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The River

(Brian's Saga #2)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  19,614 ratings  ·  1,111 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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3.80  · 
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 ·  19,614 ratings  ·  1,111 reviews

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Dec 28, 2009 rated it liked it
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
So what gets Brian back out in the woods is somewhat silly, yet once he's there it gets pretty good and you feel much the same way as the first. Then all the sudden toward the end, it feels like he rushes all the way to the end and it's over.

The book is not perfect and it's still worthy to be in this series.

I think it's funny that a psychologist goes with him. He's trying to write down everything he says. So funny, I can totally see that happening. It's too bad he didn't get a better experienc
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Since this is a kids book, I think you need to hear a review from a 13 year old like me. First of all I think you need to know I never liked reading books until I read the first book of the series, "Hatchet". What I liked about this series is that the main character is my age and he develops survival skills over time. There is a lot of action that is plotted outdoors. I am not going to spend time summarizing "The River", because it can be found on the back of the book, In "The River" I liked tha ...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
Daniel Bastian
"Well, to make it short, we want you to do it again."

When last we left Brian, he had just come out the other end of a harrowing survivathon in the woods: fifty-four days, alone with only a hatchet, of channeling his inner hunter-gatherer. It came to be known in Brian's mind as The Time—the experience that changed him, molded him, transformed him. His conception of food, of time, of nature, the way he approaches the luxuries of modern life—all had taken on a different tint from before.

Brian, now
Mark Wilkerson
Jul 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
BJ Rose
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gary-paulsen
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
Oct 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
Mixed feelings on this one. The plot was somewhat repetitive from the first book of the series(Hatchet) and the primary plot mover was implausible. However, for the primary audience of this book, boys who are about 10 - 12 years old who like adventure/survival books, it again featured the value of self-reliance and ingenuity. As an aside - I do not ever plan to go into the Canadian Northwoods with Brian. Seems to be hazardous to one's health.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I never really liked reading books until I read the book "Hatchet". This book really peaked my interest do to all the action and mystery involved. This series is pretty much based on the outdoors which I really enjoy. A basic rundown on the entire book, try not without any spoilers, is basically that Brian opened his door one day to 3 men at the door. They wanted to know if it was okay that he go back and try to survive in the wilderness under a semi-controlled survival. They all w ...more
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Caleb Shumaker
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked all the emotions that the author showed Brian having in the book. It really portrayed how hard it was for Brian to overcome hunger and sleep. I thought it was really impressive how Brian made a raft out of logs and his jacket without any tools. I thought it was clever and stupid at the same time that Brian left almost all the supplies on the plane to make him and Derek truly feel the emotions of being stranded. At first I thought it was stupid for Brian to even go be stranded in a ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Meh. This book is great as a children's book. Filled with quick action. Easy to read. Not too many characters. A simple adventure that the reader can easily enjoy and place themselves in the action. I like how Brian makes the point that he has changed after his initial adventure. It was not something that was easy or fun. He became more introverted, felt he saw the world in a different way, and even reacted differently when he was next in the woods. He kind of exhibits slight symptoms of PTSD, w ...more
Isaac Sheets
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The River is insane. Like if you ever got thrown in the situation Brian went through in this book you would go insane. He was sent by the government to again go get lost in the woods and survive, but this Brian would have a buddy with him named Derek. Things going as Gary Pualsen does so though Derek gets in a coma. So that sets up the insane adventure. Thats why i give this story 5 stars because its totally crazy and unbelievable. All the river scenes (hints the name) get more miserable and int ...more
Nov 11, 2015 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was rather disappointed in this sequel to Hatchet. One, because it was so short, but mostly because the plot stretched the limits of believability. So the government needs to be able to train people to survive in the wilderness with nothing on them in the way of preparedness like Brian, except maybe a hatchet, but in the whole world there is not one single adult who has done this or knows how to do it? Not one???? No men or women who are into extreme adventures, or even some survivalist type p ...more
isabel nixon
Oct 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
i hated this book. it felt like trudging through water in heavy shoes. it can be done, but it’s not fun at all. the whole thing was short and easy to read, but SO. BORING. i’ve read stories from my english textbook that are more interesting than this. it’s just cheesy and the way they try to mimic teenage thought is hilarious. the only reason why it was so easy to get through was because skipping whole pages didn’t change anything. i could probably skip chapters at a time and still know what was ...more
Keagan Baughman
The book I read was The River by Gary Paulsen. It was about how Brian went back into the wilderness but not the same island as in The Hatchet. It was similar and close to the original but not the same one. I liked how the author had a long suspenseful time. I liked how he made it clear about what was going on throughout the book. He made the book very descriptive. I could picture a lot of what he was describing like when he was talking about the river and how there was a lot of turns. I also li ...more
Nathan Vollrath
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gary Paulsen’s The River is about a boy who was stranded in the Canadian wilderness many years before. Brian is asked to go back and relive his survival experience in order to be examined. The River is the third book in the Hatchet series, which is about Brian’s survival after his bush plane crashed. The genre of this book is adventure fiction.
Brian Robeson, a boy who survived in the Canadian wilderness for fifty-four days, never wanted to relive his experience again. Unfortunately, two men w
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
“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
Kyle Loehrke
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought The River was a very good and exciting book. The first book I read by Gary Paulsen was Hatchet. I enjoyed reading that book, so I looked for more books by him, and I found The River. The River is a book that takes place after Brian gets rescued from the wilderness after forty four days. When Brian got rescued, the government thought that he was really good at survival technique for surviving, so they asked him to teach the government official how to survive with nothing. Brian agreed a ...more
Logan Feltz
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I found The River to be a very interesting, intriguing book. With Brian having gone through something like this before, I thought this journey of his would be easy. I didn't think that Derek would have survived being struck by lightning.

In this book, Brian is sent back out into the woods, except this time, he has Derek there observing him to see how he survives. They are there for three days before a thunder storm hits. There is massive lightning strikes all around, and o
Dec 02, 2012 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
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
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
"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
Tiger Emrich
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I think that this book was alright. I feel like Gary Paulsen has made better books. I feel like this is a let down compared to his other books but I still liked it. I still think that he is a good author but this book made me less impressed. The reason I didn't like it was because they made Brian do it again. He suffered through a tragic experience and they MADE HIM DO IT AGAIN OMG! I do understand that it had to be him though. That way he can teach the others how he did it the first time. Then ...more
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sam Schoenick
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Matthew W
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
I picked this book up because I really loved Gary Paulsen books, especially Hatchet. I did not know that it was a sequel at the time, but when I found out, I was so ready to read it! It was a fast read, taking only a few days, and I read only at night for about 20 minutes. I was disappointed. Hatchet was so good! That book was interesting at ever turn of the page, and it gave me so many emotions. This book, however, seemed rushed, unrealistic, and boring. Gary Paulsen made it seem as if Brian co ...more
Matthew Tyler
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The River by Gary Paulsen, is a sequel to his famous book Hatchet. The River is about Brian Robeson, who is now fifteen years old. Two years ago, Brian was stranded out in the Canadian wilderness for fifty-four days after crashing in a plane. Two years later, everything had returned to normal for him except one day when a man named Derek Holtzer visited him and his mom. He asked them about Brian going back into the woods to redo what he did two years ago, so that the military could use some surv ...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

Other books in the series

Brian's Saga (5 books)
  • Hatchet
  • Brian's Winter (Brian's Saga, #3)
  • Brian's Return (Brian's Saga, #4)
  • Brian's Hunt (Brian's Saga, #5)
“In a real situation, like when I was here before, there were things wrong—going wrong. The plane didn’t land and set me on the shore. It crashed. A man was dead. I was hurt. I didn’t know anything. Nothing at all. I was, maybe, close to death and now we’re out here going la-de-da, I’ve got a fish; la-de-da, there are some more berries.” 4 likes
“Listen to me, he thought. If I were talking out loud, I’d be whining. Derek gets hit and I act like I’m the one getting messed up. It” 2 likes
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