The Revenant

the revenant

The Revenant by Michael Punke 


Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Magical Coffee Cups

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From Goodreads:

The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is among the company’s finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two company men are dispatched to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies. When the men abandon him instead, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge. With shocking grit and determination, Glass sets out, crawling at first, across hundreds of miles of uncharted American frontier. Based on a true story, The Revenant is a remarkable tale of obsession, the human will stretched to its limits, and the lengths that one man will go to for retribution.

Woah, talk about the will to survive.  It’s one of those books where I can’t help but think how I would have died within the first 50 pages.

Like the summary from Goodreads stated, Glass is out for revenge after these men abandon him.  The summary fails to mention, and this is not a spoiler, that these men also stole from him.  They left him in the wilderness without his gun, knife, and other random supplies he would need to fend for himself.  Glass even says in the book that he understood why the company would leave him, he is causing them to slow down and threatening their own survival.  He is mainly upset that they stole from him.  His will to survive is based almost entirely on his need to get his stuff back and take revenge on the men who took said stuff.

If you think about it, he should really thank these men.  I don’t know if he would have had this much drive without his goal of revenge.  Ummm. . . check out this quote:

“He vowed to survive, if for no other reason than to visit vengeance on the men who betrayed him. “

And this one

Fitzgerald and Bridger had acted deliberately, robbed him of the few possessions he might have used to save himself.  And in stealing from him this opportunity, they had killed him.  Murdered him, as surely as a knife in the heart or a bullet in the brain.  Murdered him, except he would not die.  Would not die, he vowed, because he would live to kill his killers.”

I both loved and hated the violence and gruesomeness of this book.  I liked to say that I learned some survival skills because of this book but that would be a lie.  The detailed descriptions of hunting, fire building, and boat making read like some kind of boy scout manual but I would not be able to recreate any of these amazing feats.

I really don’t know how I feel about this book.  It was a remarkable tale of survival and revenge but it was also packed full of gross descriptions of injuries and sickness.  Because of the survival tale, I would highly recommend this book.  Because of the gross injuries, I would say you might want to avoid the movie- regardless of how good looking Leonardo DiCaprio happens to be.

*If you have seen this movie, let me know if it is as gross as I am assuming it to be.  I really want to see it but I can’t stand gross.*



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