Surprisingly disappointing: Review of The Revenant by Michael Punke

I haven’t seen the movie, The Revenant. I had wanted to read the book first. The blurb made it sound like an incredible story so I went into this with a lot of expectations. Surprisingly, though, it didn’t live up to those expectations.

I have to mention that I didn’t know that the characters and events in the book have been so heavily inspired by, and in cases even based upon, real ones. In that regard, the book does a great job of offering a relatively fictionalized tale of what is supposed to be a real story of survival.

But, as a piece of fiction, it does have its flaws. Read on to know more.

The Revenant Michael Punke
Source: Goodreads

Genre:

Historical fiction, Adventure

Length: 

308 pages

Blurb:

When expert tracker Hugh Glass is viciously attacked by a bear, his fellow-trappers know that he won’t survive. They do what they can to keep him comfortable. Until they are forced to face a terrain over which they can no longer carry him. Two men are left behind with him, to give him a decent burial when he dies. But they abandon him, taking his rifle and hatchet, and leaving him with nothing to defend himself… leaving him to die alone. But Glass is not ready to die yet. He has a new reason to live…

Revenge.

Overall Rating:

5 out of 10

Plot:

7 out of 10

Characterization:

9 out of 10

Primary Element:

8 out of 10 for its historical depth and accuracy; 5 out of 10 for its adventure

Writing Style:

7 out of 10

Part of a Series: 

No.

Highlighted Takeaway:

Hugh Glass. Even with so many other characters that play pivotal roles, Glass steals the show with his shades-of-gray character.

What I Liked:

The book delves into a lot of history, which I hadn’t expected, but that I quite enjoyed reading about.

What I Didn’t Like:

The story arc. It starts off really well, but its end falls a bit flat, especially when you consider the buildup. It sort of felt like Punke just got tired of writing and wrapped up the story super fast to get done with it.

Who Should Read It:

Anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Even if you don’t love the premise and the way it plays out, you’ll enjoy the historical details.

Who Should Avoid:

Anyone who can’t handle violence. There are just so many things that die in this book, and every single aspect of hunting, trapping, and wilderness-living is highlighted. If you aren’t used to gore, this won’t go down easy.

Read It For:

A character that will remain incredibly memorable in both, fiction and real life.

The fact that Hugh Glass was a real person who (probably) actually faced these things is pretty incredible. But it also makes it sadder that the book had such a flat ending. Now, I’m just hoping the movie is better (going to watch it soon).

Got thoughts on Michael Punke’s The Revenant? Share them in the comments below. And, as always, thanks for stopping by and reading my review!

– Rishika