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.
~ Playlist ~
- “His awe of the mountains grew in the days that followed, as the Yellowstone River led him nearer and nearer. Their great mass was a marker, a benchmark fixed against time itself. Others might feel disquiet at the notion of something so much larger than themselves. But for Glass, there was a sense of sacrament that flowed from the mountains like a font, an immortality that made his quotidian pains seem inconsequential.”
- “The boy came to believe that going west was more than just a fancy for someplace new. He came to see it as a part of his soul, a missing piece that could only be made whole on some far-off mountain or plain.”
- “His guilt swelled up, churning like a paddle wheel in his stomach. He wanted desperately to flee. How do you escape something that comes from inside? The revenant, he knew, searched for him.”
- “Though no law was written, there was a crude rule of law, adherence to a covenant that transcended their selfish interests. It was biblical in its depth, and its importance grew with each step into wilderness. When the need arose, a man extended a helping hand to his friends, to his partners, to strangers. In so doing, each knew that his own survival might one day depend upon the reaching grasp of another.”
- “There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune…”
- “They had killed him. […] Murdered him, except he would not die. Would not die, he vowed, because he would live to kill his killers.”
- “Of course it’s not simple. Who said it was simple? But you know what? Lots of loose ends don’t ever get tied up. Play the hand you’re dealt. Move on.”
- “And if Glass believed in a god, surely it resided in this great western expanse. Not a physical presence, but an idea, something beyond man’s ability to comprehend, something larger.”