• The Revenant

  • A Novel of Revenge
  • By: Michael Punke
  • Narrated by: Holter Graham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (8,799 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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.

©2002 Michael Punke (P)2014 Macmillan Audio

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What listeners say about The Revenant

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It Was A Good Death...almost

Reading the account of the bear attack, I couldn't help but think of the almost silly slow motion battle between Tristan (Brad Pitt) and the monstrous grizzly bear (Bart the bear) at the end of Legends of the Fall. Apparently the trained stunt bear, Bart, thought the two were just rough housing and the clip had to be tweaked to make it appear the grizzly was the killer that would give Tristan his "good death."

Working for Capt. Andrew Henry as a member of the Rocky Mountain Fur Co., Hugh Glass is sent out scouting the uncharted hostile territory along the tributaries of the Missouri River. The trapper is startled when a pair of frolicking bear cubs tumbles onto his path, their notoriously protective mother just a few yards behind. Faced with a charging mother grizzly, Glass knows that no matter how many bullets he can fire into the animal with his 1822 model rifle, he is facing certain death -- he draws his knife and braces for the blow of a massive paw.

Glass is mortally wounded; Capt. Henry and the trapping party begin to dig his grave. After days of caring for the dying man, Capt. Henry decides he is losing money and time and leaves two men behind to bury the body; a cold-blooded cutthroat John Fitzgerald, and the young Jim Bridger. Seeing hostile Indians nearby, Fitzgerald forces Bridger to leave with him, taking the dying man's weapons as they leave.

Against all odds, Glass does survive, and swears to kill the two men that left him defenseless, to die. Unable to walk, Glass begins his mission of revenge on hands and knees in what is a mind boggling account of survival and perseverance. Author Punke writes a riveting tale in the style of great westerns, based on the true story of Hugh Glass. The supporting characters are diverse and colorful pieces of the American Frontier. I couldn't put the book down (audible talk for couldn't disengage from my ipod) until I finished the story.

As a narrator, Graham did a good job bringing the characters to life. His depiction of young Bridger tended to be jerky and halted, and therefore a little distracting at times, but not enough to spoil the novel for me. For fans of the American Western, you can't go wrong with this piece of absorbing historical fiction.
*[I noticed a publish date of 2002 and found that this has been reprinted. It is probably no coincidence that the movie version is scheduled for release Dec. of 2015, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.]

56 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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solid entertainment

I don't know why a previous reviewer was bashing the narrator..i thought he did a fine job. Based on that one review I hesitated to purchase this book. I'm glad I got past my initial misgivings. Give this book a listen. In my opinion this is a very solid 4/5 Star book.

47 people found this helpful

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Great story of survival and revenge

Great book, even for a reader/listener usually drawn to stories set in the present-day or future. Reluctant to buy my first "western," I'm now very glad I gave it a chance. Here, the year is secondary and takes nothing away from the story about survival and revenge. I also enjoyed the narrator - which is critical. I often search for and choose books based, in part, on the narrator's identity. Thanks to both.

33 people found this helpful

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Powerful story of revenge and salvation

This novelization of the true tale of trapper Hugh Glass is a first rate yarn about a man left to die in the wilderness and his determination to survive. The writing is superb and the narration is excellent. Glass' story was the basis of "Man in the Wilderness" starring Richard Harris and will soon be a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio as the lead. Before you see either film listen to this book. You won't regret it.

32 people found this helpful

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Surprisingly addictive.

I had no idea if I'd enjoy this but I saw it was being made into a film by a director I liked so I wanted to "read" it.

I became totally addicted. I love the story and the rich history around it all. The narrator was awesome and it helped the story so much especially the accents he does.

Really sad it's over. What do I do now??

27 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Revenge is a dish that tastes best cold!

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?
- Edgar Allan Poe

So, I did this totally proper like. I read the book first. Untainted by the movie and then went to see the movie. The book was good. It was interesting and had great characters. The writing was ok. Perhaps, I've read too many good Western/Frontier novels (Blood Meridian, Butcher's Crossing, etc.], so a 3.5 star book isn't going to thrill me. It read like an older, slightly wiser awkward brother to My Side of the Mountain, Deathwatch, and seriously The Princess Bride). My big two beefs with the novel were the prose (again good, just not great) and the ending (meh).

So, this ends up being one of those novels where the movie ends up being more expansive and beautiful and perhaps, yes, artful than the original book. Part of that is due to Punke trying to at lest stay close to original events. He was clear when he deviated from the history (in the historical note) and because of this, it didn't crescendo and payoff like the movie. The movie ended up being more violent than the book (yes, the book was violent, but in a more contained way). The movie was like some weird mash-up/hybrid/mongrel of Werner Herzog and Terrence Malick. The visuals were amazing. But nature is a cold bitch for sure.

I have to admit I am more fascinated by the fact that Michael Punke is Obama's Ambassador to the WTO and Deputy US Trade Representative. The guy couldn't tour with Picador's new printing/edition of the novel, couldn't go to the LA premier of the movie. He can't even really talk about the novel or the movie because of Federal ethics rules prohibit pimping stuff while you work for the Feds. Anyway, the guy is 10 years older than me, and first published this novel about 14+ years ago. Anyway, I end up being just as fascinated with the author's story, the story of the real Hugh Glass, and the way the book intersects and differs from the movie MORE than I was impressed by the actual book. So I guess there is THAT.

25 people found this helpful

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Wow. What a Ride

Any additional comments?

This story is interesting in and of itself. I mean a bear attacking a man in the wilderness who's buddies leave him for dead, but he's not. Interesting plot. I learned some history of the fur traders which I had known little about. Since the story is based on fact, it made reading more enjoyable. Really shows how hard life was for these men of the American West.
I thought the narrator was good.

22 people found this helpful

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Graham is unbearable

I couldn't listen to this book. Graham's pauses and wild emphasis were so distracting I started the book twice before giving up. It's like listening to Jim Carey read it as Captain Kirk. Graham not being the performer is now the #1 thing I look for in an audiobook.

16 people found this helpful

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Good book, movie better?

I know the movie is not everyone's cup of tea, but I found it very strong and worthy of repeat viewings. Reading the book will certainly enrich my future viewings, of which there will be many. I've already watched it three times. The motivations for revenge are stronger in the film and they took many liberties with additional story elements. This all said, I highly recommended the book to anyone who loves the movie as much as I do and wants to spend more time in that world.

15 people found this helpful

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My review; Enjoyable...very enjoyable.

Like. I was there...!!! Strong people built this country and is a perfect portrayal of the dynamics needed to survive and conquer.

12 people found this helpful