Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Discussion in 'Survival Reading Room' started by Motomom34, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    This weekend I read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. It is a young adult fiction book, the story of Brian Robeson and survival. It was a good book, very short read. Took about a few hours to complete but it was a worthy read.


    It made me wonder if I could have survived at age thirteen like he did. In the book, Brian had kid names for some of the items he ate and hunted, gut cherries and foolbirds. It was fun to try and guess what they really were based on his descriptions. It is a fun read that I would recommend.
  2. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Black Powder Monkey

    That is a excellent book... I often suggest as "read" in my class.
    Another good book dealing with survival , coming of age and bigotry is ;
    "Old Fishhawk"....By Mitch Jayne
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  3. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    There is a sequel that assumes the last chapter or so doesn’t happen and he isn’t yet rescued and spends more time in wilderness.
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  4. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    His autobiography GUTS is awesome too.
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  5. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    Awesome books! Good recommendation @Motomom34!
    I always enjoyed the book "My Side of the Mountain" by Jean Craighead George, another fun read!
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  6. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I think they made a film about it also. I remember he was in some sort of cave that he had to crawl into and a bear was trying to use it also and he fought it off. He happen to thrown something, a hatchet or some (can't quite remember), and he missed the bear but hit something that made a spark. The next night when the bear came he had a nice fire going and was ready for him. I never read the book but saw the film...
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  7. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Great book. I read it when I was much younger. Read them again as an adult. There is more than one book to the series.
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  8. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Sounds like the movie was a bit different from the book. But the throwing of the hatchet and the spark was what gave him fire.
    Spoilers below:

    When Brian finally retrieved the survival bag and he found the .22 Survival rifle, the book said it changed him. The book said," It somehow removed him from everything around him. Without the rifle he had to fit in, to be part of it all, to understand it and use it- the woods, all of it."

    That has had me thinking/wondering if hunters (most) just hunt and fail to absorb the forest around them.
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  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member


  10. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Yes, that was exactly how he got fire. The plane crashed in a pond and he later dove down into it to obtain some supplies but he never found a .22 rifle. He lived off the supplies and the forest and actually enjoyed himself until he was found. The movie ends with him asking his rescuer if he was hungry because he was doing quite well living in the forest. So, very much different.
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  11. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Black Powder Monkey

    Speaking only for myself here...
    When I hunt , I feel that I am "one" with the forest , not in a mystic way or such...but that I am taking a more "active" role in the forest than when I am hiking...
    "More active" as in ...I can not only observe life , but take life as well.

    It is my duty / responsibility to be the best hunter that I can be ... I owe that to the animal I hunt.
    To me it is a serious business , to go hunting .
    I must learn :
    About the animal itself...
    What it eats and when , living habits , age and sex of the animal , locations of dens , tracks , feeding sites etc...
    The area in which I hunt...
    How to navigate the land , there are no sign posts there , do the animals I want to hunt life there , where is it safe and quiet to walk / rest / set up a hide , what trees and other plants are there , do they provide what an animal needs , how 'bout the rocks and a water source ? , might be good to have a working knowledge of them as well etc...
    Game laws...
    Gotta know those , what to hunt , how to hunt , when to hunt , etc...
    To master my weapon be it a bow , rifle , shotgun , etc...
    I owe it to the game that I hunt to be the best shot that I can be and take only the best shots that I can...no "I think I can hit it " type shots....a quick , clean , humane kill is what I as a hunter need to give a game animal.

    I must also be in good physical shape ...hunting will in involve hiking , hauling of gear and game , able to endure weather etc...

    The above are just a few , off the cuff random thoughts on hunters and hunting , as in my mind...:D
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
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  12. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    One of my favorites. Taught me the importance of tool retention. :)
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  13. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    At 13, yes. But then I was active in Scouting and had survived the "Cuban Crisis" a few years earlier. IOW - I was motivated to learn how I could live off the land, if needed - this was in So Az at the time.

    Sometimes, fiction matches up with real life - or almost so. Most of the time, it does not.
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  14. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I liked his fish catching idea, the shallow pool he created.
  15. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Reread it and the second time around was more impressed on the author developing the concept of him learning to use the tool he had than the tool itself. The fire was in the hatchet as well as everything else, but he had to figure out how to use it. Very good young adult book, life isn't a bowl of cherries, but if you look, there may be a cherry tree hidden in the forest, and you may be on your own to find it. Goes back to the old concept that in the end, survival is a mind set and not a group of material objects that can be used to survive without thinking.
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