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Tarka the Otter (Puffin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Henry Williamson , Annabel Large
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: £6.99
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Book Description

29 Jun 1995 Puffin Modern Classics
The classic story of an otter living in the Devonshire countryside which captures the feel of life in the wild as seen through the otter's own eyes.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Classics; New Ed edition (29 Jun 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140366210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140366211
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 12.5 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Henry Williamson is regarded by many as Britain's finest nature writer. He was born in London in 1895 but his work is rooted in the north Devon countryside where he went to live after being deeply affected by his experiences in the First World War. He published some fifty books, a mix of country stories, most famously Tarka the Otter and Salar the Salmon, and autobiographical fiction, including the fifteen-volume novel cycle, A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight. He died in 1977.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Twilight over meadow and water, the eve-star shining above the hill, and Old Nog the heron crying kra-a-ark! as his slow dark wings carried him down to the estuary. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and moving book 21 Nov 2008
By Wombat
Format:Paperback
I remember reading this book when quite young - maybe 9 or so - and being extremely upset by the ending. I have since revisited it as an adult and was struck by what a beautiful book it really is. It is full of joy and wonder, as well as death, sadness and brutality - the latter made even worse by its almost casual nature. It's an exquisite portrait of a vanished time, seen from Tarka's viewpoint.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Run Tarka, Run... 13 Sep 2011
By Bridgey
Format:Paperback
Been meaning to read this book for years. Finally got around to it after I saw a copy going cheap.

The novel tells the trials faced by an otter in the Devonshire countryside.

Taka is born 1 of 3 cubs, practically as soon as he is born he begins to recognise the dangers that will dictate and eventually end his life.

The book explores nature and the harshness encountered through both the wild and also mans interference. Nothing is left out or to the imagination. Often harrowing, the story details Tarka's constant battle with the otter hounds, and in particular their fearsome leader Deadlock.

In many ways Williamson's bleak writing of the English countryside reminded me of Cormac Macarthy, in particular the Orchard Keeper.

The only reason I gave this book 4 stars, not 5, is that the local dialect used for various landscape features got a bit tiresome and repetitive.

All in all, a very good read, but also a sad one which causes the reader to reflect on mans wrongful treatment of nature more than any other book I have read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tarka The Otter 16 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback
I remember reading this book when i was young about 7 - 8 years old and after my boss saying that she just recently read it, i decided to re-read it and it brought back so many memories. Its a beautiful book which your imagination can get lost in and you can picture how otters would be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tales from the River Bank 12 Feb 2012
By Stewart M TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
From the very start it is clear that this is a book based on hours of observation, of close attention to detail and a keen eye.

The descriptions of the Otter's eye view of the Devon countryside rings very true; the plants, the birds and other animals occur exactly where they should be and the author clearly has a feel for water.

The otters in the book, especially Tarka, seem both real and fantastical at the same time - brave, cunning, highly intelligent and remarkably resolute. Whether this is a true reflection of the biological otter is a matter for debate, but the whole the book feels more believable than mythical.

The story is told in a simple and straight forward manner, and for all that the otters become somewhat humanised the story is far from romantic. The death of the otters at the hands of otter hunters in brutal, and their casual disregard for other living things is clearly shown.

This is a sympathetic portrait of otters and an honest, but not flattering, one of humans.

`Animal stories' of this type do feel rather old fashioned, but the detail of the observation lifts this book above the ordinary.

Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece 5 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
As a child, the film adaptation of the classic novel had a massive effect on me and ever since it has been an ambition of mine to read the source material. I certainly wasn't disappointed. The book is both stunningly beautiful and brutal, with Williamson not afraid to shy away from certain gory details that were part of life as an Otter living during the early 20th century.

Thankfully, Otters are no longer subjected to such regular persecution but Henry Williamson gives us a captivating historical insight into rural England. A must read.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragedy of Man despoiling paradise 28 Sep 1999
Format:Paperback
The natural history of Devon as a minutely detailed backcloth to the tragic existence of a fine animal.Feel the joy of knowing that such a world existed, experience the shame of its being squandered and wring your emotions at the meeting of Tarka with the pathetic remains of his only son
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
lovely heart warming story
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tarka the gift 5 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought as a stocking filler. I've read this as a child & wanted to pass it on. This book arrived in perfect condition, is well made, with easy to read, clearly defined print.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good.
Published 2 months ago by TL
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent
Published 2 months ago by Silva
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting tale
Tarka the Otter is probably the most famous of Henry Williamson's books. This edition is especially nice because of the beautiful illustrations.
Published 11 months ago by Patricia Millar
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Very beautiful descriptions, very cute pictures. I can feel the warmth of his words and I can clearly imagine the whole scene. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Miss A. Apostol
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
loved this book when i first read it its beautifully written and conjours up some beautiful images in your minds eye
Published 14 months ago by nigel
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book. This was my husband's favourite book, so I bought it for my daughter who loved it, so did I..
Published 19 months ago by Mrs Mary Sloman
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry Williamson
Simply, one of the greatest books ever written, by one of the greatest writers in the English language.A masterpiece of observation! "He could see and he could write!"
Published 19 months ago by Ron
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely tale about a charming animal
Sent this to a friend whose children have adopted an otter. Trust they will love it, and become fascinated in the natural world
Published 19 months ago by Fiona
5.0 out of 5 stars All time classic
Revisiting my own childhood memories with this book. Forgotten how 'wordy' it is especially the first few chapters that set the scene. Read more
Published 22 months ago by J. N. Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarka the Otter
Tarka is set back in the days when otter hunting was still permitted. While this sounds and was very cruel, we need to remember that at that time people had little or no... Read more
Published on 19 Aug 2012 by Clare O'Beara
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