Meat Eater by Steven Rinella Book Summary
“Revelatory . . . With every chapter, you get a history lesson, a hunting lesson, a nature lesson and a cooking lesson. . . . Meat Eater offers an overabundance to savor.”—The New York Times Book Review
Steven Rinella grew up in Twin Lake, Michigan, the son of a hunter who taught his three sons to love the natural world the way he did. As a child, Rinella devoured stories of the American wilderness, especially the exploits of his hero, Daniel Boone. He began fishing at the age of three and shot his first squirrel at eight and his first deer at thirteen. He chose the colleges he went to by their proximity to good hunting ground, and he experimented with living solely off wild meat. As an adult, he feeds his family from the food he hunts.
Meat Eater chronicles Rinella’s lifelong relationship with nature and hunting through the lens of ten hunts, beginning when he was an aspiring mountain man at age ten and ending as a thirty-seven-year-old Brooklyn father who hunts in the remotest corners of North America. He tells of having a struggling career as a fur trapper just as fur prices were falling; of a dalliance with catch-and-release steelhead fishing; of canoeing in the Missouri Breaks in search of mule deer just as the Missouri River was freezing up one November; and of hunting the elusive Dall sheep in the glaciated mountains of Alaska.
Through each story, Rinella grapples with themes such as the role of the hunter in shaping America, the vanishing frontier, the ethics of killing, the allure of hunting trophies, the responsibilities that human predators have to their prey, and the disappearance of the hunter himself as Americans lose their connection with the way their food finds its way to their tables. Hunting, he argues, is intimately connected with our humanity; assuming responsibility for acquiring the meat that we eat, rather than entrusting it to proxy executioners, processors, packagers, and distributors, is one of the most respectful and exhilarating things a meat eater can do.
A thrilling storyteller with boundless interesting facts and historical information about the land, the natural world, and the history of hunting, Rinella also includes after each chapter a section of “Tasting Notes” that draws from his thirty-plus years of eating and cooking wild game, both at home and over a campfire. In Meat Eater he paints a loving portrait of a way of life that is part of who we are as humans and as Americans.
Praise for Meat Eater
“Full of empathy and intelligence . . . In some sections of the book, the author’s prose is so engrossing, so riveting, that it matches, punch for punch, the best sports writing.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Steven Rinella is one of the best nature writers of the last decade. . . . This book was a page-turner.”—Tim Ferris
“Rinella’s writing is unerringly smart, direct, and sharply detailed.”—The Boston Globe
“A unique and valuable alternate view of where our food comes from.”—Anthony Bourdain
Meat Eater (Steven Rinella) Book Reviews
Best book I have readAwesome book.Score: 5/5
FANTASTICInvaluable information, stories that make you feel like you’re there, and a true outdoorsman. I wish it were longer. Onto the next book!.Score: 5/5
Fantastic Read for ANYONE!I’m no literary critic or journalism major, but I am an avid outdoorsman. As a matter of fact, I’m blessed enough to be writing this review from the beautiful rolling hills of central Mississippi on my hunting property. (Sitting in my camper listening to the wind buffeting and swirling while wearing a brimmed beanie.) Believe it or not, several months ago, a friend who has never taken an animal as his prey contacted me and told me I had to watch Meateater on Netflix. I obliged and was instantly hooked. To watch an outdoorsman “celebrity” who actually puts out a product that allows the outdoors to be the star is genuinely refreshing. After watching all I could I had to find more. I couldn’t put the book down. In a way, the words describing the events seemed more vivid than watching the show in HD. I finished the book some time ago and do apologize for just now getting to the review. I’ve since subscribed to the Meateater podcast and have, on many occasions, been scolded by friends and family to take the earbuds out and pay attention to my immediate surroundings. Tangent: I was able to harvest my first legitimate whitetail with a bow opening day this season. After cleaning the heart and wrapping it in in caul fat, I roasted it to a beautiful dark brown and relished as I dined on the flesh as well as the majesty. You’ve added flavor and depth to my outdoor experiences, and for that I am grateful. Rather than it being all about the kill, you show the world that the true outdoorsman does it for the pursuit, harvest, care and consumption. Your intelligent discussion and delivery on ALL topics involving the outdoors, including engaging criticism and naysayers, is what we need more of as an outdoor community. Please continue to explore the last wild places on the planet and let us know what they look like, feel like and taste like. There is no one doing it better..Score: 5/5
IncredibleI’m from the western part of Colorado and I’ve been around hunting all my life and never thought much of the activity. Since watching Meat Eater on Netflix I have been absolutely fascinated with the history and the question and answers that come with hunting. Steve Rinella is amazing at fueling my understanding and desire to know more. This book is nothing less and even more than what I expected from him. A fantastic guy and a fantastic book. Even if you don’t enjoy the concept of hunting of have some kind of distain for the sport and those who partake, read this book. Not to change you mind but to grow in knowledge and understanding of the hunters mind and the reason conservationist like Steve Rinella do what they do. And if you’re a hunter and haven’t bought this book yet, what are you doing?! It’s Fantastic!.Score: 5/5
Well said...An intelligent argument supporting the time honored tradition/lifestyle of hunting and how that can hone personal relationships and growth. A refreshing, unapologetic message from Rinnella that would be effective at causing most anti hunters to pause and reassess their position, given they would simply read it..Score: 5/5
Bravo.. Epic book.Must read.Score: 5/5
Awesom readFor anyone who loves the outdoors, give this a read and you’ll find yourself lost in the great outdoors with Steve and his adventures.Score: 5/5
Thank youGreat book.Score: 5/5
Loved it!!!I read this book right after reading American Buffalo and I liked it just as well! I wish Steven Rinella had more books!.Score: 5/5
Thee best podcast ever🤙🏻.Score: 5/5
Meat Eater!Steve does a wonderful job of taking you along with him on his awesome journeys. A feeling of jealousy comes with each chapter! He also goes at great lengths to share his wonderful stories in a way that could better help a non-hunter understand his passion. All in all, a great read!.Score: 5/5
ExcellentWell written ..Score: 5/5
Killer bookLoved this book. Also love his other books and the meat eater show on Netflix. The meat eater podcast is fantastic as well..Score: 5/5
Great BookGreat.Score: 5/5
Great read.Enjoyed each chapter with a little personal story, history lesson, and meal preparation ideas. Recommend the book for anyone.Score: 5/5
Insightful and well done.I keep up with Steven Rinella in his podcasts and Meateater shows, but this was the first book of his that I’ve read aside from the cookbook. His gift for story telling and ability to convey the philosophical struggles of the modern hunter make this a fun and rewarding read..Score: 5/5
Great BookThis was a great book to read. Steven did a great job painting a story. It felt as if I was with him on every hunt. I learned, laughed, and was entertained. Looking to read the next book I can find by Steven Rinella..Score: 5/5
Great bookAnother great read by Steven Rinella. He puts into words what it is like to be a true hunter in this day and age. If you enjoy his show you will not be disappointed in his writing. If you liked this book mad have not read American Buffalo. Do yourself a favor and pick it up..Score: 5/5
Every boy's dream!At some point growing up as boy we all wonder what it would be like to live off the land. All the trips he has taken have all been fantasies of young boys growing up. Not being able to take those trips or live that way, this took me right back to my childhood pretending I was along for the trips. Great read.Score: 4/5
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Awesome bookGreat stories and tons of hunting knowledge.Score: 5/5
Loved itSteven Rinella really knows how to tell a story!.Score: 5/5
Great stories and great informationSteve didn't let me down on this one. I enjoyed every minute of it!.Score: 5/5
AwesomeSimply a great informative book..Score: 5/5
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