Book Review: American Buffalo

November Book Review by Jeremy Krones

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon

By Steven Rinella

If there were ever a book to which everyone could relate a least a little bit, it would be American Buffalo, by Steven Rinella.

Rinella is a nationally-recognized conservationist, with a hit TV show, podcast, and multiple texts to his name. This memoir is a mix of his journey learning about the American buffalo and preparing and executing a hunt of his own in central Alaska, and the cultural and ecological history of the animal that was once ubiquitous in nearly all of North America. He chronicles personal experiences, well-known events, and the long ecological history of Bison bison in North America over the last 6 million years.

The two main complains are that Rinella tried too hard to fit all of his information into the mere 250 pages of the book, and there were times when his information was either not explanative enough or too confusing overall. The other was that while he has a very vivid writing style, his use of metaphors and similes were sometimes superfluous. Just describing the forest as a what it is works equally as well.

In any case, this book was well-received by the Diablo Trust Book Club and we highly recommend it to hunters, hikers, ecologists, historians, anthropologists, ranchers, and everybody else!