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The Falcon

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  100 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
John Tanner's fascinating autobiography tells the story of a man torn between white society and the Native Americans with whom he identified.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 27th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published 1975)
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Douglas Dalrymple
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don’t know who’s responsible for renaming Tanner’s book but The Falcon is certainly an improvement on the original title, which was A Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of John Tanner, (U.S. Interpreter at the Sault de Ste. Marie,) During Thirty Years Residence Among the Indians in the Interior of North America. Tanner himself is The Falcon in question, that being the name he was given some time after his capture at age ten in 1789.

The younger son of a Virginian family that had relocate
Richard Reese
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For almost the entire human saga, our ancestors were hunter-gathers. For most of us, these kinfolk are long forgotten in family memory. Quite a bit has been written about wild societies by visiting outsiders from civilization, strangers who could not fully understand the cultures of their subjects. The Falcon is the autobiography of John Tanner, a fascinating book that gives readers a ringside seat at a wild society, prior to conquest, from the viewpoint of an insider.

Tanner was a white lad born
Cary Griffith
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
When I was young and spending most of my waking (and some sleeping) hours in the woods I often dreamed of being a Native American. To say it was an overly romanticized version of what life as a Native American would have been like is similar to suggesting life as Anne Frank would have been interesting, rich and fulfilling. It's a poor analogy but possibly good enough to convey the idea that my romanticized version of being, in the parlance of my youth, Indian, was about as far from reality as yo ...more
Alethea Bothwell
May 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Not at all what I expected. I somehow assumed that getting adopted by the Indians would lead to a life of happy days in the woods. Tanner's life seemed mostly to be made up of starving - and then having a successful hunt - and then starving again. There was a lot of what seemed fairly random moving around.

It was interesting that there were really NO bosses. People went where they wanted, when they wanted; joined with or abandoned other people for various projects (including war parties - which m
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This autobiography of John Tanner (the Falcon) is an intriguing read. Tanner was captured by the Shawnee tribe in 1789 at the age of nine and sold to an Ojibwa family. He spends most of his life with Indian tribes in northern Minnesota and North Dakota. Much of what he relates in pre Lewis and Clark and in an era where there was a seemingly marvelous and diverse abundance of game. Still, the winters were incredibly harsh for these tribes and Tanner frequently faced starvation. It is a sad tale i ...more
Carrie Smith
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it
This book gives perspective to the integration of white and natives during the mid 1800's in Canada - then BNA. It is an autobiography by John Tanner, a white man, who as a child was kidnapped by natives. He later went onto be a translator for military personnel and he was aided in writing his story.

Well worth the time if you are a Canadian History lover.
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the most realistic portrayal of Ojibway life during the times of fur traders. His overall tone is very straight-forward and "this happened that way, and that is how it is." It was funny, sad, spiritual, and just a jouney from start to finish. I loved it.
Jan 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, history
I liked this despite it being repetitive(many accounts of hunting expeditions with total number of each animal killed) and sometimes incomprehensible writing/language. Fascinating and un-romanticized account of Indian life circa early 1800s.
Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
It was ok. That's about all I can say. :-)
Sherri Anderson
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic and a great read. I can't keep it on the shelf in my store. It has great details of the people and area during the fur trade. It was hard to put down.
Sep 07, 2010 is currently reading it
Reading Tanner's autobiography of life with the Ojibwe in northern Michigan.
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dry, but totally fascinating at the same time.
Mae Cannon
Dec 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Historians of American History
Recommended to Mae by: Alan Taylor
This was a great first-hand account of an Indian captive narrative. I enjoyed the descriptions and detail, but there is not a plot or major storyline.
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