into nature and American history here that will be totally unfamiliar to the reader.
  • “Steven Rinella goes places and does things the rest of us don’t, and that is something to be grateful for, because American Buffalo is like no other book you've ever read. It’s a gripping adventure story, a funny and moving memoir, and a flat-out fascinating biography of one of the most cherished and elusive figures in our national mythology. This book will make you see America with fresh eyes. Benjamin Wallace, author of The Billionaire’s Vinegar

    “Here is one of those rare books that make you feel larger, smarter, and entirely exhilarated for having read them. Steven Rinella's lens on the world is entirely his own, as is his grace on the page. American Buffalo is an achievement through and through.
  • Moving and downright funny. . . Rinella writes with authority about the process of turning a living creature into steak, and easily renders an enormous amount of historical and scientific information into a thoroughly engaging narrative. Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    “Here is a wonderful young writer that everyone should know about. Steven Rinella is exciting, adventurous, technically gifted, honest, funny–a great new voice in American nonfiction.
  • This is some of the best writing on our great national beast since George Catlin–and that was in 1841. A real triumph. Bill McKibben, author The Bill McKibben Reader

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica | 2/17/2014

    " I had a very hard time getting into this book even though it is a subject I am currently fascinated with. Some of the info seemed contradictory to what I've read previously. The butchering of the animal is way to detailed unless you are an experienced hunter with an understanding of the cuts thebauthor describes making There were certainly some intetesting tidbits but overall not engaging. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Will | 1/14/2014

    " This is an awesome story about the history and loss of the plains buffalo as well as the author's experience hunting a buffalo in the Alaskan wilderness. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Krista | 1/11/2014

    " didn't like it. felt like i was on a horrible blind date with a buffalo freak "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryan | 12/3/2013

    " This book is awesome! It has history, personal stories of hunting bison, and much more. Steven Rinella has told his story just like I like to read it. I "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phillip | 12/2/2013

    " Rinella weaves a coherent narrative through historical facts and personal anecdotes. While the book utilized a few distracting analogies (how many times does the word scrotum need to be used?), the book was overall successful at conveying the importance of this majestic creature. Entertaining, educational, and moving. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 11/12/2013

    " Very interesting and easy to read. Loved this book! It was like going on a hunting trip with Mr. Rinella. Trekking through the Alaskan wilderness in the comfort of my own home! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 3/17/2013

    " Rinella writes a great adventure story here as well as a well rounded history of this American iconic animal. A great read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darlene | 2/21/2013

    " Rinella does a great job of mixing the history of buffalo with his story of hunting buffalo. I think fans of Jon Krakauer would enjoy this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mswms | 2/18/2013

    " Who'd a thought that a book about the great American buffalo could be interesting...much less cool? This one is both of those things. Steven Rinella is an interesting human being and his story is a compellng read. Go for it even if you've never thought that you liked reading non-fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 12/23/2012

    " I love outdoor hunting books. So in that sense, this book was awesome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donovan | 9/16/2011

    " Borrow it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 4/1/2011

    " I enjoyed this book that wove the history of the North American Buffalo and man's relationship to it with Rinella's opportunity to hunt one. However, I did not find it as engaging as his "Scavenger's Guide" did but I couldn't put it down once I got to the last several chapters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 3/18/2011

    " Very cool so far! So different from anything I have read. It is about a guy who finds himself through a buffalo hunt. It is a true story and it is not ridiculous. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 3/13/2011

    " i really loved this book! i have no interest in hunting, but am fascinated by the history of the buffalo - by its tortured past in this country. rinella writes beautifully and with reverence about the buffalo - even the scenes of gutting the animal are poetic. a wonderful book! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Krista | 3/11/2011

    " didn't like it. felt like i was on a horrible blind date with a buffalo freak "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 9/30/2010

    " A really great entertaining book. It amazes me that something as simple as finding a skull of a buffalo could start someone on such an incredible journey. I am glad that Steven Rinella took the time to share his knowledge and experiences with us. I highly recommend the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mswms | 9/28/2010

    " Who'd a thought that a book about the great American buffalo could be interesting...much less cool? This one is both of those things. Steven Rinella is an interesting human being and his story is a compellng read. Go for it even if you've never thought that you liked reading non-fiction. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rebecca | 7/15/2010

    " Interesting facts about buffalo intertwined with the author's own buffalo hunt in Alaska. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 5/8/2010

    " This was a great interesting history of the American Buffalo, mixed in with tales from Rinella's life. I loved everything except the very gory images of Rinella dressing his buffalo after the kill. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cobray | 4/17/2010

    " This is an awesome story about the history and loss of the plains buffalo as well as the author's experience hunting a buffalo in the Alaskan wilderness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 3/24/2010

    " Very cool so far! So different from anything I have read. It is about a guy who finds himself through a buffalo hunt. It is a true story and it is not ridiculous. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 2/7/2010

    " Written in a very casual style, but with some neat insights on the history of the North American bison. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 2/2/2010

    " Good natural history/nature writing. A little slow at some points; otherwise good. "

About the Author

Steven Rinella is the author of The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine and a correspondent for Outside magazine. His writing has also appeared in the New Yorker, American Heritage, New York Times, Field & Stream, Men’s Journal, and Salon.com. He grew up in Twin Lake, Michigan, and now splits his time between New York City and Anchorage, Alaska.