The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke Review


Book Review: The Revenant: A Novel Of Revenge by Michael Punke

If you’re looking for an entertaining book to read, pick up The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke. This work of historical fiction is based on true events that happened on the frontier of the American West in 1823. Vivid details and a moral curiosity will keep you on the edge of your seat as you read about a wild frontier filled with Indian attacks, grizzly bears, uncharted terrain, and the ultimate revenge…

REVENANT – noun – a person who has returned from the dead

The Revenant By Michael Punke
The Revenant By Michael Punke

The Revenant: A Novel Of Revenge is truly one man’s story of revenge. It revolves around the fur trappers and mountain men of the American West. As a group of trappers from the Rocky Mountain Fur Company are scouting along the Missouri River and its tributaries, one man, Hugh Glass, is viciously attacked by a grizzly bear. The mauling leaves him mortally wounded and he is not expected to survive.

Two men, John Fitzgerald and Jim Bridger, are left to tend for Hugh Glass until he dies. When warrior Indians are spotted nearby, Fitzgerald and Bridger, not only leave Glass for dead, but also steal everything he needs to survive – gun, knife, food.

Left for dead and betrayed in the wild and unforgiving frontier, the former pirate, Glass, miraculously perseveres. Driven by an internal rage, he wants one thing: REVENGE.

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Glass starts the slow crawl back to civilization hundreds of miles away. Eventually he recovers his strength and gather supplies just before winter hits the frontier. Read along as Glass heads out on a 3,000 mile, human powered journey through current day Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and South Dakota. This uncharted territory is rugged and rough. Violent Indian tribes, wild animals, and unpredictable weather plague Glass as he seeks his revenge on the two men who betrayed him. His drive, determination, and endurance are things of legend.

Hugh Glass is a mountain man who deserves to have his story told. Not only was he mauled by a grizzly and tracked his betrayers through Indian territory and untouched lands, he also was a former pirate under Jean Lafitte and lived with the Pawnee Indians for a year. His life is like something out of a Hollywood movie, yet it’s true.

The author, Michael Punke, wrote an intriguing novel based on historical facts. He does more than tell Glass’s story, he dives into well researched history that helps to bring this story of revenge to life. He’s done his research and admits that he took certain liberties to weave a well written book.

What’s more amazing is that Punke was able to write this novel considering he is the US ambassador to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland! Good work Mr. Punke!

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke was originally published in 2002. It’s been rereleased in anticipation of The Revenant Movie. This version of the book was published on January 6, 2015 by Picador. It’s a 272 page hardback book, but is also available in other formats.

Side note: this book will make you really appreciate bear spray.


20th Century Fox will release The Revenant movie on December 25, 2015. Leonardo DiCaprio will star as Hugh Glass. Here’s the trailer: