Ok, so, oddly enough, I married someone who does not “love” to read. Well, that isn’t entirely true. He enjoys reading non-fiction – almost always Christian – books on growth. All of which are wonderful and from which he has learned a great deal.
But when I come across a story that starts out as exciting as The Revenent: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke, I will inevitably toss it his way. On this particular day, I handed him the book saying, “Just got this and I think you might actually like this one!” He proceeded to take a glance and begin reading. So engrossed was he in the story of Hugh Glass’s betrayal, that he read into the night until he had finished.
Granted this novel is not entirely fiction, the prose is presented in a way that paints an entrancing picture of the mid-western plains in the early frontier more vividly than most historical accounts. As a reader, I was dragged into the burning anger Glass feels towards his betrayers. His plight to regain his health and survive the savage brutality and unpredictability of the Pawnee and other Native American attacks and devastating weather made me ache with cold and twitch at the thought of arrows whizzing past.
Punke includes historical notes at the end of Glass’s story. In these notes, Punke reveals what facts he had researched and which parts of his story were added or changed to complete the tale to the best of his ability. Punke’s version of the Hugh Glass story is not the only account. There are others to be read. This particular version focuses on the revenge that Glass wants to seek against those who abandoned him after being attacked by a grizzly bear. And although the title is “A Novel of Revenge”, I found it to also be a story of redemption and change.
This is an exciting and moving tale of anger, betrayal, surrender and life. The historical nature of Hugh Glass’s story adds a certain sense of intrigue and mystique. The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge is definitely one to be added to the TBR pile! (rated PG-13/borderline R – for graphic violence and brutality)
**Normally I like to recommend a movie if one has been made based on a book. I do NOT wish to do that at this point. I was sadly disappointed in the cinematic adaptation of this story. Feel free to watch it and judge for yourself, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!