I am not the kind of person who typically reads biographical Western thrillers that take place during the American frontier, but after watching the trailer for Leonardo DiCaprio’s new film, I was highly intrigued.
“The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge,” by Michael Punke, was released in 2002, and it was republished this year in anticipation for the upcoming film adaptation.
The novel is based on the true story of frontiersman Hugh Glass, who was mauled by a bear and left for dead by a couple of his companions, who also steal some of his belongings. What ensues is a twisted and suspenseful tale of revenge.
I had not heard of the story of Glass before reading this book, and by the time I was done, I was in awe of what I read.
Like I said before, it is not the kind of book I would usually read, but it made me want to know even more about its origin story when I finished reading it. I feel as though those are the best books–the ones that make you want to dig even deeper.
As expected, the novel has a lot of Western-style action. We follow Glass across what eventually becomes the Dakota Territory. Along the way to his ultimate goal of vengeance, Glass comes across both allies and enemies, including frontiersmen from other companies and Native American Indians. We also see Glass trying his best to survive even when his conditions are most unfavorable.
The general idea of the story is about a man seeking revenge, but to me, it is more than that. Glass wants his stolen items back more than he wants revenge, which leads the main story of revenge to become lost.
Regardless, the novel still makes a huge impact on the psyche and leaves you on the edge of your seat, especially the closer you get to the end.
Even if you do not typically like historical books, I highly recommend picking up this one. It does not read like an old Western book, but rather, like a twisted tale of one man’s survival in the vast wilderness when all odds are stacked against him.
After you finish reading “The Revenant,” do not miss the film adaptation once it is released to theaters this holiday season.