Thursday, December 02, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 46

I am getting close on finishing my goal of 52 books... 6 books left and 4 weeks to do it.


Hatchet by Gary Paulson is a throw back to my childhood. I read this novel when I was a pre-adolescent and perhaps it had a hand in triggering my passion for the outdoors. 

The story is about Brian Robeson, a 13-year-old boy, who is stuck in the Northern Canadian woods after surviving a plane crash. The pilot is dead and the plane has crashed off course into a small lake. All he has to help him survive are his wits and a hatchet.

I know that it is a work of fiction, but at the time it really intrigued me that this young boy was able to survive. Re-reading it I am still amazed at the story. The author claims that over the years, he has personally experienced everything the boy went through (in one form or another, and certainly not to the same scope). Brian is rescued after 54 days alone in the wilderness. This type of rescue is probably unlikely, but on occasion, miracles do happen. People really do survive against amazing odds to recount their experiences.

It was a quick read that I enjoyed immensely. It has a bit of a Cast Away feel {except he is a boy stranded in the woods and not Tom Hanks stranded on a deserted island}.


Excerpts from the book: 
And he was, at that very moment, almost overcome with self pity. He was dirty and starving and bitten {by mosquitoes} and hurt and lonely and ugly and afraid and so completely miserable that it was like being in a pit, a dark, deep pit with no way out.

He did not know how long it took, but later he looked back on this time of crying in the corner of the dark cave and thought of it was when he learned the most important rule of survival, which was that feeling sorry for yourself didn't work.

...Maybe it was always that way, discoveries happened because they needed to happen.

Early in the new time he learned the most important thing, the truly vital knowledge that drives all creatures in the forest – food is all.

Patience, he thought, so much of this was patience – waiting and thinking and doing things right. So much of all of this, so much of all living was patience and thinking.

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