“Glass became suddenly aware of the sound of the river. It was an odd thing to notice, he thought. He had clung to the river for weeks. Yet suddenly he heard the waters with the acute sensitivity of new discovery. He turned from the fire to stare at the river. It struck him as strange that the smooth flow of water would create any sound at all. Or that the wind would, for that matter. It occurred to him that it wasn’t so much the water or the wind that accounted for the noise, but rather the objects in their path.”
Mauled by a grizzly while on an expedition through the mid-west United States, fur trapper Hugh Glass is left with injuries so catastrophic, he’s not expected to survive. Two men are tasked with staying behind burying him upon his death while the rest of the troop forge ahead. Fed up with waiting for Glass to expire, the two men rob him of his possessions, leaving while he’s still clinging to life. Furious that his comrades would abandon him without means to defend himself, Glass is driven by a thirst for vengeance as he slowly recovers.
This might be one of those rare times when a movie is better than the book. From what I’ve seen, the screenwriter kind of plays around with structure and injects a little more emotion into the story, giving the plot a deeper narrative. While I found the story of Glass’ redemption compelling, Punke wrote in an almost droll, dull style that made parts of the book drag with what seemed like a fair amount of filler. After all, while this is based on a true story, it is listed as a novel, so Punke could have played around with the subject matter a little. Then again, these are just my issues with it.
**EDIT** Saw the film last night (Feb 26, 2016). Was totally wrong. Film went overboard on Glass’ motivation. Turns out I preferred him more as a prick who just wanted his gun back.