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The Hunter

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  795 ratings  ·  111 reviews
An unnamed man arrives in a small community with only one purpose in mind: hunting the Tasmanian tiger. The Thylacine, creature of fable and fear, is thought still to be found out there in the wilderness, and this man must find it. In richly crafted prose, first-time novelist Julia Leigh creates an unforgettable picture of a damp, dangerous landscape and a man obsessed by ...more
Paperback, 170 pages
Published 2001 by Faber and Faber (first published 1999)
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3.57  · 
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 ·  795 ratings  ·  111 reviews

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Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian, 1990s
Under an assumed identity of Martin David, Naturalist, M arrives to hunt down the last Tasmanian tiger rumoured to exist within Tasmania. On the edge of the wilderness, he will soon slip into an untouched world of silence and stillness. Hunting the last thylacine, an animal extinct since the 1930’s, but a sighting has been reported.

Julia Leigh, born in 1970 in Sydney, Australia, has received critical acclaim even though she has had a very small writing career so far. The Hunter in 1999; a novell
From IMDb:
Martin, a mercenary, is sent from Europe by a mysterious biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for the last Tasmanian tiger.
A quite depressing read.
M is a hunter paid by some third party to find, kill and bring back the body of a Tasmanian Tiger, an animal believed to be extinct.
M is an ex-soldier and mercenary. His experiences have left him emotionless so he approaches his task methodically and obsessively. He cares nothing about the why it's all about the how.
This lack of emotion also plays out with the family he lives with between his hunting tramps. The father has died in the bush, leaving the mother dependent o
Shawn Davies
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sparse yet beautiful book about a hunt for the now mythical Tasmanian Tiger, but really a meditation on loss, responsibility and the life that is missed when we focus only on our goals.

With wonderfully descriptive, but yet brief and almost workmanlike language, Julia Leigh conjures up the gnarly and rough country of Tasmania’s uplands and one man’s professional and entirely focused dedication on finding in this misty and dense country an example of the supposedly extinct Thylacine.

Patience, fo
Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Of course I am attracted to any book about the mysterious thylacine and any book set in the equally mysterious wilderness of Tasmania.

I first read this book when I was in high school and have just reread it now that it's be made into a movie, which I will be interested to see.

This book is probably not for everyone. I wouldn't have thought it was for me, given the title. I can't explain exactly why I like this book. I don't find the main character, M, at all appealing. His mission appalls me and
Kae Cheatham
May 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
A fascinating book. Told in third person, present tense, Leigh's protagonist, M (only name given), is a purveyor of exotics and is sent to Tasmania to harvest a rare and elusive species. His journey brings into his life three people he doesn't want to care for, but does; when they are rudely taken from him, he becomes even more absorbed in his goal. A glimpse into the enigmatic M is both touching and chilling. The Tasmanian landscape is as beautiful and ruthless as the protagonist.

I had read a l
Horace Derwent
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Humans, WHY?
Declan Melia
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it
(*Tentatively) This was...OK. I'm hovering between a two and a three. We have a fellow named M who has assumed the identity of Martin David, (naturalist) and enters the Tasmanian wilderness to find the final surviving Thylacine. Once he finds it, he's going to kill it. This is not your typical hunter though, the purpose of his hunt is not bloodlust or thrill, it's something much more noble, something much more subtle.

Because of the nature of the storyline (that's a pun by the way) this book emi
Zeke Chase
Sep 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Rating: 8.5 / 10

1. Introduction

I came across this novel when the one singular North American trailer for the film played early this year/late last year. Although the film doesn't advertise itself as an adaptation, I had the sneaking suspicion it was and thought it would work great as a novel. When I looked into it, I vowed to read the book before seeing the movie.

This short novel is only 170 pages, about a man known only as M hired by a multinational pharmaceutical/defence contracting company t
Harry Antony
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellyn   → Allonsythornraxx

I read this for school and it took me over a month to read it, if that tells you anything about how much I appreciated having this on my reading list. This wasn't terrible but I'm sure as shit glad it's over.
M. (aka David Martin, for this trip at least) is being sent on a hunt of a nearly extinct, borderline mythical, creature, the thylacine (a Tasmanian tiger). He is, above all things, a hunter. M is solitary, efficient, and ruthless; lacking the social skills to interact with his kind with ease. This is the man of whose mind we inhabit in reading this book.

As the book is being told from the perspective of M, in fact, we are privy to his thoughts whether it runs to his awkwardness is social situati
Her Royal Orangeness
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
Lucy Carlos
Nov 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Julia Leigh’s The Hunter (1999), an environmentally centred novel, showcases Martin David’s, or M’s, tracking of the last remaining Thylacine in the Tasmanian wilderness in order to harvest its genetic material (Hughes-d'Aeth 2006, p.19). In an attempt to understand the animal’s psyche, M immerses himself in the environment of the Tasmanian highlands, embracing his animalistic instincts, therefore isolating himself from his own humanity.

The Hunter by Julia Leigh, is a novel which is follows the
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Susan by: Friend sent me a copy
The book was always going to be a personal journey for me as I lived in Tassie about 40 years ago and had travelled into the south west frequently enjoying its beauty and wildness and its fragility. Coloured slightly by having seen the film which I consider to be an excellent glimpse into the world of the logger and farmer in that region I still found the written book an excellent literal journey into the sad indictment of the human condition in this miniaturised microcosm. Greed murder lack of ...more
Charles Jr.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I HAD to read this after seeing the moody movie adaptation with Willem Dafoe. Wow, book is even more uncompromising and grim, as the nameless antihero, a ruthless corporate mercenary, stalks the last remainder of a supposedly extinct carnivore in the remote forests of Tasmania. The filmmakers amped up the violence, intrigue and sense that the hunter will redeem himself with a small act of defiance, but author Leigh has a more nuanced, sanguine outlook. A short and bracing bit of literary fiction ...more
Aug 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
did not keep my interest. did not get to page 40. did not finish.
Andrea Paterson
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Reminded me of the Blue Fox by Sjon. Similar atmosphere.
Jul 28, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
I can't even imagine how a movie was made from this. Ugh. I can't believe I paid for the BOOK, there is no way I will waste more time on the MOVIE.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm a thylacine fanatic. That's the only reason I read the book. The author could have gone through the trouble of consulting a biologist before publishing. Or even reading an introductory book about the thylacine. There are some real massive thylacine errors in here that made me want to throw the book at the wall and vomit on my other wall covered with a thylacine mural.

(spoiler alert).

Page 166 (of the American first edition) "he pulls out the uterus- intact- a plump slimy thing." Thylacines
Jessica Foster
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian, gothic
I almost rated this five stars, it's close. I thought it would be boring: contemporary and technical, what with the Delilo quote. So wrong.

This book is so atmospheric and haunting--and written so carefully, it's so taut. Prodigious this feels, as a debut novel. Why do I not read more Australian books? Coming back home felt so imperative and obvious reading this. I've resolved to stop turning my nose because actually we have wonderful talented writers and the Australian Cothic--which I feel this
LaVar Ball
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Martin David who is referred to as M in the book, is hired by a company named Red Leaf to look for and hunt down the last Tasmanian tiger. He goes to Tasmania alone and stays with a family called the ‘Armstrong’ family, there he meets two kids named Bike as Sass aswell as their mother Lucy. Undercover for the company he tells the villagers that he sent as a researcher for his university, the Armstrong family arrange a person to take him to the mountains to carry out his research but for Martin ( ...more
R. Verhagen
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Hunter is a startling debut. Wedged between satire and suspense it reads like Walter Kirn and Willy Vlautin. Gritty, uncut, unabashed. M's lack of grace catches like a cold, and Leigh uses many instances of banal observation to drop cinder blocks of revelation and dark commentary. M is detached, an unlikeable loner who the reader is forced to follow. It feels like an unhappy marriage, and along the way, however detestable it may be, the reader cannot avoid the morbid fascination with M and h ...more
Eunice Ying Ci
I suspect people who like Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, and Julia Leigh’s Sleeping Beauty will like this book a lot. There is that same tension in the atmosphere, the same chilling stillness, the same disconcerting animality. And I like the aforementioned play and films quite a bit, yet I found this one not as memorable. The ending felt abrupt, rushed, and ill-considered. After doggedly following this meandering narrative, the pay-off is ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction-2018
Bought on Susie McGuire's recommendation for my obsession with the Tasmanian Tiger. Ordered it to arrive before I went to Tasmania but unfortunately had to wait till my return...a debut novel, with some very fine writing, but ultimately it felt a bit derivative - the lone hunter, getting entangled with vulnerable woman, but completing the hunt he is driven too. The thylacine figures only really as a plot device to get the hunter to hunt. And to play between wilderness and civilization.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-uni
Almost only 3.5 stars, but after watching the film and talking about it in class as well as secondary readings I really quite like this book. Easy read but an interesting idea and my favourite literature text for uni this year so far.

Makes you wonder about the ethics of killing something that is already extinct, and the idea that the thylacine was hunted because it was the Tasmanian Tiger. It was transformed through cultural myth into an exotic and mysterious - yet dangerous - beast, so it was h
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I think this was a well written book however I felt that it didn't meet my wants and needs as the reader. Understandably there's an art behind not giving the reader what they want however, I think this story would have benefited greatly if it had continued its character development and story ache without bringing it to a screaming halt.
Rebekka Hindbo
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Read for uni. This was a lot different than I thought it would be. I thought the main focus would be on the hunt and the hunter in that setting but it was fairly evenly divided between the hunt and the human relations the hunter had, which was interesting.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Lisa Domeshek
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Writing and beautiful and the story is interesting yet it took me a long time to get through such a short book
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corporate greed or not? 1 5 Jan 11, 2015 02:57AM  

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Julia Leigh (b. 1970) is an Australian novelist, film director and screenwriter.

Born in 1970 in Sydney, Australia,[ Leigh is the eldest of three daughters of a doctor and maths teacher. She initially studied law but shifted to writing. For a time she worked at the Australian Society of Authors. Her mentors included leading authors Frank Moorhouse and Toni Morrison.

Leigh is the author of the novels
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“Dark here comes quickly. He undresses and slips into his silky cold sleeping bag. Up above, the clouds mask the stars and the moon alone glows like a strange pearl. Somewhere, he thinks, cherishing his last thought before sleep, somewhere, out there, the last tiger stands with her back to the rising wind and slowly shakes herself awake.” 1 likes
“Do tigers dream? he wonders. And this tiger, reputedly the last of her kind, what does she dream of? The scent of a mate? Or does she have the same dream he has or, at least, the only dream that he ever remembers: the running dream, where he is being chased for hours by an unknown foe, where he has to hide in bushes and hold his breath, where the bushes transmogrify and he is forced to run again, where he can't run quickly enough and where, finally, he knows he will be caught and that capture means a blank death, but where - dreams being what they are - the threat of capture dissolves and disappears at the very last moment so that, still sleeping, he knows he has survived and the running dream is over.” 0 likes
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