karen's Reviews > Hatchet

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
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it was amazing
bookshelves: teen-faves, and-so-this-is-grad-school, favorites

yes yes yes!! thank you to all the goodreaders who recommended this to me after my love for island of the blue dolphins became known. it turns out i love survival stories!! with teens!! and i wish i could say i never tore my eyes from the page and read this in an hour, but i have been having a distractedish day today; emailing my dad for father's day (everyone: call your dads!! or if they are at work, email-chat them!) and then there was a fire across the street from me (which is my number one all time fear) and the people in the building are so casual about it - there are two fire trucks in the street, and firefighters swarming everywhere, and i look in the windows and in two different apartments, there are people just sitting and watching and smoking cigarettes. what is wrong with them?? don't they care that their building is on fire?? don't they feel the fear i feel?? did they light their cigarettes from their blazing belongings and treasures?? i don't understand their stoicism in the face of fire. but you know who loves fire?? brian. he uses it to survive in the wilderness. seamless segue back into the review. it's great. i could read 400 more pages of this story. and despite my own fears of the fire leaping across the street to consume me and my beloved books, i could still engage in his plight: when he d the h in the w (clever code prevents spoilers) - i actually gasped out loud. and there were several times when he overcame a particular setback that i smiled. i totally cared about this character. i would love more survivaly stories, if anyone's got 'em.

come to my blog!
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 21, 2009 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-50 of 215 (215 new)


message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, okay, now I gotta read it!

Do you know you CAN keep on reading Brian's story! There are like four sequels. Also, there is a nonfiction companion called "Guts" where Gary Paulsen tells you stuff from his real life that showed up in the book.


karen sequels!!! oh good gravy!! how have i missed all of this?? i cant believe i dont even have to read the teen books anymore because they were for the wrong class, but now i am making independent trips to the second floor for teen fiction that wasnt even on that list in the first place... if you knew my stance on teenagers, my daring to venture there would be more impressive. suddenly, i am one of the "adults who read teen fiction" that i used to rail against. some of it is pretty good (blush)


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, The River is a sequel and Brian's Winter and I forget the others.

Of course some of it's pretty good! All the way "down" to board books--genius lurks!


karen i still have to get me those snaily snail books. and i am going to read the teen books i bought for the (wrong) class, because they are here and i might as well. im a little convert!


message 5: by Greg (new)

Greg on the non-fiction front you can read Into Thin Air, lots of survival there but not always with overcoming it.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I was a huge fan of My Side of the Mountain and read it several times. I like survivaly stories.


karen thats just voluntary mountain climbing though, right?? i like stories where people are in jail and a volcano erupts. oh nooo!! or - what do i eat in the woods after i become stranded from the scouts and a moose wants to eat me?


karen yes! a new series - i just read your review!


message 9: by Greg (new)

Greg Voluntary Mountain Climbing where fucked up and unexpected things happen.....

Did I ever mention that I have a Wilderness Survival merit badge from my Boy Scout days?


message 10: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Jun 21, 2009 11:26AM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio It's voluntary, but only to a certain extent. Once he's out there, during the winter, he's pretty much stuck. I mostly just liked all the descriptions of the clever survivaly things he does. He lives in a hollowed out tree and has a falcon for a friend. That should be enough. I guess it's not terribly action-packed though. But there was something that I really liked about it when reading it as a kid. It's sort of like Walden for kids or something.


karen did i ever mention i got kicked out of brownies?? dont give me badge-envy. the cookies are so bittersweet to me now.


message 12: by Greg (new)

Greg I also have an Emergency Preparedness merit badge, what I had to do for each of those are really intertwined in my memory. During work on one of them though I learned how to make a real noose and napalm, two skills that every person should know.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio David Lynch was an Eagle Scout. Just sayin.


karen noooo my comment of "voluntary" was to gregs suggestion to read into thin air (he keeps pushing that book on me) my side of the mountain sounds really good - i just read your review on it and liked it. i will check it out at work on tuesday (yet another trip to... that floor). now it is time for salad and dork-quizzing.


message 15: by Greg (new)

Greg They never told us that one when I was in Boy Scouts.

They only focused on the astronauts and politicians. And Steven Spielberg.


karen no such thiiii-iiiing...


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Why is it hard for me to picture Spielberg as an Eagle Scout but somehow it's not with David Lynch? I think I might be racist.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio karen wrote: "noooo my comment of "voluntary" was to gregs suggestion to read into thin air (he keeps pushing that book on me) my side of the mountain sounds really good - i just read your review on it and liked..."

Ah, I see.




message 19: by Malbadeen (new)

Malbadeen Karen after you've gorged on Paulsen's survival tales, you'll have to read "Guts: the true stories behind Hatchet and the Brian stories" as well as "How Angel Peterson Got his Wings".
He's also an author worth hearing if you get the chance. Gruff and sweet and grandfatherly cool to the nines!


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

And read "Harris and Me." DO IT!


karen excellent! i will do all of these things!!


message 22: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen Greg wrote: "I also have an Emergency Preparedness merit badge, what I had to do for each of those are really intertwined in my memory. During work on one of them though I learned how to make a real noose and ..."

I was a card carrying member of the Boy Scouts of America in high school; we had this co-ed camping group that did extended backpacking trips. I loved it. Missed the napalm lesson. Do remember how to hang my food high when in a bear sanctuary.


message 23: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Karen, that was a super awesome book review.
Jen, the napalm lesson can be found in "Fight Club."


karen thanks! and be careful with the napalm, ladies... a little goes a long way...


message 25: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen I prefer small random acts of nuisance- like leaving small piles of raisins in mailboxes atop electric bills or writing poser on someone's front walk with blue chalk, but thanks for the napalm advisory. It may help take things up a notch.


message 26: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine hey come on connor said there were 5 books in the Brian Saga that has to be at least 400 pages.



karen i thought he was kidding about that - because this was after he was telling me they were board books etc...

jen, in your town, they probably assume all "nuisance attacks" are the handiwork of the guy that made that movie... you are probably making life hard for him.


message 28: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen true, true. I should leave a calling card. It will say, "I did it. Not that other guy."


message 29: by Greg (new)

Greg I can't remember the napalm recipe exactly from Fight Club, but if I do remember it is a bit more complicated than the one I learned in Boy Scouts.

I will admit though that I was too afraid of ever actually trying out the recipe, knowing my parents would not be too happy if I happened to set fire to their house, the neighbors house, the woods behind the golf course, or the school playground with burning vapors I had no idea how to put out. So, what I know might be full of shit.


message 30: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Jun 22, 2009 03:01PM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Tried to make napalm out of styrofoam and gasoline once (I'm pretty sure this was the Anarchist's Cookbook recipe--this kind of info was transmitted person to person usually). I don't think it worked. But the gasoline burned for a while. Oh, youthful pyromania. What's up with that tendency anyway?


message 31: by Greg (new)

Greg I think it's because burning things is kind of fun as a male child.

I'm not sure if anything in the Anarchist Cookbook actually works, I've heard so many mixed things over the years of little mistakes that may or may not be intentional in the book that could result in blowing yourself up.


message 32: by Greg (new)

Greg Where did you try to set off the napalm? That was always my biggest obstacle to experimenting with it.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Greg wrote: "I think it's because burning things is kind of fun as a male child."

Yeah, but why, Greg? Why?




karen its fun to destroy. for any child. destroying inanimate objects makes you normal. destroying living things makes you a sociopath.


message 35: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Jun 22, 2009 03:15PM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Greg wrote: "Where did you try to set off the napalm? That was always my biggest obstacle to experimenting with it."

I think we'd only let the styrofoam soak for hardly any time at all, and I remember something about having to let it soak for a few days...in any case I'm sure it was just gasoline. I remember trying a variety of these pyro experiments mostly in a more isolated area where a friend of mine lived. One point I remember thinking that we we're going to burn down an entire field of corn where we'd tried to explode something or another. Things never exploded though, just burned until we reasoned that this thing was not going to explode so we could approach it and extinguish the flames. Reckless, reckless days. Luckily that all stopped once we discovered drugs and alcohol. Whew.




message 36: by Greg (new)

Greg MyFleshSingsOut wrote: "Greg wrote: "I think it's because burning things is kind of fun as a male child."

Yeah, but why, Greg? Why?

"



Because we all secretly have the spirit of Jesus in us and want to baptize the world with Fire, not water...





message 37: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Brian's Saga

* Hatchet (1987) (Has an alternate ending which makes a continuity with Brian's Winter)
* The River (Hatchet: The Return, The Return) (1991)
* Brian's Winter (Hatchet: Winter) (1996)
* Brian's Return (Hatchet: The Call) (1999)
* Brian's Hunt (2003)

I don't know if they are any good, but I think most of his books are about surviving in the wilderness.

I feel like Jack London at least has some short stories like that.


message 38: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine this male child theory is incorrect. Little girls are the exact same way people just don't talk about it.

my brother use to constantly yell at me for setting off the fire alarm.


message 39: by Greg (new)

Greg I agree with Karen. I wsa going to write something like that instead of my Jesus answer.

I also think that living in a state where it was near impossible to get fireworks setting things on fire was the next best thing.

Boy Scouts was good for the fire thing too, it was kind of like sanctioned fun with fire, unless you used aerosol cans and tried to suck the fire back into the can and then throw it into the woods. Then you got in trouble even if nothing happened and no one got hurt....


message 40: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Jun 22, 2009 03:18PM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Greg wrote: "Because we all secretly have the spirit of Jesus in us and want to baptize the world with Fire, not water..."

I was thinking of either some hilarious Freudian explanation or a evolutionary psychology style explanation that would actually make some sense, but I'd totally forgotten about the universal desire to turn the world to cinders. It's so obvious in hindsight.




message 41: by Greg (new)

Greg My last roomate used to to yell at me for setting things on fire, so I guess it's not just being young in my case. But seriously in this day and age if you don't have a paper shredder doesn't setting fire to paper (in the kitchen sink, I'm not being reckless here) with personal information on it, like a social security number, just make sense?


message 42: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Jun 22, 2009 03:24PM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Jasmine wrote: "this male child theory is incorrect. Little girls are the exact same way people just don't talk about it.

my brother use to constantly yell at me for setting off the fire alarm."


Wow, how great would that have been to find out that the cute girl you liked in grade school also wanted to burn things just as much as you?? We need to encourage girls to openly express their desire to raze things with flames.


message 43: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine i'm with you greg, although I would probably go with the fire escape.


message 44: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine MyFleshSingsOut wrote: Wow, how great would that have been to find out that the cute girl you liked in grade school also wanted to burn things just as much as you?? We need to encourage girls to openly express they're desire to raze things with flames.

I would say ask chances are she did. All of my friends did. It's why girls constantly do that aging paper with fire thing, because mommy won't get mad and you get to play with fire.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I'm just laughing over here, imagining all sorts of bass ackwards parental advice I may be giving out in the future, "Hey there, son. Now don't be afraid to ask little Susie to play with matches with you, because I've got an inside tip that says she's just as interested as you are when it comes to the sweet, sweet comforts of watching things burn..."


karen i liked the way matches smelled when i was little. still do.



message 47: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen I too played with fire. And when Smokey the Bear came to my second grade classroom I didn't like him one bit, looney bear with slurred speech full of fire hate.

I sang this after his song, matching his chorus:
"Smokey the bear wears brown underwear,
he poops and pees right down his knees
and ruins his underwear"

Vintage Smokey propaganda- the song is at the very end...the dude talking about forest fire prevention is smoking a cigarette in the forest!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g05DjN...


message 48: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Smokey never came to my school, but I remember the dare police officer, and I remember that nothing had ever made me want to do drugs more than that 4 week course.


karen my school either! probably because jen taunted him so much he never went to another school again...


message 50: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine there was a color coded fire warning system at the head of the island


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