A raw story of resilience, rapaciousness and revenge, “The Revenant” by Michael Punke, although fictional, is based on the real life experience of an intrepid American trapper, Hugh Glass. In the year 1823 a group of hunters led by Andrew Hunt embark on a hunt for pelts in the Northern Plains. A brutal and unexpected attack upon their party by a band of Arikara Native Americans leaves them demoralised and depleted. The beleaguered crew upon the suggestion of the experienced Hugh Glass proceeds on foot to the nearest outpost in Fort Kiowa.
While forging for game, Hugh Glass encounters a huge grizzly bear and is subject to a savage mauling that leaves him with his throat torn, back gashed badly and with numerous other injuries leaving him perilously close to death. Glass however manages to shoot and kill the Grizzly. After being administered basic first aid by Andrew Hunt, the American hunters laboriously make their way carrying the semi conscious Glass with them. However when negotiating the treacherous terrain becomes an insurmountable task with Glass impeding the progress of the party, Andrew Hunt seeks 2 volunteers who can stay behind with Glass, give him a decent and proper burial when he dies and track back to the party heading to Fort Kiowa. A generous reward is promised for the ones staying back.
John Fitzerald, a mercenary with an inveterate dislike towards Glass, Jim Bridger a young adolescent novice and Hawk volunteer to stay back. Overcome by greed Fitzerald however abandons Glass to both his fate and the unforgiving elements decamping with all vita essentials including Glass’s prized rifle. Jim Bridger is forced to follow suit.
How Glass manages to cheat death before seeking out Fitzerald and Bridger to avenge their act of betrayal and cowardice makes the crux of the novel by Michael Punke. While the plot is enlivening the narrative is detailed and lucid. The description of the grizzly attack gives the stomach of the reader a nasty churn!
“The Revenant” – An Avenging Angel!