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Guts: The True Stories behind Hatchet and the Brian Books

(Brian's Saga)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,602 ratings  ·  390 reviews
Guess what -- Gary Paulsen was being kind to Brian. In "Guts," Gary tells the real stories behind the Brian books, the stories of the adventures that inspired him to write Brian Robeson's story: working as an emergency volunteer; the death that inspired the pilot's death in "Hatchet"; plane crashes he has seen and near-misses of his own. He describes how he made his own bo ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published January 23rd 2001 by Delacorte Press (first published January 1st 2001)
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Jenna ok so im in 7th grade and where readin this book and it is a really good book you should SO read it

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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  2,602 ratings  ·  390 reviews

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Jul 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
There seems to be a river of rage just below the surface in moose that has no basis in logic, or at least any logic that I can see.

this is a great sentence. and a great story that inspires this quote. montambo told me to read this, so i did. it is filling the "nonfiction" slot in my 10-work annotated bibliography assignment. this book is full of wonderful survival stories that illustrate the importance of staying out of the wilderness if you are unprepared for its hazards. this is my other favor
Jun 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Geesh I forgot that the first story in this book has about a bazillion reference to death, including a scene wherein a plane breaks in half and the people "spill out" into the water and are eaten by sharks and a really sad scene where a 50 year old man dies of a heart attack (described with vivid detail) at the dinner table?
I remembered when I was reading it aloud to the 3rd graders and they keept asking "is this real"?! and I kept having to say "yes".
that being said he does a pretty great job o
Aj Sterkel
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Gary Paulsen is one of the authors who made me a reader. I hated reading when I was a kid, but I loved the woods. I liked survival stories and learning about nature. Hatchet was one of the few books that I actually enjoyed. After reading Hatchet a few dozen times, I moved on to the rest of Gary Paulsen’s Brian books.

In Guts, Paulsen talks about the real-life events that inspired him to write the Brian series. He has lived an unusual life, mostly in remote places. He writes about his time as a pa
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I taught seventh grade middle school for 35 years and during part of that time the sixth grade read Hatchet. Naturally when they came to me the following year some were hooked on Gary Paulsen books. From time-to-time I find myself reading teen books out of habit and desire, I have a list of authors I still enjoy and Gary Paulsen is one. His books have always made me feel I was sitting listening to him tell me the story.

If you have read or you know someone who has read the "Brian" books I would r
Sylvia Hendricks
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have met Gary Paulsen and love his books. Guts was entertaining, serious, and filled with information about wilderness survival that I simply did not know. A few times, this book made me laugh out load!
Feb 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. This book is one of the best books that I have read. It is great story written from Gary Paulsen which is a good writer. Everybody please read this book if you like fun stories.
Nov 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Due to widespread clamor among his fans to hear the true stories of how Gary Paulsen gained the intimate knowledge of wilderness survival he wrote about to such convincing effect in Hatchet and the other Brian's Saga novels, the author released Father Water, Mother Woods: Essays on Fishing and Hunting in the North Woods in the 1990s. It was well-received, but readers lobbied for more. They craved specifics about the incidents in Mr. Paulsen's life that directly inspired thirteen-year-old Brian ...more
Courtney Stevens
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Gary Paulsen shares countless stories of hunting, fishing, dogsled racing, and other adventures that inspired him to write Hatchet and other books. Incredible to read about his own life experience, but some of it was nasty and graphic. Fine read.
Jacob Runyon
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Super quick read. Loved learning about the true stories surrounding Hatchet, one of my favorite books of all time. Writing is a a bit rambly, but not too bad
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
‘Guts’ by Gary Paulsen was a considerable novel. I really liked the overall story line as well as the action packed, real life situations Gary Paulsen experienced. The book was based of a similar, well know, novel ‘Hatchet’, which Gary Paulsen wrote 15 years before publishing ‘Guts’. During the book, Paulsen describes his near-death experiences in the wilderness chapter-to-chapter making the reader feel as if they where standing right their, with him. Each chapter is based of real life events wh ...more
Dan Prillwitz
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“Guts” is a book written about the events that led up to Gary Paulsen writing about Brian Robeson’s story in the books: Hatchet, The River, Brian’s Winter, and Brian’s Return. The first chapter is about the experiences Gary has had with airplanes which is how Brian ends up in the wilderness alone in “Hatchet.” The whole book is basically about all the times Gary has had encounters in the wilderness and how he had to cope with the problems he had.

The main character in “Guts” is Gary Paulsen. The
Now I know why the Hatchet and Brian books did not appeal to me. This book is a nonfiction book about how many of the scenarios and situations came about in Hatchet. Very interesting but not my cup of tea. Hunting and the wilderness do not have an appeal to me. But the stories were well told and and interesting.

I did notice something in this book though. Paulsen talks often in his book about earning money for food and school clothes as a child. I am a mother and thought, "That is great that he i
After I read this book, I went through a survivalist phase.
I didn't read Hatchet as a kid. In fact, I still haven't read it. I will be getting to it soon, but until then I figured I would give Guts a try, seeing how it has gotten no small praise from other accounts I read of the books. Hatchet has come up enough in falconry circles to make me curious about it, and inevitably this book came up as well. Albeit, it has nothing at all to say about falconry in it. It does reaffirm my terror of moose, though.

This book consists of a series of stories that i
Landon Conrad
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reynaldo Calvillo
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Guts is about the real-life occurrences that Gary Paulsen encountered in his youth and middle age. Paulsen's other books like Hatchet, Brian's Return, and Brian's Winter were inspired by his experiences in the wilderness. The book starts off describing his love for planes and flying, and how he came about learning to fly. He then goes on to explain some painful encounters while he was in the wilderness. The last part of the book he explains how he hunted and how he prepared- if at all- his "food ...more
Caleb Shumaker
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Guts has some really crazy stories that make it hard to realize that the book is actually a non-fiction. Gary does a really good job describing these events. Like when he was starving in the forest and said that he would eat anything that would make a normal person vomit just to survive. This really painted a picture in my head of how hungry Gary was and how desperate he was for any edible substance. When Gary got attacked by the cow moose when he was riding his sled of dogs I was astonished. If ...more
Nile Schuett
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Guts is the story about Gary Paulsen's life and experiences. We learn about how the books about Brian Roberson came to be and how the ideas came to mind. Paulsen swears nothing in the books are made up and he has experinced everything that has happened in this story. I really love how he holds nothing back. He includes every detail about what happened. I enjoy about how he teaches the reader how he did things. He explained how he made his own bow and arrows. He even told us how he fire hardened ...more
Tyler Randall
Guts by Gary Paulsen is a very intresting book about the times that he lived in Alaska, but it's also about Paulsens' other books that he wrote like Hatchet. In Guts, Paulsen talks about the hardships and struggles he had to go through when he lived in Alaska. He writes about a guy named Brian, but all the experiences that Brain went through were all experiences that Gary had went through himself such as plane crashes, and other near missed that he went through living in the wilderness.
In the b
Wren Clinefelter
Oct 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I’ve never wanted to eat husked acorns so much in my entire life :/
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gary Paulsen uses some life experiences in his story. He uses the character Brian Robersen to go through his experiences. Some of his life experiences are a moose attack, a plane crash, and a paramedic. Some of the challenges he had against was a guy named Harvey was having a chest pain and he was rescued by Brian but had later died. This story mainly happened in the Alaskan Territory.
Mel Raschke
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Paulsen reveals what books inspired him to write the Brian books
Brayden Hendrickson
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book is about Gary Paulsen in his younger years, He talks about all of the hunting he did when he was younger. Since he parents were poor they couldn't afford much food so Gary went out by himself armed with a bow to come back with dinner. He had to provide for himself completely with working multiple jobs to afford school clothes. Then as he got older and got out of hunting he went to also to race dogs and sleigh. Hes won multiple races but the main thing he remembered from also is all the ...more
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-semester-2
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Summary: This is a biography by Gary Paulsen where he shares information about his life experiences, comedic anecdotes that relates to the stories he has written, and events that provided inspiration for many of his stories. The author perhaps most famous for the story Hatchet gives the reader insight into his life experiences and how they have resulted in the works that he has provided us with.

Genre: Junior Biographical


(a) The book is provides accuracy in that he relays to the reader
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed “Guts” because it is more than just a book. The author, Gary Paulsen, really shows the reader how he writes his books. He explains his life and how he based his books off of his real life encounters with nature. He explains how in his other books “Hatchet” and the Brian Books he actually tied the stories to his real life. I like that the book is split up into chapters that are based on things that you have to do to survive in the great outdoors. Some of the topics are pretty interestin ...more
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is an awesome autobiography on how Gary Paulsen came about his ideas for writing his books.I really enjoyed reading about his adventures. He tells some of his real life stories and how they are put into his books. The stories have so much detail I almost feel as if I am in his shoes. All the stories he tells in this book are completely real.

Brian, the main character, in almost all of his books goes through all the same stuff Gary Paulsen has in his life. Brian is a survivalist and live
Logan Erdmann
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
After reading this book, I realized where Mr. Paulsen got most of the information for his main books like “Hatchet”. I enjoyed reading about Gary Paulsen’s life and it is something I can relate to. I thought that his attempt to eat the raw turtle eggs was rather disgusting. I can't imagine what other kinds of food he has tried. He was very brave to run the Iditarod with his dogs in the blizzard. Mr.Paulsen also experienced a plane losing an engine in flight. That had to be very frightening.

Aleksandr V
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
I picked this book because I had read Hatchet. I wanted to know where these experiences were from.

The title of the book relates to the book in whats included in the book. The book talks about how to cook guts of animals, so it was a very good choice to call it that.

The author wrote this book because he wanted to explain where Brain's experiences came from.

The audience who would read this book would probably be anyone who read Hatchet.

Facts: 1. Gary ate turtle eggs for research. I found it intere
☼Book her,   Danno☼
Nov 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This last year you could say that I 'discovered' Gary Paulsen. My daughter brought 'Hatchet' home from school and we read it together and from there I branched out on my own, reading at least another dozen and half of his books. So keep in mind that I'm a bit of a fan-- though I hate that word.

In any case, I just picked up "Guts" and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's not an autobiography in the sense that it tells the story of Gary's life, but it certainly gives you insight into the types of things he
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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 Saga, #1)
  • The River (Brian's Saga, #2)
  • Brian's Winter (Brian's Saga, #3)
  • Brian's Return (Brian's Saga, #4)
  • Brian's Hunt (Brian's Saga, #5)

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