The Revenant cover

Review: The Revenant

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge

Author: Michael Punke;The Revenant cover
Narrator: Holter Graham;
Format: Audiobook;
Publisher: McMillan Audio (2012).

I wasn’t familiar with this historical fiction (based on fact) story but saw that it’s out as a film now with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. The story looked interesting and I love American history, so I got it.

Life in America’s western territories in 1823 was rough, and this book cuts no slack on that account. The men in this book are very tough guys, and that’s a good thing. Trappers and hunters in those days had an incredibly difficult life and had to think fast and live hard.

Most of the main characters are based on real people, which added an element of wonder to this story, since none of them had it easy. Our protagonist, Hugh Glass, goes through one disastrous situation after another. It was almost to the point where I muttered to myself, “Not again!” Meanwhile, the bad guy seemed to skate by, relatively, with his immoral, lying existence. The supporting characters weren’t very likable people, either, but they kept the tale interesting and added back-story.

Basically, this is a story of revenge. Glass is left for dead and his inspiration to stay alive and crawl back to what counts as civilization is to receive (or create) justice. His determination is incredible, and what he does to survive is pretty amazing, too. The title of the book refers to his seeming to come back from the dead.

As you can imagine, there’s plenty of violence, but it’s necessary for the story and not gratuitous, in my opinion. No sex, not much bad language, but lots of prejudice, which seemed very authentic to me. There’s even a little humor, and I found myself chuckling a time or two.

Although the plot is extremely simple, I enjoyed the story. It kept me interested throughout and I was curious about how it might end.

Graham’s narration was terrific. (He even sounded like DiCaprio at times, which was a little freaky.) There were some rather abrupt changes in tone which I assume happened while editing the narration. However, it wasn’t enough to throw me off.

Recommended for the adventure lover and history buff.

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