On the Trail of the Tasmanian Tiger
Villard Books, USA
Text Publishing, Australia
When we first stumbled across a stuffed Tasmanian tiger at the
American Museum of Natural History, we were spellbound.
This killer, carnivorous marsupial was one of the most
extraordinary creatures on the planet. But it hadn't been seen
since the 1930s, and most scientists considered it extinct.
Undaunted we headed for the island of Tasmania in search of this
elusive beast. Journeying through the island's intoxicating
landscapes, we encountered an array of odd characters: screaming Tasmanian devils, fervent tiger hunters, trickster botanists, and scientists trying
to resurrect the tiger through cloning. The result of our travels
is Carnivorous Nights, the story of a safari gone
"A transfusion of youthful energy is delivered in this winning book by a pair of zany New York wildlife journalists ...
[Carnivorous Nights] has a magical quality ...
Ms. Mittelbach and Mr. Crewdson have written both an engrossing study of Darwinian natural selection and a gentle fairy tale."
-- The New York Times
"The quixotic quest at the heart of Carnivorious Nights
is more than just endearing and engrossing, it's inspiring."
-- Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything Is Illuminated
and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
"An adventure in extreme sleuthing ... the true beauty of this volume is its depiction of the Tasmanian landscape in the raw. Kudos are due the authors for the generous pace of their gaze."
-- Los Angeles Times
" ... informed, colorful, often comical ... hugely readable "
-- San Francisco Chronicle
" ... a wonderful romp, part science and part Bill
"... beautifully observed, excitingly reported, [and]
laugh-out-loud funny... This book will surely become a classic of
wildlife adventure and travel writing."
-- Marie Winn, author of Red-Tails in Love: A Wildlife Drama in
" ... a thrilling adventure [and] ... an irresistible work of armchair travel, not to be missed. Highly recommended."
-- Library Journal (starred review)
"A top-drawer journey into the natural history of Tasmania from
two Brooklyn-based nature writers....Neatly and wonderfully sews
together natural science and travel yarn."
-- Kirkus Review (starred review)
" ... a rollicking safari ... informative [and] entertaining"
-- Portland Oregonian
"at once a detailed nature guide and a humorous and engaging adventure story."
-- Science News
"Alexis Rockman and the thylacine are two of the most
fascinating critters that have ever prowled the woods of Tasmania
or the galleries and basketball courts of New York. Put them
together, and you're off on a roaring adventure."
-- David Quammen, author of The Song of the Dodo and
Monsters of God
"IT'S ALL IN THE THRILL OF THE CHASE:
[Carnivorous Nights] is a tonic ... sage, inquisitive, funny, and responsible. ... The narrative unfolds evocatively and persuasively, becoming a restrained but impassioned call for the protection of this imperiled kingdom."
-- Sydney Morning Herald
"Reading Carnivorous Nights, you do not have to be a gundog to detect a pungent scent of Mark Twain ... humor and natural history are seamlessly blended ... this is a winner."
-- Adelaide Review
"... a bloody good yarn"
-- West Australian
"A comedy with a kick, an adventure story with a twist ... Carnivorous Nights offers an exploration of the tiger which is part-study, part-celebration and altogether fun."
-- Canberra Times
"Imagine Jack Kerouac sharing the road with David Attenborough and Cosmo Kramer and you have some idea of the treat that lies ahead for the reader."
-- Courier Mail
"... brilliant writing about animals ... accomplished and persistent"
-- Weekend Australian
"Like the tiger itself, Carnivorous Nights is an unusual assemblage. ... frequently irreverent [and] unorthodox"
-- The Age
"Margaret Mittelbach and Michael Crewdson ... prove something which might have been thought as impossible as the [Tasmanian tiger] itself, that there is such a thing as comic erudition. (Blend David Attenborough and Bill Bryson, add originality to taste.)"
-- Adelaide Advertiser
"... an enjoyable, sometimes funny, and broadly entertaining book."
-- Hobart Mercury
"CARNIVOROUS DELIGHT: ... excellent ... a smorgasbord of fascinating facts about Tasmanian wildlife"
-- Sunday Tasmanian
"Carnivorous Nights turns an impressively accurate outsiders' eye on Australia's most mysterious state ... A book for anyone who's been to Tasmania, or would like to go."
-- Herald Sun
"[Rockman's] beautiful pictures of flora and fauna [are] as organic, fragile and fraught as the Tasmanian ark itself."
-- The Bulletin
"From muttonbird nests to the call of the kookaburra, from conversations with Aboriginal people to platypus sightings, this is a wonderful Australian adventure told with a great sense of humour."
-- Australian Geographic
"... a delightful safari."
-- Launceston Examiner
"The Devil's Isle will never be the same again. This is taxidermy's greatest tough-love story."
-- Tim Flannery, author of Throwim Way Leg, A Gap in Nature, The Future Eaters, and The Weather Makers
"Carnivorous Nights is Jerry Seinfeld meets David Attenborough in the wilds of Tasmania ... hilarious and scientifically spot on."
-- James Woodford, author of The Dog Fence and The Secret Life of Wombats
"This is the Tasmania I love and know, and love fighting for. An insightful, hilarious showcase of my island state."
-- Bob Brown, Senator from Tasmania
"... this hip, passionate, funny book leaves you burning for a tiger in the night"
-- Daily Telegraph
"... a magical mystery field trip through a Land-That-Time-Forgot ... Their wild, witty, wisecracking search puts a smile on the face of the elusive tiger"
-- The Times
"... colourful ... mock-heroic ... quixotic ... They capture the essence of the beast"
-- Independent on Sunday
"... this rollicking yarn ... is really about extinction, ecological despair, an increasingly brutalised environment, and conservationists with their backs to the wall. ... wistfully haunting."
-- The Guardian
"... an excellent book that is part travel writing, part natural history and part environmental activism, with a tendency towards the poetic rather than the preachy. It is enlivened with humour and embellished with Rockman's strong and elegant illustrations. Four stars"
-- The Herald
"In its lightness of tone, Carnivorous Nights has an easy irreverence and is a spiky, enjoyable and slightly sad romp through one of the world's most interesting wild landscapes."
-- The Metro
"... a compelling account of a Tolkien-esque landscape... it's hard not to get sucked into the team's optimism, becoming more hopeful as tales of sightings amass. Crucially, you're made to care for the tiger and regret its extinction."
-- TNT Magazine