Picador Publishing, 272pp
I have been interested in the history of Mountain Men, the Old West and the American Indian since I was a kid. I remember watching movies such as the original Man in the Wilderness (Based on the life of Hugh Glass), The Mountain Men, Jeremiah Johnson and Death Hunt with my dad and being engrossed by the tales of these wild and adventurous men. I still remember a friend of the family’s house we used to visit quite often had a Time Life Set of Books about the Old West. Each one was about a different subject: Gunfighters, Indians, Military, Mountain Men. I think I literally wore that set of books out reading them when I would visit!
When I first saw the movie The Revenant, the subject of Hugh Glass was a familiar subject for me. As I said, I had already watched the Original Man in the Wilderness with Richard Harris, which is based on the life of Hugh Glass. I had also read several books on Glass, the best one being The Saga of Hugh Glass by John Myers Myers. So after watching the movie a few times, I decided to read the book the movie was based, The Revenant, by Michael Punke.
Good historical fiction, regardless of the subject matter or time period, should strive to IMMERSE the reader in the era. After reading a chapter or two, the reader should be able to close their eyes and in their mind’s eye literally SEE the geography, the men, the animals, the weapons and the danger of the uncivilized west of 1823. This book does that in spades. And not only does it place you in the middle of the action, it takes time to fill in the back story of most of the main characters of the book, including Glass, which is amazing and worth the price of admission in and of itself if you ask me.
Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!