The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge

Overview

AN UNFORGETTABLE NOVEL OF REVENGE, SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, STARRING LEONARDO DICAPRIO

The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Trapping beaver, they contend daily with the threat of Indian tribes turned warlike over the white men’s encroachment on their land, and other prairie foes—like the unforgiving landscape and its creatures. Hugh Glass is among the Company’s finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an ...

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The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge

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Overview

AN UNFORGETTABLE NOVEL OF REVENGE, SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, STARRING LEONARDO DICAPRIO

The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Trapping beaver, they contend daily with the threat of Indian tribes turned warlike over the white men’s encroachment on their land, and other prairie foes—like the unforgiving landscape and its creatures. 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.

The Company’s captain dispatches two of his men to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies, and to give him the respect of a proper burial. When the two men abandon him instead, taking his only means of protecting himself—including his precious gun and hatchet— with them, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge.

With shocking grit and determination, Glass sets out crawling inch by inch across more than three thousand miles of uncharted American frontier, negotiating predators both human and not, the threat of starvation, and the agony of his horrific wounds. In Michael Punke’s hauntingly spare and gripping prose, 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The makings of a western classic, Michael Punke’s novel The Revenant provides muscle and sinew to the vengeful and epic tale of mountain man, Hugh Glass that even a sow Grizzly couldn’t rend asunder.”—Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire novels

“A superb revenge story . . . Punke has added considerably to our understanding of human endurance and of the men who pushed west in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark—a significant feat.”—The Washington Post Book World

“A captivating tale of a singular individual . . . Authenticity is exactly what The Revenant provides, in abundance.”—The Denver Post

“One of the great tales of the nineteenth-century West.”—The Salt Lake Tribune

Library Journal
12/01/2014
The American West of the 1820s is a harsh and unforgiving place, something that experienced trapper and frontiersman Hugh Glass knows all too well. After narrowly surviving an attack by a grizzly bear, Glass is robbed and abandoned by the two men in his company who were charged with watching over him. Left defenseless with life-threatening injuries, Glass channels his need for revenge into a will to live. He survives on his rage, along with his knowledge of edible plants, ingenuity, and a good sense of geography in a largely unmapped land. He encounters trappers, troops, trading-post owners, explorers, and Native Americans, both friendly and antagonistic. Punke, the author of several nonfiction titles (Fire and Brimstone; Last Stand), delivers a gripping and hard-edged tale of survival, revenge, and, ultimately, redemption in his debut novel, first published in 2002 by Carroll & Graf. This volume is a new movie tie-in version. Loosely based on true events, Glass's harrowing journey will keep readers engaged throughout. VERDICT A must-read for fans of Westerns and frontier fiction and recommended for anyone interested in stories that test the limit of how much the human body and spirit can endure. [See Prepub Alert, 9/8/14; a film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy will be released in December 2015.—Ed.].—Sarah Cohn, Manhattan Coll. Lib., Bronx, NY
Publishers Weekly
Based on a true incident of heroism in the history of the American West, this debut by a Washington, D.C., international trade attorney and former bureaucrat in the Clinton administration is an almost painfully gripping drama. A Philadelphia-born adventurer, frontiersman Hugh Glass goes to sea at age 16 and enjoys a charmed life, including several years under the flag of the pirate Jean Lafitte and almost a year as a prisoner of the Loup Pawnee Indians on the plains between the Platte and the Arkansas rivers. In 1822, at age 36, Glass escapes, finds his way to St. Louis and enters the employ of Capt. Andrew Henry, trapping along tributaries of the Missouri River. After surviving months of hardship and Indian attack, he falls victim to a grizzly bear. His throat nearly ripped out, scalp hanging loose and deep slashing wounds to his back, shoulder and thigh, Glass appears to be mortally wounded. Initially, Captain Henry refuses to abandon him and has him carried along the Grand River. Unfortunately, the terrain soon makes transporting Glass impossible. Even though his death seems certain, Henry details two men, a fugitive mercenary, John Fitzgerald, and young Jim Bridger (who lived to become a frontier hero) to stand watch and bury him. After several days, Fitzgerald sights hostile Indians. Taking Glass's rifle and tossing Bridger his knife, Fitzgerald flees with Bridget, leaving Glass. Enraged at being left alone and defenseless, Glass survives against all odds and embarks on a 3,000-mile-long vengeful pursuit of his ignominious betrayers. Told in simple expository language, this is a spellbinding tale of heroism and obsessive retribution. Agent, Tina Bennett, Janklow & Nesbitt. (July) Forecast: Punke's novel is already slated to become a Warner Bros. movie, which could mean big sales down the line. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A debut from Washington, D.C., attorney Punke describes the perilous adventures of a 19th-century frontiersman bent on revenge. Hugh Glass apparently anticipated Horace Greeley's advice about going west and growing up with the country, for that is precisely what he did. The son of a Philadelphia bricklayer, Glass became accustomed to living by his wits as a young man and during the War of 1812 made good money as a blockade-runner. Captured by Jean Lafitte's pirates, however, he was faced with the choice of switching sides or walking the plank. He switched. Eventually he fell into the hands of the Spanish, who tossed him ashore south of Galveston and told him to turn north and keep walking. In Missouri, Glass joined an expedition of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company and, in the novel, travels inland to trap and trade in what, 20 years after Lewis and Clark, is still largely uncharted territory. After being badly mauled by a grizzly bear, Hugh is left in the care of two comrades, John Fitzgerald and Jim Bridger, who quickly decide that he's a goner and not worth waiting for. They take his rifle and knife and abandon him to die alone. Miraculously, however, Glass not only survives but also manages to get back to St. Louis, even though he has to crawl much of the way. After he recuperates, his one thought is of revenge, and he sets out with all the tenacity of a good trapper to hunt down Fitzgerald and Bridger. Like any frontiersman, Hugh finds that he can't hope to survive, much less succeed, without the help of the Indians, and he soon acquires a knowledge of their ways and lore. Eventually, his former betrayers find themselves face to face with a Revenant-a man come back from the dead. A goodadventure yarn, with plenty of historical atmosphere and local color.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250066626
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 1/6/2015
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 297,377
  • Product dimensions: 5.71 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Punke serves as the U.S. Ambassador to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. He has also served on the White House National Security Council staff and on Capitol Hill. He was formerly the history correspondent for Montana Quarterly, and an adjunct professor at the University of Montana. He is the author of Fire and Brimstone: The North Butte Mine Disaster of 1917, and Last Stand: George Bird Grinnell, the Battle to Save the Buffalo, and the Birth of the New West. His family home is in Montana. 

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