Genre: Fiction--Historical Fiction
Completed: 16 April 2016
Summary & Review:
While out scouting with the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, mountain man Hugh Glass is brutally attacked by a grizzly. Near death, the leader of the company leaves two men behind to wait for Glass to die and then give him a proper burial. Rather than doing as their leader asked, the two men abandon Glass and steal everything from him leaving him without any means of survival. As Glass slowly mends his wounds and crawls hundreds of miles to safety, only one thing is on his mind: revenge.
So, there I am reading along, looking forward to the final climactic showdown between Glass and Fitzgerald, probably as much as Glass himself was. I've just read 250 pages of struggle and pain and brushes with death and wild Indians and starvation, but all that didn't matter because I knew, in the end, Glass would get his justly deserved revenge. It's right there in the title, after all: The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge. But what do I get in the end? Nothing! Glass finds Fitzgerald and rather than taking justice into his own hands, which would have completely fit the character that Punke had written, he allows Fitzgerald to stand trial in a court martial and then lie his way out of it all. Are you kidding me?! That's how it ends? That's no novel of revenge, that's a novel of nothing!
Up until that completely disappointing climax, I loved the book. The more I read about the frontier of the western United States during the nineteenth century, in books like Crow Killer (#210) or The Son (#367), the more fascinating I find it. Schools really do a crap job explaining it beyond just saying the white man stole the land from the Indians. In reality, it was a much more complex time with shifting alliances, intertribal warfare, battles, sieges, raids, massacres, and the creeping intrusion of the modern world.