Rachel's Reviews > Hatchet

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
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did not like it
Recommended for: No one. This is the worst book I have ever read.

So when I was in the 7th grade, Mrs. Randall (formerly Sr. Mary Randall, an ex-nun) FORCED this pile of garbage upon me and the rest of my unsuspecting classmates. I was an advanced reader and it was a relatively short, easy to swallow book but it took me FOREVER TO READ IT. because it was THAT FUCKING BORING. It's about this stupid snot of a kid whose parents are getting divorced (mom and dad broke up! boo-hoo :'( i'm scarred for life now!) and somehow his plane goes down in the wilderness of Canada (which I can admit is the scariest fucking thing I can possibly think of. I'd rather be faced with the zombie apocalypse or a gang of mass murdering rapists than being stuck in the middle of Canada) so snot-face has to learn to survive on his own. He has a hatchet that his mom gave him (though I really can't say what possessed her to give her poor no-one-wants-me warning signs of future school shootings son a HATCHET, but she does) and he eventually stops crying and figures out how to pick berries and chop trees. Or saplings. Or something. I don't know. All I know is, this is the worst book EVER. UGH. And Mrs. "Ex-Nun" Randall made us watch the MOVIE, too. it was TORTURE.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 10, 2007 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-50 of 271 (271 new)

message 1: by Shannon (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:18AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Shannon excellent review. i agree.

message 2: by Krista (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:22AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Krista I had a very similar experience. I had a miserable 6th grade teacher who apparently loved this book and I unwittingly chose to write a negative (but I thought clever) review of it. She wrote these bitter and stunned comments all over my paper and pretty much stopped acknowledging me after that. I, to this day, don't get her passion for Paulsen's survival dreck.

message 3: by Mark (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:18PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark I loved this book, I read it in 5th grade and the idea of living in the wilderness alone, trying survive with only your own wit and a hatchet, was exciting and romantic to me. But to each his/her own :)

message 4: by Sara (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sara James Wow, it surprises me that you hated it to that extent. I didn't find Brian that whiny or emotionally unstable, actually. The divorce thing isn't as big a factor as it might be. He certainly didn't strike me as about to commit a school shooting. This was written before those were as big of a fear. The sequels aren't as good (I don't know what possessed Paulsen to write four of them) but I thought this one was solid. I probably liked it more at 12 than I do now as an adult, though.

message 5: by J (new)

J To use language familiar to the reviewer, what the fuck is the matter with you? How unstable, petty, and bitter you must be to get so violently upset over a simple book like this. I read it when I was a kid too, and while I didnt think it had Hemingways emotion or Kings character development, it was a decent book. Im not trying to argue with you about your opinions of the book, because they're yours and that's fine... but seriously, lighten up. I hope reading that book was the worst thing that happened to you that day. If it was, it was an ok day.


message 7: by Shannon (last edited Feb 14, 2008 01:35PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Shannon I love puppies. If this offends anyone, I take it back.

Sara James I don't think J is trying to say the person can't dislike the book, but that their way of expressing that dislike is overdramatic and unnecessarily vitriolic. Which, I might add, were the responses to J. And yes, using the F word in any comment is crass and shows a lack of vocabulary. It's not appropriate for public forums where anyone might read it, like young children. Could J's response have been more diplomatic while expressing his/her view? Yes, but that doesn't give Shannon the right to curse her out as well. That's just the pot calling the kettle black.

Mark lol

anyone can read or type anything on the internet... doesn't really matter... people say what they say...


Rachel Okay I totally meant to come back here and post something in regards to this thread but I got all caught up in whatever and forgot about it and man was it really in February already?

I am not a sociopath or a violent child-hating (though I have to admit that I do not like/understand babies, but I don't DISLIKE them either-it's mostly a communication barrier) madwoman hanging around outside grade schools waiting to beat up anyone with a copy of this crap book. I am dramatic, I am vindictive, I am ostentatious, I am sarcastic and I am shallow. I can be entirely flippant about everything, everyone and everyone's feelings or opinions because in my opinion, the entire world needs to man up. Everyone is so SENSITIVE and overbearing and protective and of what? I disagree with the notion that cursing, using the word "fuck," shows a lack of intelligence and articulation. My vocabulary is just fine, I do not use words like that to support an opinion so much as to highlight my intended irony. And anger. Sometimes I say "fuck" when I'm angry. Or when I'm fucking (that's "copulating" for those of you who didn't get the intended use of the word.) That doesn't mean that I can't think of another adjective that would better suit the situation, it means that I am illustrating just how intensely I feel. I don't see anything boorish about it.

I consider refraining from using language like that in front of families and in the workplace because society feels that it's unacceptable, however that is only because society has decided to create a taboo. It is a taboo that I adhere to only to avoid drama in my real (meaning not on the internet!) life. The internet is free reign for "the f-word" and I do not concern myself with the idea that some kid is going to peruse goodreads.com, come across my review, see the word "fuck" and go "Huh, I've never heard that one before, it must be a word used to illustrate a point! Wow I'm going to use this word all the time! All the fucking time!" That poor kid is going to come across things much worse and much more pertinent to our society than my (or anyone's) use of foul language, such as racism, sexual objectification, religious fanaticism, bestiality, Flash sites...There's a whole world of things for people to be concerned about, a whole world of things that kids will understand much better if their families choose to be open and communicative about things like sex,skin color, gender identification, animal rights, and basic website development. I do not censor myself around families for the sake of preserving the kid's precious integrity, I do it because I think it would seriously damper a kid's trip to the zoo to have his parents either get into an argument with some facetious bitch who said the dirty words, or become visibly distracted and upset about their child's exposure to the seedy underbelly of society and therefore be all pissy and "What is the world coming to?" all day. I mean that isn't always the case, but it can be the case and if it is the case I don't want to even begin to get involved.

I don't even remember my point anymore. I have to go back up and read through this entire thread now.

Okay. Messages 4 and 5 convey the respective individual's failure to see the satire and intended humor in my sardonic and entirely imprecise and down right hazy recollection and review of the book. Message 7 was edited and I have no idea what it said before but I think most people like puppies, and most people are way too easily offended. Message 8 was a very good moderator between the offended and the puppy lover (I mean that in an entirely platonic way.) However, Message 8, you said I was being crass and implied that I am simple minded, or at least have no vocabulary to build a statement or argument with, and that couldn't be further from the mark. I am a product of society, a generation and a particularly open minded family and I suppose that means that I'm coming from a very different place and I bring to the internet table a very different point of view as well as my methods of conveying it.

I guess the bottom line is that I'm a jerk, you guys are pussies and this entire thread of comments is WAY lame and I am SO over it.

Julia Hahaha, lets just all go read a good book huh?

Rachel As long as it wasn't written by Paulsen, I'm in.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

you guys are weird. i liked the book a lot.

message 14: by Gwen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gwen Haaland Just reading this now long after these comments were written. It's funny, but for me, this book was a JOY to read. So much so, that I think I'll re-read it as soon as I get a chance.

Rachel That story about your maps and stuff is so cute I could die.

I don't know, my review is supposed to highlight that I really don't remember much about the book at all except for like magic birds and shit berries or something? And turtle eggs or I am confusing this with an episode of Ren and Stimpy (I know this sounds impossible but it is possible)

Anyway, I think this book was entirely impossible for me to relate to but I think really, at it's base, at the core and soul of this book - it sucks.

message 16: by Seth (new)

Seth While I remember adoring the book (although all I remember is that the kid was alone and had to survive, a scenario I like reading about, but it doesn't have to be about a kid) and don't necessarily side with Rachel's "review," I do think she's pretty amusing in how she expresses herself. So I tip my cap to her for saying what she wants even though most people will call her out for it.

Julie Suzanne This thread made my week. Rachel, you're awesome and all of these reactions were a "slice of life".

I hated Hatchet, too, but that's irrelevant. Thank you for your review.

message 18: by S (last edited Mar 30, 2010 11:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

S oh god. thats one bitchy comment. and i know this is a free Godknowshat world and you can say whatever the hell you want. and i also know that different people like different things. i do accept your opinion on this book and i understand it bored the sht out of you.

this is very hypocritical of me to say, but what the hell is wrong with you. its just a book, for Gods sake. its not like its going to physically reach out and choke you until youre blue or something.

and, God, PLEASE dont tell me youd prefer freakin sparklepire TWILIGHT over this *shit.*

Rachel ςαbriηα♪ wrote: "oh god. thats one bitchy comment. and i know this is a free Godknowshat world and you can say whatever the hell you want. and i also know that different people like different things. i do accept yo..."

Dude the review is clearly not meant to be taken seriously. I mean yeah, I hated the book and all, but I hardly remember anything about it and aside from the 5 minutes it took me to write the review I hadn't thought about it in years. Aside from all the comments I get from you uptight ninnies about how I am deranged and depraved (because why would a normal person write such a negative review of such a precious little book?) I haven't thought about it since!

Jesus. I don't think the sarcasm is all that subtle.

Anyway, you have apparently not checked out my profile/other reviews (not that you should) because if you had, you'd probably be able to glean that I have not read anything by Stephanie Meyer and am generally uninterested in genre fiction. Not that any of this has anything to do with anything....

Rachel ςαbriηα♪ wrote: "oh god. thats one bitchy comment. and i know this is a free Godknowshat world and you can say whatever the hell you want. and i also know that different people like different things. i do accept yo..."

Also, if you are going to say something, why don't you just say it? Why abbreviate/edit the word shit?

message 21: by S (new) - rated it 5 stars

S o_o Whoa. Didn't see that. I guess it was a typo. *edits*

Yeah, I get what you're saying. I'd think it would be pretty random for after posting a review like two years ago and people are still commenting about it. XD

Yes. Fiction is weird. So by all means, don't read Meyer's stuff. Not that you will, of course.

message 22: by Mir (new)

Mir Wow, I would not have guessed this for a book that people felt so strongly about (unlike Twilight or Catcher in the Rye or everything by Hemingway). I remember so little about it that I didn't even mark it as read.

message 23: by May (new) - added it

May I LIVE in Canada! Canada actually isn't that bad. I thought the book wasn't that bad, but I was pretty boring.

message 24: by May (new) - added it

May Sorry! It was pretty boring.

message 25: by Mir (new)

Mir Haha, I'm sure YOU are not boring, May.

Rachel May wrote: "I LIVE in Canada! Canada actually isn't that bad. I thought the book wasn't that bad, but I was pretty boring."

Haha truth be told, I love Canada! And not just for the hockey!

That said, let's be honest here. The wilderness of Canada is pretty much the most terrifying place on Earth.

message 27: by Mir (new)

Mir Write much horror up there?

message 28: by Sam (new)

Sam Hason Sam Hason 805

I just fished the book hatchet by Gary Paulsen. In the book Brian goes on a bush plane to his dads house in Canada. Bu on his way there the pilot has a hart attack and dies. Brian has to crash land the plane or he will fall out of the sky in no time. He picks out a wide L shaped lake and kills the engine. A lot goes through his head in that time from the sky to the lake. But as soon as he knows it, he’s submerged in water drowning. He takes of his seat belt and swims to shore. His cut and bruised and wet. All he has is wallet the cloths on his back and what? A hatchet his mom gives him as a good by present. I mean who gives that as a good bye present to their sun when they’re leaving to go to his their dad’s house? That night he is eaten alive by insects and mosquitoes. The next day he realizes that he needs food and shelter. For shelter he finds a cave. And for food he finds berries that soon get the name gut berries because of the after math of barfing. He soon finds raspberries. As eating his dinner he thinks to him self “I cant live with out protean” and falls asleep. That same night he wakes up to a sharp pain in his leg. It’s a porcupine. He picks up his hatchet and through it at it. He misses. But he hits the wall and a spark comes and hits the pile of dead leafs. And that is how he made fire.

There are all sorts of adventure in this book. It is a truly amazing book! I do think that there are some boring parts like in all books. But there is more fun the boring. I would recommend this book to kids aged 1-100 because this book will inspire you to crash land on a lake and try to survive. You will be sad when the book ends but will be happy when u pick up the sequel.

message 29: by Jay (new)

Jay I thought it was a decent book, but I've always wanted to see if I could survive in the wilderness for a while with a few simple tools and whatever knowledge I possess. Though I'd rather it not be due to a terrible plane crash. At any rate I read this book a long while ago.

Olivia Wow. If your over the comments, stop commenting back. You DO Sound like a jerk. Hater.

message 31: by Rachel (last edited Jul 18, 2010 09:58AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Rachel Olivia wrote: "Wow. If your over the comments, stop commenting back. You DO Sound like a jerk. Hater."

I get the comments in my email, why would I ignore them? It just takes a click on a link and a minute to reply. I just think it's funny that people are still commenting like 2 years later when I've explained about 50 times that I don't even remember this book and I don't care that everyone else apparently loved it to bits.

That said - I AM a jerk, bitch.

message 32: by Mir (new)

Mir If your over the comments

That would be you're.

message 33: by Wilf (new)

Wilf This was one of the most interesting threads I've ever read. So much that I just have to read this book. Everyone has a place and a value in this world. Even jerks and bitches. LOL.

Guan Jie Fung deleted user wrote: "you guys are weird. i liked the book a lot."


Kayla You hate everything.

message 36: by Emily (new)

Emily no one likes a book when it is forced on them. period.

message 37: by Rachel (new)

Rachel my whole class had to read this book and i fell a sleep and zoned out this was a very disappointing book i was not happy.:(

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

I disapprove of this review.

You have not stated why this book is so boring. It's actually very entertaining and very original if you re-read it.

I just didn't understand any point in posting this.

message 39: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Lessard If you want to sound legitimate, try cutting your profanity and emoticons and presenting some evidence. I'd have some sympathy for your stance if you posed an argument that went beyond broad statements of insecurity.

It sounds to me that your broadly described hatred of this book stems from your unrealized similarities to the character you claim to hate - hence you obviously missed one of author's themes: wallowing in self pity teaches you nothing and gets you nowhere.

Kristen This thread is amazing. I love this review, and that is exactly how I felt when being forced to read this book in both fourth and fifth grade. Thank you, Rachel, for maintaining a sense of humor! It is hilarious that there are several replies arguing with you, when obviously you didn't care for the book and aren't going to change your mind whether or not these people try to convince you otherwise!

Also, to everyone else, especially the last few posts-- the review is about what Rachel thought of the book. Nothing states she should have to list reasons why or prove that this book is boring. From her perspective it is boring. End of story! Why is everyone getting their panties in a bunch over a review? It is an opinion. Take it as one rather than taking offense!

message 41: by Denise (new)

Denise Labelle Their is something very wrong about bashing a children's book in such a manner. I loved this book so much as a kid that I bought all the books as an adult. Were talking about a story of a kid lost in the wilderness no food, dirty water and injured. You may not relate to him, but can you relate to every character you have ever found in a book. It's a great book and you only dislike the idea of being forced to read it. Also if the movie was made today you would probably want to see it. And just so you are aware I would be more afraid of you shooting up a school then Brian "who did nothing to deserve that comment at all."
Try not to get anymore bitter your sour aditude is like a dark cloud.

message 42: by Carson (last edited Sep 08, 2011 06:27PM) (new)

Carson ok really the book wasn't that bad your just angry about reading a book you didn't want to read, you probably don't ever reading anything just to read. now you're just taking your anger out on a book. i have to say your an extreme bitch for making a comment on this book like that because it was a good book. i have to admit the movie would probably be pretty bad i havn't seen it myself. oh and he did more then pick berries and chopped trees, he gets hit by a moose and a tornado. i bet if you got hit by a moose you would sit down a cry then when you got hit by the tornado you would shit yourself

Marlon Manalese LOL YES Rachel, I totally agree. I remember why I thought reading was boring for the longest time. Because my 7th grade teacher made me read this piece of crap. It's so BORING of a book when you're stuck with one character that doesn't interact with anything but the environment. You don't feel anything, and you don't give a shit. When I started reading books again where the main character builds relationships and goes through real life obstacles, then I was reminded: The Hatchet sucks ASS!!!

message 44: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Schauer I'm sorry you were forced to read this so late in your acedmic career. I remember reading and re-reading this book in my elementary school days and thinking it was a great story that really showed me how compelling the power of writing can be. While I tend to avoid novels and fiction in general now, I can honestly say this might be the single best novel I have ever read in my life.

Carwyn Morris Same. Fucking piece of shit.

Natasha ZettaCrepeauStypayhoralikson I personal find this review harsh, and the language does not help your argument

Victoria Abrahim I. Could not agree less it is filled with detail and the question of what is going to happen next it was probably the best book I read in the 4th grade but if you don't think it's a good book then the books you read must be c**p.

Rachel Kayla wrote: "You hate everything."

i really, really like dogs.

Rachel Sam wrote: "If you want to sound legitimate, try cutting your profanity and emoticons and presenting some evidence. I'd have some sympathy for your stance if you posed an argument that went beyond broad state..."

hahaha i so don't understand how my review of a book i read 15 years ago (and have stated again and again is hazy in my memory) highlights my insecurity?? did this review make me look fat????

Rachel Kristen wrote: "This thread is amazing. I love this review, and that is exactly how I felt when being forced to read this book in both fourth and fifth grade. Thank you, Rachel, for maintaining a sense of humor! I..."

thank you. maybe they are mistaking goodreads.com for the nyt book review?

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