The River (Brian's Saga, #2)
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The River (Brian's Saga #2)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  10,785 ratings  ·  568 reviews
"We want you to do it again."

These words, spoken to Brian Robeson, will change his life. Two years earlier, Brian was stranded alone in the wilderness for fifty-four days with nothing but a small hatchet. Yet he survived. Now the government wants him to do it again to go back into the wilderness so that astronauts and the military can learn the survival techniques that kep

Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 12th 1998 by Laurel Leaf Library (first published January 1st 1991)
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHatchet by Gary PaulsenCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsLord of the Flies by William GoldingNight by Elie Wiesel
Best Survival Stories
63rd out of 577 books — 1,058 voters
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Best Wilderness Survival Books
8th out of 62 books — 37 voters

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Community Reviews

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brian is such a tool. only maybe it's not brian's fault, maybe it's gary paulsen's fault for really trying to determine the limits of a reader's tolerance. i am comfortable with suspending disbelief - i watched lost well past the comfort point because of some innate need to see something through to its end (thanks, dad!) that impulse applies here as well - i will read all the books in this damn series because, like kasia, i can't NOT read them. fortunately, these only take about an hour to read,...more
A sequel so disappointing it actually takes away from my enjoyment of the original. The premise here is so implausible as to be laughable, if it weren't so painful.

(spoiler alert)

Seriously? The government has nothing better to do than enlist a CHILD to RELIVE his most harrowing life event, from which he very nearly didn't survive, and whose survival HE HIMSELF attributes to luck? They couldn't just, you know, ask about it? And, of course, the plot is moved along by... lightning. Right. And, of...more
People compare this book to Hatchet I personally think Hatchet worse than this book. For people who think it is just one "misadventure" after another must not have great taste in books. This book consists of all the fundamentals of a great book; action, adventure, love, humor. It isn't as much as getting into the "mishaps" but how he gets out of them. Brian having save someone while also having to survive the harsh conditions of the Candadian wilderness was intriging. Paddling down the river was...more
Mark Wilkerson
Hatchet was one of my favorite books as a young boy; it fed my desire to travel far away from my suburban existence to face the unknown. And here was a boy forced into extraordinary circumstances who survived! I didn't care that it was fiction and highly unlikely at times. I teach Hatchet now to my 7th graders and they enjoy it (especially the boys) for the same reasons I did.

I only recently discovered that Gary Paulsen wrote several sequels to Hatchet, three now to be exact. So I re-read Hatche...more
BJ Rose
In Hatchet, 13-year-old Brian Robeson was forced to spend 54 days alone in the Canadian wilderness when the bush-plane pilot had a fatal heart attack and crash-landed in a lake, leaving Brian with nothing but his hatchet.

Now a government survivalist organization wants him to do it again, so they can improve the way they teach survival techniques. Things are going fairly smoothly - well, Brian learned a lot in his ordeal - but lightning strikes the government man through their 2-way radio, sendin...more
This sequel to the classic book "Hatchet" has an interesting story. With people wanting to shoot a documentary for Brian's famous story, a man named Derek comes and asks him if He and Derek, would go back into the eastern Canada wilderness, with Derek taking notes for military survival techniques. Once both Brian and Derek make it to the vast Canadian wilderness, a few days after arriving a freak lightning storm causes major conflict, and causes them to lose their communication with the rescue...more
Sam Schoenick
I read the book The River by Gary Paulsen. This book is an exceptionally good book. Gary Paulsen does a good job of describing the settings and what takes place in the book. The characters are very well described and fit the role in the book very well.

Brian who is the main character in this book fits the role perfectly. Brian is a high school kid who was stuck in the wild in a book before this. Brian has a very strong personality and is very strong as an individual. Brian has had a lot of things...more
Sheriden Haase
Brian Robeson has survived 44 days in the northern countryside with only a hatchet. Now the astronaunts want him to do it again to learn how he managed to do this. Brian was given a partner named Derick who would take notes on what he was doing. Something tragic happens and Brian has to save Derick. Derick fell into a coma and he needs medical treatment before six days, or he will die. Brian finds a map of the closest river so he builds a raft. He travels a long way down river with his partner...more
The book The River is about the boy nmaed Brian and he is also the main character from Hatchet. In this book three guys come to Brian's house to see if he would like to go back to the same forest that he was stranded in and spend some time camping there. The reason is the men wanted to know how to survive in the woods. Brian will teach one of the men how to survive in the wilderness so then they can teach it to other people. At first Brian thought that it was a crazy idea, but he decided that it...more
Martin B
This story had showed me to fight against your fears and when you fight against them you won’t fear them again. First I’m going just to tell you a short summary on the main parts of this book. This story is about a guy called Brian ones few years ago he had crash and pass more than 1 month in an island with nobody else, until finally he found a packet with a radio and called another airplane to rescue him, some years pass and the government want Brian to teach them how to survive in the forest w...more
Jason Darnell
"The River" By Gary Paulsen is sort of like a follow up to his earlier award winning book "The Hatchet". In this epic thrilling book Brian, the main character, is headed back to the wilderness to do it all over again. Of course he's not doing this under his free will, the government has asked him to do go back so that they can study the techniques that kept Brian alive. These techniques will be used by the military and astronauts who need these skills to survive. But Brian isn't going alone, he...more
“The River”

This book by Gary Paulsen entitled “The River” is the second book of his series which followed “The Hatchet”. I think you will enjoy Paulsen’s book about bravery, determination, and the strong will to survive.
The book begins with Brian at his home where he is approached by two government agents and a psychologist that want him to go back out into the wild. Brian not only survived a plane crash two years prior but was able to survive being stranded on an island for 56 days. The agen...more
Allison W.
Jul 18, 2013 Allison W. rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I can't think of anyone
Recommended to Allison W. by: NMBS Summer Reading List 2013
I was sincerely disappointed in this sequel to Hatchet especially in consideration of the fact that Hatchet was far better than I'd imagined it would be. I find it hard to believe that many 15-year-old American kids would possess the driving character traits Paulsen has endowed the main character, Brian Robeson, within The River.

In the interest of preserving the details of the content and storyline, I will not give away the essence of the plot to substantiate my review. I can say this, the only...more
Dec 04, 2012 Alden added it
This book was about brain in the last book it talked about him going on a plane and falling out of the sky the he survived in a deserted place and got out safely. This book is similar because at the beginning there is a person named Derick to see how he did it so he wanted brain to go out and do it again, but this time Derick would be at his side the whole time to take notes and if anything happened all he had to do was radio in. But then something tragic happened. The person that he was...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Travis Bughi
I didn't find this book nearly as riveting as the first and third one. I actually read this book after reading #1 and #3, so this book took an entirely different turn in my opinion. Brian was now not just trying to save himself, alone in the wilderness, he was also responsible for the life of another.

This story didn't resonate with me that well. I was used to, liked, and wanted to read more about Brain vs nature on his own grounds. However, there was still plenty of danger, excitement, and hair-...more
Corbin Billington
Brian Robeson continues to use his survival instincts by allowing a man from a survival school to tag along in a jouney into the Canadian wilderness. This time it was planned to be a learning experience, but turned into a ride down a raging river with an unconcious man. I rated this book five out of five stars, because I thought this book displayed a theme of perservearance, which is a desired attribute to have in case of emergency or survival situation. I would recommend this book to mainly mal...more
Zach Costello
This is a very good book by Gary Paulsen. It is the next book in the Hatchet series. Brian is asked to go back into the Canadian wilderness to teach a man named Derek how to survive in the wild. A couple days into their adventure Derek gets hit by lightning and goes into a coma. Brian has to get him out of the wild to safety. Brian plans to build a raft and travel over 100 miles down river to a trading post. Can he do it without getting Derek killed? This is a good book for kids and adults who l...more
The set-up was very contrived. It kind of had to be in order to have the same character go through a very similar experience to that in "Hatchet." Either that or he'd need to be in another freak accident, which would seem even more unrealistic than the scenario the author contrived to get Brian back in the woods.

But once you set that aside, "The River" was nearly as engaging a survival story as "Hatchet." I really like the detail in Gary Paulsen's writing. I have to use a camera analogy because...more
Dauntless Firebending Shadowhunting Glittery Mango Fangirling Warlock (Ealee)
Again, this story is realistic and makes sense. I usually don't read realistic stories that contain no fantasy or anything like that in it, but certain survival stories are exceptions. The River is as good as Hatchet. The entire book sets two challenges because now, he has to try to survive all over again. But the other things is, he has to keep someone else alive too.
Sean W
This quarter for my independent reading i chose to read the book The River by Gary Paulsen, a great adventure book that is the second book in Paulsens 5 book saga about Brain. The book is set up on the fact that the government would gain from the research if Brain would return and survive longer. This was interesting to me because I didn’t enjoy the fact he was saved because I felt there was more left to the story of Brain, so this book excited me into reading it and the rest of the series. The...more
Jake R
Jan 08, 2014 Jake R added it
In the book The River, Gary Paulsen is showing that even if you think that you have nothing left, keep on trying no matter what the circumstances are. Brian is on yet another journey, but this is not by accident. The government has asked Brian to take Derek on another journey to observe and take notes on how he survived. When Derek is hit by lightning, also breaking their radio, Brian is all alone oath just two knives a map, and a man in a coma. The only thing he can do is configure a makeshift...more
Marrie *I Only Date Fictional Boys*
This book wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't great either. Not nearly as good as Hatchet.
Coltan Plock
It was a good and exciting book. Its a good short read for people who like a good ending and iteresting read
Nov 05, 2008 Greggory rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: every one
it is the best book ever i woul never put it down.
Jun 07, 2014 Kiri rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I thought Hatchet was great and Brian's Winter was just as believable. Alas, The River falls short. As others have commented, the setup feels contrived - the government needs a boy to teach adults how to survive in the wild? Whatever. The extent to which Brian comes across as some kind of wilderness superman starts to feel ridiculous, and then there's hardly anything to the story before the lightning strike catastrophe. Probably the bit I found the most silly was Brian swimming down river to cat...more
This book is very similar to Hatchet. Its a great survival book for young teens. Its not as tense as Hatchet. This book is about Brain knowing how to survive on the land for weeks. They now want him to go with a partner named Derek to take notes to see how he has really survived. Trough the story Derek has a terrible accident. Derek gets into a coma and he has to get him medical assistance within six days. Brian builds a raft to take Derek down the river. Brian proved to every one that once agai...more
Ephraim Burrell
Brian Robeson has returned from the wild and is living at home with his mother after 54 days of being in the wild. However, this is not the end of his story, a government official comes to him and asks to return back to the wilderness so they can learn more about what it takes to survive. A river, lightning, and running out of time are all included in this wonderful sequel to "Hatchet"

This book was by far the least favorite of my books from Gary Paulsen, not well combined, and seemed to be just...more
A thrilling book.
I would give this book two and a half stars.

One of the really good things about The River, in my view, is that it doesn't feel at all contrived. In a sequel such as this to a famous novel it would be very easy to create a situation that once again brings the main character into crisis by means that are far too unlikely and neat to be real, but Gary Paulsen has refused to fall into that trap. All of Brian's experiences in The River ring with true resonance, in the mesmerizing and compelling, pa...more
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve...more
More about Gary Paulsen...
Hatchet (Brian's Saga, #1) Brian's Winter (Brian's Saga, #3) Brian's Return (Brian's Saga, #4) Brian's Hunt (Brian's Saga, #5) Lawn Boy

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