Her Royal Orangeness's Reviews > The Hunter

The Hunter by Julia Leigh
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's review
Dec 29, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: prize-orange, 100-oranges, 2012
Read on March 31, 2012

In “The Hunter” by Julia Leigh, a man goes into the wilderness to hunt the elusive Tasmanian tiger, the thylacine. Doesn’t sound very interesting, does it? I only picked up this book for two reasons: it was longlisted for the Orange Prize in 2000, and I could use the location for a global reading challenge. I was quite surprised at how very good this book is.

The writing style is impeccable and I was completely mesmerized. Even when Leigh is just describing a plant or detailing the traps the man constructs, she held my attention. Interspersed with the man’s trek for the creature is the story of his interactions with the family with whom he stays when he goes back to civilization for supplies. The family - a mother and her two young children - are struggling to cope after their husband/father went missing a year earlier. The characterizations of these family members are very well done and their grief is tangible and real.

“The Hunter” is a profound allegory about seeking and yearning and an insightful meditation about the essence of humanity. It’s a quick read (less than 200 pages) and I definitely recommend it for those who appreciate thought provoking tales.
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