Night of the Grizzlies

  • by Jack Olsen
  • Narrated by Kevin Pierce
  • 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Jack Olsen's true account, traces the causes of the tragic night in August 1967 when two separate and unrelated campers, a distance apart, were savagely mangled and killed by enraged bears.

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The night the bears lost their fear of humans

Jack Olsen, the legendary reporter, delivers a superbly crafted non-fiction account of a night of unprecedented violence, that is also a meditation on Man's humanity, and our relationship with the environment. The first part of the book is a comprehensive description of Glacier National Park, and the flora and fauna that inhabit it. This sets the tone of the book. One can hear the birdsong, the splash of rippling waters, feel the frigid cold of the altitude, smell the scents of pine and loam. And we're presented with descriptions of the difficult, short lives of the beasts that live there.

The second act focuses on people who live in the park; grandfathered in because their homesteads existed before the park became a national park, the hikers, fishermen and rangers that enjoy and protect it. Then a long section on the history of bears in North America, the Black Bear, the now extinct Golden Bear, and Ursus Horribilis, the Grizzly bear. (No mention of a polar bear--though). The second act rises in tension as rogue bears begin to behave very oddly. The fear mechanism that has prevented Grizzly bears from attacking humans for almost 60 years of Park history is beginning to fade, and the bears are becoming bolder, and more aggressive. And it's not just one. It's as though a bear group-think has occurred, and they've told each other they're mad as hell and they're not going to take it any more. The third act is a description of the atrocities that occurred that night, and the human reaction to it. It is by turns terrifying and deeply emotional.

Kevin Pierce narrates with just the right tone of authority and passion. Like his earlier books that I've heard: the Bundy Murders, and the Black Dahlia Avenger, Mr. Pierce has a special sensitivity for the plight of victims. He humanizes them and gives their stories dimension and impact. I found myself tearing up several times. The Night of the Grizzlies is a really great story, and an important story, told by two masterful storytellers.
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- Michael

Just like you are THERE!

Would you consider the audio edition of Night of the Grizzlies to be better than the print version?

It was like listening to a very REAL campfire story--a great way to hear the tale.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Night of the Grizzlies?

As a camper and hiker and someone who has lived in Alaska, I truly appreciated the ENTIRE STORY. There were so many great moments…don't want to give any spoilers. But here's one: at the end when The Journalist gets outraged about killing one of The Grizzly's Cubs, he unsheathes his knife which he flings to the ground and yells, "Dammit, the cubs would not come around if you just stopped feeding them!" Pretty much sums up the whole book. Also, I truly appreciated all the changes that came about from the deaths of the campers.


What about Kevin Pierce’s performance did you like?

LOVED the narrator and his deep piercing voice.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

ABSOLUTELY!!!! I didn't want to to end! : (


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- Sandra

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-10-2014
  • Publisher: Crime Rant Classics and Notorious USA