Download American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West Audiobook

American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West Audiobook, by Nate Blakeslee Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Nate Blakeslee Narrator: Nate Blakeslee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2017 ISBN: 9780525493280
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The enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her

Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West.

With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, with gray fur and faint black ovals around each eye, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers, particularly renowned naturalist Rick McIntyre, and becomes something of a social-media star, with followers around the world.

But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who are vying for control of the park’s stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley.

These forces collide in American Wolf, a riveting multigenerational saga of hardship and triumph that tells a larger story about the ongoing cultural clash in the West—between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country’s most iconic landscapes.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Narrator Mark Bramhall’s gravelly voice is a perfect match for this timeless yet contemporary story of history and progress in the American West, featuring a particularly tenacious wolf known as O-Six…Bramhall’s steady narration moves smoothly from scenes describing wolf behavior to those detailing relevant legal history…Even without names, the wolves become quickly discernible with personalities and traits all their own.”


  • The Game of Thrones story of modern western wolves, [unfolding] in just as riveting a fashion. It is an absolutely mesmerizing read. Dan Flores, author of Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History
  • “Seeing a wolf is exceptionally rare, and this book is as close as most readers will come.”

    New Yorker

  • Written with heart, but not sentimentality, American Wolf is nothing less than Shakespearean tragedy played out against the backdrop of our troubled relationship with nature. J.B. MacKinnon, author of The Once and Future World
  • “A matriarch overthrown in what seems fairly described as a ‘putsch,’ marauding gangs running attacks into neighboring territory, an hours-long standoff with a grizzly, a discarded water bottle—a rarity in the wilderness of a national park—tossed around and protected like a prized new toy. The lives of the wolves in Yellowstone are often dramatic but are full of touching, tender moments too, as Nate Blakeslee vividly writes in American Wolf.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • American Wolf gives us true profiles of wolf lives lived in their actual families. And when humans get involved, the trajectory of their lives forever changes. Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel
  • [American Wolf] is a startlingly intimate portrait of the intricate, loving, human-like interrelationships that govern wolves in the wild, as observed in real time by a cadre of dedicated wolf-watchers—in the end, a drama of lupine love, care, and grief. Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake 
  • A transcendent tale of the American West. S. C. Gwynne, author of Empire of the Summer Moon and Rebel Yell
  • “Gripping and fascinating! Wolf versus wolf, wolf versus man, man versus man.”

    Margaret Atwood, New York Times bestselling author

  • Beautiful, detailed... [American Wolf] centers on the rise, reign, and family life of O-Six, matriarch of the Lamar Canyon pack and so well-known to park visitors that the New York Times gave her an obituary. Publisher's Weekly (starred) 
  • “The fight... [over] Yellowstone’s wolves is embodied in O-Six’s story, told with great immediacy and empathy in a tale that reads like fiction. This one will grab readers and impel them into the heart of the conflict. Booklist (starred)
  • Utterly compelling.... Blakelsee’s masterly use of fiction writing techniques to ratchet up the tension will hook a wide swath of readers. Library Journal (starred)
  • There are so few wolves in the West that each one can cast a kind of enchantment. This fine book takes one animal, and uses it as a way to understand the vectors that whipsaw the last wild places. It will linger in your mind and heart. Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Radio Free Vermont
  • As in a great novel, we are swept along in a multi-generational saga involving matters of character, courtship, and shifting social relations. Tom Kizzia, author of Pilgrim’s Wilderness
  • Heartbreaking front-line coverage of our war on the wild.... Blakeslee hauntingly gives the victims faces, families, and stories. A quietly angry, aching, important book. Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast
  • A compelling environmental drama of the reintroduction of wolves to the Rockies, as clear-sighted on human politics as it is on wolf politics. Neil Ansell, author of Deep Country
  • “An ambitious look through the eyes of an endangered animal.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “In this vibrant work of nonfiction, a Texas Monthly writer goes into the mind—and heart—of a wolf…the remarkable true story of O-Six…as she fights hunters, cattle ranchers, and her own species for survival.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • [American Wolf] reads like a novel…a testament to the genius of Blakeslee’s tautly constructed narrative.”

    Outside magazine (Best Book of 2017 selection)

  • A 2018 Audie Award Finalist for Best Nonfiction Narration
  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

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About the Author

Mark Bramhall has won thirty-four AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been a finalist for the Audiobook Publishers Association’s prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has been named by Publishers Weekly and AudioFile magazine among their “Best Voices of the Year” in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. He is also an award-winning actor whose acting credits include off-Broadway, regional, and many Los Angeles venues as well as television, animation, and feature films. He has taught and directed at the American Academy of Dramatic Art.