Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
1. a person who returns.
2. a person who returns as a spirit after death; ghost.
Author: Michael Punke
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
A thrilling tale of betrayal and revenge set against the nineteenth-century American frontier, the astonishing story of real-life trapper and frontiersman Hugh Glass.
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.
I don’t wanna sound shallow but I picked this only because of Leaonardo Dicaprio, obviously.
The true story of Hugh Glass and the near death experience of his encounter with a grizzly in the year 1823 comes alive in both the written pages and the movie, The Revenant, that has been inspire by it.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Michael Punke details the ordeals of a man, stranded in the icy mountains, alone and unarmed, wounded and abandoned, betrayed, in a fictionalized story of (supposed) revenge and of survival, perseverance and human endurance against insurmountable odds in the American wilderness.
The story is a simple one.
The frustrating necessity of delay was like water on the hot iron of his determination—hardening it, making it unmalleable. He vowed to survive, if for no other reason than to visit vengeance on the men who betrayed him.
Upon finishing it, however, I came to the conclusion that the subtitle “A Novel of Revenge” was not well suited, because there was no trace of the kind of revenge I or even Glass himself would’ve liked to see enacted, but I guess it is a more realistic rendition of vengeance and justice in the non-fictionalized context known as Life…
You read right:
NO REVENGE IN A NOVEL THAT IS SUBTITLED AS :A NOVEL OF REVENGE!
Personally, I’d have subtitled this book: Man Gets Mad Pissed Because They Steal His Rifle, Not So Much Because They Leave Him To Die.
Because sometimes it seemed to me that Glass wanted to survive just for the rifle and Fitzgerald obviously did what he did because he wanted the rifle.
The rifle should’ve been given main-character-status.
Also, Glass is the classic example of an hypocrite, as he himself was wanting another to leave a wounded comrade.
You know, pal, for some aspects, you had it coming.
For my tastes, it gets a little too descriptive and the details are almost painstaking at times, thus giving the story a sometimes snoring-slow pace (i.e. how to build a mouse hole trap), which, however, does not aplly to the story in itself since the action was constant. As a Goodreads user aptly put it “instead of running, it takes after its main character and crawls”.
The PoVs switch spasmodically which makes it all difficult to follow: we’re in Hugh Glass’ head one paragraph, then Fitzgerald’s the next, back and forth, another dude chimes in, la-di-da.
The scene thrown in at the ending, though, sealed The Revenant‘s book fate for me: it was terribly cliché and boringly anti-climatic. Hugh Glass’s struggle for revenge was a terrific buildup only to be deflated in the final pages in such a disappointing manner.
Reading The Revenant confirmed to me what I already knew: I am not really into westerns!
But all things considered, it is a pretty decent Man VS Nature/EndlessBadSituations Story.
Entertaining, but I wouldn’t read it again any time soon.
Fun read, but by no means a great piece of literature.
ABOUT THE MOVIE
The Revenant makes for one of those instances where the movie turns out to be far better than the book.
As it is, they have very little in common. Apart from the bear scene, book and movie couldn’t be any more different! No surprise elements for those who, like me, read and then watch.
Leonardo di Caprio is, as always, superb in his interpretation. I’d really not begrudge him a well-deserved Oscar, but I forsee yet another tough challange since Eddie Redmayne was amazing in The Danish Girl.
My thumbs are crossed, though!
Tom Hardy is hot as f**k.
I know that his level of über-hotness has nothing to do with the quality of the movie or with his talent – he does a pretty great job interpreting that jackass Fitzgerald – I’m just saying that he is, as alway, hot as f**k.
If you are interested in the historically documented events of Hugh Glass’s life, click here to read Historynet’s
“Hugh Glass: The Truth Behind the Revenant Legend”
MORE BOOKS ABOUT HUGH GLASS:
LORD GRIZZLY by FREDERICK MANFRED
Hunter, trapper, resourceful fighter, and scout, Hugh Glass was just another rugged mountain man until he was mauled by a grizzly bear and left for dead by his best friends. They never expected to see him again. But they did, and he was not just Hugh Glass any more. He was Lord Grizzly.
THE SAGA OF HUGH GLASS: PIRATE, PAWNEE AND MOUNTAIN MAN by JOHN MYERS MYERS
Before his most fabulous adventure, Hugh Glass was captured by the buccaneer Jean Lafitte and turned pirate himself until his first chance to escape. Soon he fell prisoner to the Pawnees and lived for four years as one of them before he managed to make his way to St. Louis. Next he joined a group of trappers to open up the fur-rich, Indian-held territory of the Upper Missouri River. Then unfolds the legend of a man who survived under impossible conditions: robbed and left to die by his comrades, he struggled alone, unarmed, and almost mortally wounded through two thousand miles of wilderness.
THE SONG OF HUGH GLASS by JOHN G. NEIHARDT
The Song of Hugh Glass – The true story that inspired The Revenant
The story begins in 1823, following fur trappers in the frozen lands around the Missouri river. Badly mauled by a bear whilst out trapping, Hugh Glass is left in a coma, and when his trapping party move out of the area, two men volunteer to watch over him while nature takes its course – he will either recover or die. However, alone in the wilderness while Glass clings to life these men lose heart, and abandon him, convinced he will die anyway.
Yet they had not banked on his strength. Glass awakes, alone and horribly injured but still alive, and proceeds to crawl 200 miles on a broken leg to seek his vengeance on the men who betrayed his care.
Originally written and published in 1915 as part of the Cycle of the West, this wonderfully readable work encapsulates an astonishing moment in American history.
HUGH GLASS by BRUCE BRADLEY
He was a white man, whose story was so powerful that it became a tradition among the Indians of the American Plains…
In 1817, after living most of his thirty-seven years as a normal seaman, Hugh Glass was given the choice to join a pirate crew or die. From that moment on, his life was an adventure that ranged from the edges of the Caribbean to the heart of the American wilderness. Hugh Glass is the incredible true story of one man, whose courage and will to live despite all odds is a testimony to anyone who ever face peril and adversity.
READ IT AS A COMPANION TO The Revenant:
In the remote winter landscape a brutal massacre and the kidnapping of a young Iroquois girl violently re-ignites a deep rift between two tribes. The girl’s captor, Bird, is one of the Huron Nation’s great warriors and statesmen. Years have passed since the murder of his family, and yet they are never far from his mind. In the girl, Snow Falls, he recognizes the ghost of his lost daughter, but as he fights for her heart and allegiance, small battles erupt into bigger wars as both tribes face a new, more dangerous threat from afar.
Traveling with the Huron is Christophe, a charismatic missionary who has found his calling among the tribe and devotes himself to learning and understanding their customs and language. An emissary from distant lands, he brings much more than his faith to this new world, with its natural beauty and riches.
As these three souls dance with each other through intricately woven acts of duplicity, their social, political and spiritual worlds collide – and a new nation rises from a world in flux.