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No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Man-Eater in History

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,526 ratings  ·  252 reviews
The deadliest animal of all time meets the world's most legendary hunter in a classic battle between man and wild. But this pulse-pounding narrative is also a nuanced story of how colonialism and environmental destruction upset the natural order, placing man, tiger and nature on a collision course.
In Champawat, India, circa 1900, a Bengal tigress was wounded by a poacher
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by William Morrow
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  1,526 ratings  ·  252 reviews

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Start your review of No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Man-Eater in History
Diane S ☔
Nov 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019
I enjoyed learning about the history of the area and how it and the inhabitants and how they lived changed through the years. I also liked how the political changes and of course of colonization and the detrimental effect on the people and tigers of this region. The Hindus revered the tiger, many of the Gods they worshiped were pictured on or with a tiger. Hunting tigers was once the privilege of only the royalty and this changed quickly with colonization, where bounties were placed on the tiger ...more
I am glad I have read No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Animal in History by Dane Huckelbridge, so I am willing to give it three stars. I will explain both what I like and what I don’t like. I definitely do prefer John Vaillant’s The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival. It is also about a vengeful man-eating tiger. OK, they are different, so sure, go ahead and read both. You learn different things. One is a Bengali tiger, the other an A ...more
Amy Bruestle
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
“That when it comes to truly behaving as a beast — to killing wantonly and without reason — it is our kind, not theirs, that is the fiercer of the two.”

I won this book through a giveaway in exchange for an honest review....Technically, I won a different book, but the publisher had some issue and wasn’t able to send out the books to the giveaway winners, but didn’t want to leave them empty handed, so instead sent this book.

This was a wonderfully written nonfiction book about the Champawat Tiger!
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Written in an engaging style, this is primarily an extended journalistic piece on the life and times of the Champawat tigress. Incorporating a wide ranging investigation into the history of the area, the book considers how and why this particular tiger turned man-eater, while attempting to explain the wider pattern of tiger attacks right up to the present day. It's clear that the research is both detailed and extensive, but the language and style often veer towards sensationalism, especially dur ...more
Tiger's gonna do what Tiger's gonna do. Basically that was what each chapter covered. Can't imagine what living in those communities must have been like for those people who had no choice about sending kids to get water, girls needing to walk through forests to work, fathers hunting food for dinner - and none returning. . . .in the hundreds.

I love sharks, and reading about sharks, planning my TV watching around shark week. . .well this book showed me I'm missing the land part of that obsession
If all you want is to learn the story of the Champawat tiger, the undisputed deadliest single animal in history, you can get that from Wikipedia or websites such as https://curioushistorian.com/jim-corb.... However, if you really want to know the story, then this is the best book out there, short of perhaps reading Jim Corbett's books themselves.

Like any good book that at first blush appears to focus on a single narrow topic - I'm thinking something like The Library Book here - it should approac
Jill Mackin
Mar 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Re-creates the terrible true story of a man-eating tiger and the man who hunted her down. An exceptional nail-biting read.
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I’m for the animals!
Joe Jones
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
The true story of a Bengal tiger that killed over 400 people in Nepal and India a little over 100 years ago. I had no idea of how efficient a killing machine tigers are and how many people they have killed over the years. One instant you are standing at the edge of the woods and the next the tiger is already sprinting away with another victim in its mouth. Chilling. All set within the backdrop of the Indian subcontinent and the changes over the years leading to more human deaths. Nonfiction fans ...more
A fascinating history of a man-eating tiger and the wider history of how humans encroaching on tiger territory lead to this tragedy with 436 dead humans and one dead tiger. This was a really interesting history book that looked into the history of tigers generally, why this tiger became a problem, how the villagers responded, how the colonial authorities responded and how attitudes towards tigers changed over time. I found this an eye-opening book giving all sides of the story.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
The story of Jim Corbett’s hunt of the Champawat man-eater was reasonably interesting - it just took almost half the book to get there, through long detours about Nepalese and Indian history framed by tigers.

I might go read Corbett’s memoirs, but I really can’t recommend Huckelbridge’s account. I found myself bored a lot, the style is melodramatic too often, and the author’s frequent conjectures and assumptions about what Corbett must have been feeling or thinking were annoying.

I had high hope
Giselle Bradley
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNF'd 35%. This just isn't doing anything for me. The author presents a lot of scenarios in a play by play manor, even telling what people are thinking and then at the end will say roughly "I'm guessing something like this happened at some point". Very frustrating to read! The writing was also not engaging. Maybe I'll revisit this interesting topic from another author in the future but I wont be picking this back up. ...more
Books on Stereo
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Non-fiction at its finest.
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"...what tigers normally do, and what they're capable of doing, are two very different things."

No Beast So Fierce tells the story of what would come to be known as the Champawat tiger, a man-eating beast active in Nepal and India between the late-1800s and early-1900s. The tiger would allegedly kill and eat 436 people before being killed by then-railway worker Jim Corbett in 1907. This book certainly isn't something I would normally read, but I needed something to keep me occupied while at work
Edward Sullivan
A gripping, suspenseful story but I especially appreciated how Huckelbridge weaved the cultural, environmental, and historical dimensions into the narrative.
May 08, 2021 rated it liked it
"A serial killer that happened to be a Royal Bengal tiger. Specifically, a tiger known as the Man-Eater of Champawat. Far more than an apex predator that occasionally included humans in its diet, it was an animal that—for reasons that wouldn’t become apparent until its killing spree was over—explicitly regarded our species as a primary source of food. And to that end, this brazen Panthera tigris tigris hunted Homo sapiens on a regular basis across the rugged borderlands of Nepal and India in the ...more
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it

Dane Huckelbridge writes an engrossing story that pulled me in from the very beginning and kept me picking up this book to find out the outcome.

During the early 1900's a Bengal Tiger began hunting men as food in northern India and Nepal. Huckelbridge explores not only the deaths this animal caused(estimated at more than 400) but the reasons behind why the Tiger suddenly began stalking humans. Many were called to hunt this man-eater down, but the animals rampage continued for years. Enter Jim Cor
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. The author did a great job writing a compelling and emotionally charged account of the Champawat Tiger. I was surprised that I had not heard about this tiger before reading this book. The Champawat notoriously killed more than 400 people in India and Nepal. There are two narratives running through this book. The author provides a (sometimes imagined) account of the Champawat and also provides interesting facts about Bengal tigers. The second ...more
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recently finished reading this book about a tiger in Nepal at the dawn of the twentieth century that stalked, killed, and ate 436 people, averaging a person a week for ten years. I was initially wary of reading this because I love the John Vaillant book so much but this won me over with its insistence on looking at the influence of the loss of habitat, prey, and colonialism on the tiger's behavior. One of the fascinating things I noticed was how colonialism resembles a more brutal version of gen ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I only know a slight bit of information about the Champawat Tiger. Therefore, I found this book to be very interesting to learn about animals from other countries. To be honest, when I think of "deadly" animals; the Champawat Tiger is not one that makes the top ten list. However, after reading this book it is right up in the top animals of the world. This is no joke as the Champawat Tiger held four hundred and thirty six kills before Jim Corbett killed him. Although, reading this book, I can ima ...more
Callie Gonsalves
Aug 16, 2022 rated it liked it
learned about this on the national park after dark podcast (highly recommend). the book was brutal. really made me think about the difference between simply dying and being consumed, especially as it pertains to religions that require bodies be in tact. also, and maybe this is silly, but I hate how the author refers to the tiger as it. she's a she; calling her it makes her feel like a preternatural monster, when really she was a product of her environment and hunted people because they had ma

I love tigers. I think they are among one of the most majestic beasts on this planet, and it tears me apart that people continue to hunt them to the point of extinction. Between the cover and the title, there was no doubt I was going to pass on the opportunity to read about the Champawat tiger to find out what made her so deadly. Dane Huckelbridge and No Beast So Fierce does not disappoint.

You would think that a story about man-eating tigers would change my mind about these fearsome beasts. Inst
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The narrator ruined the book for me , sounded like a 50’s late night tv ad pitch , eventually a few chapters in he could not keep up the inane voice. . Over emoted, over articulated. Eventually the narrator could not keep the inane voice up , and became more natural, still not great, but tolerable. The STORY itself was much better, told with respect .
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When excellent writing is combined with a favorite subject matter it results in a near perfect score. I say 'near' because I overlooked the few minor faults that did not detract from my enjoyment of this book.

Huckelbridge gives a detailed account of not just the actual hunting of the tiger and it's exploits, but a comprehensive overview of the history of the region, from the terai grasslands to the Himalayan foothills that comprise the lands bordering western Nepal and northern India. The milit
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I may be in the minority, but I am on the side of the tiger in this heartbreaking, yet fascinating, book. The Champawat Tigress killed and ate more than 450 people in Nepal and India in the early 1900s; here, we learn how injury, colonization and habitat loss likely led to the creation of this fearsome man-eater. No Beast So Fierce is an amazing cautionary tale on how we bring about deadly consequences with our foolhardy insistence on 'civilizing' colonized lands by clearing the wild jungle and ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
"Where's the beef" (or in this case the tiger)? This is not a book about the Champawat tigress as much as it is a liberal screed about the evils of British colonialism and a long-winded description of north Indian historical minutiae. The very title of this book is completely deceptive and I don't recommend this one to anybody. ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I bought No Beast So Fierce and was really excited to read it, remembering how much my little brother had loved reading The Ghost and The Darkness. It was one of the only books he read as a child and we watched the movie so so many times.

This book is interesting and well written but I think I expected it to be more directly about the hunt itself. The first two thirds of the book covered a history of colonial India, war and politics, a view of the contributing factors relating to tigers turning t
Mac Morse
Jun 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I can only give 3 stars, because the real beast , so fierce it causes death by the hundreds and thousands is not tigers, at all. The beast, in reality is the relatively hairless, two legged creature, known most commonly as humans beings.
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very engaging story. Well written, well researched.
Would have given 5 stars had there been just a wee bit more about this one tiger in particular, and less about tigers in general. I just wasn't expecting that.
Darcee Kraus
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in the first reads giveaway. I was enthralled and shocked by this terrifying, but true tale of the Champawat Tiger. Well written and entertaining, I thoroughly enjoyed this story.
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Dane Huckelbridge was born and raised in the American Middle West. He holds a degree from Princeton University, and his fiction and essays have appeared in a variety of journals, including Tin House, Literary Hub, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and The New Republic. His debut novel CASTLE OF WATER was published by St. Martin's Press in 2017, and his book NO BEAST SO FIERCE was published b ...more

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“this brazen Panthera tigris tigris hunted Homo sapiens on a regular basis across the rugged borderlands of Nepal and India in the early 1900s with shocking impunity and an almost supernatural efficacy. In the end, its reported tally added up to 436 human souls—more, some believe, than any other individual killer, man or animal, before or since.” 0 likes
“For destructive purposes—well, when it came to warfare, there wasn’t much a mounted elephant couldn’t do. The siege engines of the day, a fully armored elephant with spikes mounted on its tusks and a fortified howdah tower on its back could also function like a Sherman tank. Able to achieve speeds of up to twenty miles per hour, and covered with a hide that could absorb dozens of arrows and musket shots alike, a trained war elephant was more than capable of breaking even the most stubborn of enemy lines, trampling infantry and skewering cavalry horses on its bladed tusks. They provided an elevated vantage point for commanders, and a well-angled shot for mounted archers and snipers. A full complement of military elephants was essential for” 0 likes
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