Synopses & Reviews
When residents of Boulder, Colorado, suddenly began to see mountain lions in their backyards, it became clear that the cats had returned after decades of bounty hunting had driven them far from human settlement. In a riveting environmental tale that has received huge national attention, journalist David Baron traces the history of the mountain lion and chronicles one town's tragic effort to coexist with its new neighbors.
As thought-provoking as it is harrowing, The Beast in the Garden is a tale of nature corrupted, the clash between civilization and wildness, and the artificiality of the modern American landscape. It is, ultimately, a book about the future of our nation, where suburban sprawl and wildlife-protection laws are pushing people and wild animals into uncomfortable, sometimes deadly proximity.
"[C]ompelling, tightly written....Baron's journalistic background is evident; he includes a remarkable amount of human detail that makes this nonfiction account read like a true-crime thriller." Denver Post
"A gripping tale of human naiveté, misguided intentions, and conventional wisdom gone awry. It reads like a novel, but is all true." Howard Berkes, National Public Radio
"Baron's genuine interest in the topic makes The Beast in the Garden an interesting, educational read." Seattle Times
"A fascinating read." Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
"The intelligent complexity of Baron's book is refreshing and necessary....An extraordinary achievement." Gordon Grice, author of The Red Hourglass
"In his first book, Baron, a longtime science reporter for National Public Radio, argues that there's nothing natural about the predation of Homo sapiens by cougars. Rather, humans are unwittingly teaching mountain lions to be more of a threat to us. The Beast in the Garden
is told like a whodunit, in reverse." Katharine Mieszkowski, Salon.com
(read the entire Salon.com review
The true tale of an edenic Rocky Mountain town and what transpired when a predatory species returned to its ancestral home. When, in the late 1980s, residents of Boulder, Colorado, suddenly began to see mountain lions in their yards, it became clear that the cats had repopulated the land after decades of persecution. Here, in a riveting environmental fable that recalls Peter Benchley's thriller Jaws, journalist David Baron traces the history of the mountain lion and chronicles Boulder's effort to coexist with its new neighbors. A parable for our times, The Beast in the Garden is a scientific detective story and a real-life drama, a tragic tale of the struggle between two highly evolved predators: man and beast.
"Reads like a crime novel . . . each chapter ends on a cliff-hanging note."--
About the Author
David Baron, an award-winning journalist, reports on science for National Public Radio. He lives in Boston and Boulder.