The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke
I know it’s popular in Pajibaland to hate on The Revenant, but I found the movie to be really quite interesting. It provoked quite a conversation the weekend The Chancellor and I saw it together with my youngest sister, and it’s gorgeously shot. Also, it’s a misery-porn marathon, and make no mistake about it.
I knew the film was inspired by a true story (Hugh Glass is part of a fur company, gets attacked by a bear and has mortal injuries, is left behind with two men who abandon him and take his gun, but hey, he survives and then seeks out the men to win his revenge and get his gun back). I was also intrigued by the novel that historicized the facts and took some creative license with them. In addition to my English degrees, I have a BA in history and don’t get to use it all that much. I thought it would be interesting, informational, and entertaining.
THEY DON’T TELL YOU THAT THE MOVIE IS TAMER THAN THE BOOK. [Spoilers, in case you want to read the book]
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
No, really. I was prepared for the bear attack, the injuries, the abandonment, and the many wearisome journeys that Hugh Glass, John Fitzgerald, Jim Bridger, and the Rocky Mountain Fur Company undertook and underwent. I was not prepared for the consumption of bison marrow and subsequent vomit fest (so glad Alejandro Iñárritu decided we didn’t need to watch that play out), or the maggots residing in Glass’s back (also glad we were not treated to that).
But my personal least favorite moment from the novel was when Glass had to KILL AND EAT A SNAKE. I may or may not have started gagging violently at that point.
The novel is very interesting, as it fleshes out the story of Glass, Fitzgerald, and Bridger, and explains part of Glass’s motivation for revenge (his very expensive and high-quality rifle, which gave him an edge in hunting and self-defense). But it certainly makes the movie way tame in comparison.