OVERRIDE

Blindsided

Surviving a Grizzly Attack and Still Loving the Great Bear

Jim Cole with Tim Vandehey

St. Martin's Press

Jim Cole has spent years tramping into the depths of places like Alaska, Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park in search of grizzlies, seeing these magnificent, powerful and reclusive animals at their most unguarded—foraging, fishing, caring for cubs, or simply lying in the backcountry sunshine. At times, he’s been surrounded by dozens of bears deep in the wilderness, yet has never felt threatened by these incredible and misunderstood creatures. Even after being mauled by a grizzly in 1993, Jim eagerly trekked annually into the bears’ habitat, armed only with bear spray, his camera, and his knowledge of how to stay safe. But nothing could have prepared him for May 23, 200, when he was attacked in Yellowstone by a mother grizzly who felt that his presence threatened her cub. The bear literally ripped off most of his face, blinded him in one eye, and savaged him nearly to the point of death. Jim was left sightless, bleeding, wounded and alone in the wilderness. He managed to find his way several miles through the wild country back to a main road, where passersby found him. In part, Blindsided is a gripping, detailed account of that fateful day—how Jim survived an assault by one of the most unstoppable predators on earth and managed to carry himself to safety despite his gruesome injuries. It’s also the story of how he recovered with the help and support of friends, family and a dedicated medical team, but perhaps most importantly, the book is a love story between and man and animal, a clear-eyed and affectionate look at the marvel that is the grizzly bear—its astonishing habits and intelligence, the threats it faces at the hand of man, and its hopes for the future.

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    Part personal memoir, part natural history, BLINDSIDED tells the story of Jim Cole's almost fatal grizzly attack that left him blind in one eye and disfigured. It is an adventure story, a cautionary tale, but also a tribute to the wild grizzlies of America and an appeal to saving their habitat and species.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Blindsided

"While Blindsided vividly portrays researcher Jim Cole's amazing survival and recovery from a surprise grizzly bear attack, what impressed me the most is his passion for the bears and wilderness.  His story of retiring from real estate for a life of outdoor research and advocacy inspired me to fill two pages at the back of the book with a list of my own dreams and goals for the next twenty years. Blindsided will entertain, educate, and inspire you too.”--Aron Ralston, author of Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Blindsided is hardly your typical 'bear chew' book. Rather than demonizing grizzlies and dwelling on lurid details, two-time mauling survivor Jim Cole offers a compelling, positive narrative that transports the reader into a landscape where the great bear reigns. Rich in detail, woven from years of personal experience, Cole's story is a rare tale of high adventure, redemption, and tolerance.”--Nick Jans, author of The Grizzly Maze: Timothy Treadwell's Fatal Obsession With Alaskan Bears

“Blindsided demonstrates that Jim Cole is a man of almost unimaginable courage.  That he still loves grizzly bears after twice very nearly losing his life to one demonstrates even more vividly that he is a person of almost inconceivable goodness of heart.”--Thomas McNamee, author of The Grizzly Bear and The Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone

“At Camp Menominee in Wisconsin, ten-year-old Jim Cole was terrified by a black bear that galloped through the camp. Did that change his life? It did, but not in the way you’d expect. He devoted his adult life to tracking and photographing grizzly bears in the backcountry of the American West. He has been attacked twice, and nearly killed the second time. Did that change his life? Of course it did; he admired the great bears even more, and wrote this incredible book about his obsession. Will he be attacked again? Read on.”-- Richard Ellis, author of On Thin Ice: The Changing World of the Polar Bear

Blindsided touches on the same issues that face the African lion today. The primal fear humans have of bears and lions causes a huge amount of hysteria that is only stirred up further when the media gets a whiff of a mauling. The facts get distorted and all the good work done by people who are trying to protect these majestic creatures gets undone. I whole-heartedly agree with Jim Cole that education programs need to target the youth who are the future protectors of our wildlife. We need to explain to them that wild animals such as the grizzly are not crazed, mindless, man-eating predators, such as the media and feature films made about them would have us believe. People who love animals and ‘against all odds’ stories are sure to enjoy this book.”--Kevin Richardson, author of Part of the Pride

 “Blindsided is a gripping read.  Jim Cole’s honesty and thoughtfulness shine through and you can’t help yourself caring deeply about this man and his mission.  When I read the section dealing with the second grizzly bear attack, I found myself actually saying a prayer for Jim. This book is more than just an account of two grizzly bear attacks, it is a celebration of a life.”--Michael J. Tougias, survival expert and author of Fatal Forecast, Ten Hours Until Dawn, and Overboard!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jim Cole with Tim Vandehey

  • JIM COLE is an author, photographer, teacher, and musician. He has logged over 27,000 backcountry miles in his personal quest to learn the truths about the great bears. Jim lives in Bozeman, Montana.
  • Jim Cole Bob Strand
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Available Formats and Book Details

Blindsided

Surviving a Grizzly Attack and Still Loving the Great Bear

Jim Cole with Tim Vandehey

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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