Review of The Revenant by Michael Punke

Reviewed by Nivin Khan, 2023.

For readers looking for a revenge story, a survival story, or a story based on shockingly true events, The Revenant has it all. This historical fiction novel is based around real events in 1823 experienced by Hugh Glass, a trapper, when he was attacked by a bear and betrayed by his companions. This novel was even adapted into a movie by the same name. The Revenant follows the travels of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company led by Captain Henry as it travels towards the initial destination of Fort Union. But on the way, Henry’s most trusted man, Hugh Glass, is attacked by a bear and left with life-threatening injuries. Henry has no choice but to keep moving, leaving two members of his company to stay with Glass and give him a proper burial when he dies of his injuries. But Glass miraculously lives on, and when his two companions sense danger and flee with Glass’s most important belongings, he is left alone and completely vulnerable. This is when Hugh Glass seemingly rises from the dead, beginning an incredulous journey towards Fort Union, fueled by the desire to take revenge and the remarkable power of the will to live. Glass uses knowledge and instinct to brave the wilderness, solving problems and fighting danger along the way. His story leads to an unexpected ending and readers can take away what they want from it.

This novel can be found in the General Fiction section of Laurier’s Library and Learning Commons.