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Guts : The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books Hardcover – January 23, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

What do you do when you're being charged by a red-eyed furious wall of brown fur that is an insane moose? How do you make a weapon with your bare hands? How do you sneak up on a grouse or a rabbit, kill it with a well-aimed arrow, and cook it over a fire--without a pot? All this and lots more is essential learning for Brian Robeson, the young wilderness survivor in Gary Paulsen's classic novel Hatchet. In writing that book, Paulsen was determined that everything that happened to Brian--the survival techniques and the physical and emotional traumas--would be drawn closely from reality and his own experiences. In Guts he reveals the stories behind Hatchet, as he lived them. Linked to specific incidents from Brian's ordeal are the skills and insights Paulsen learned as a teenager passionately in love with hunting in the north woods of Minnesota, the extremes of exhaustion and cold he knew in running the Iditarod dog races in Alaska, the chilling close-up knowledge of heart attacks from his experiences as a volunteer ambulance driver, the silence and majesty of the wilderness. Some great stories are told here: the child killed by two kicks from the razor-sharp hooves of a small deer, the difficulties of sharing a rescue helicopter ride with a terrified dog team, and some spectacular gross-outs about the nutritional need to eat every part of an animal. Hatchet fans will be agog, and parents and teachers will be thrilled to see the enthusiastic reaction of even the most reluctant readers. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

From School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Adding to his already considerable oeuvre, Paulsen offers this collection of wilderness survival/hunting essays that concentrates on drawing parallels between his own life and the fictional adventures and misadventures of Brian Robeson in Hatchet (Macmillan, 1986) and its sequels. The author's previous collection of hunting and fishing essays, Father Water, Mother Woods (Delacorte, 1994), was supposed to satisfy readers' need to know the stories behind the stories, but the flow of inquiries only increased. He wrote this collection, which focuses on specific events in the "Brian" books, to answer those fans' questions. Readers find out about moose attacks and plane crashes and attempts at eating raw turtle eggs. The writing is what we have come to expect from Paulsen-at times spare and at others lyrically descriptive of nature and life out of doors-but the repetition of ideas he wants to hammer home gets annoying in a couple of the essays. Every time he mentions money, he goes on to mention that he was working to pay for school supplies and clothes since his parents wouldn't. Guts is more meandering biographical musings than it is traditional essays. It does leave one wondering how he had time to pen his 100 plus books; he seems never to have been indoors since he discovered hunting as a teenager. This title is a must for libraries serving fans of the "Brian" adventures. It's also an excellent book to place in the hands of young readers interested in hunting since it imparts a responsible philosophy of hunting and gun usage.-Timothy Capehart, Leominster Public Library, MA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1230L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition first Printing edition (January 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385326505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385326506
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,660,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Paulsen is one of the most honored writers of contemporary literature for young readers. He has written more than one hundred book for adults and young readers, and is the author of three Newberry Honor titles: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He divides his time among Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, and the Pacific.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#53 in Books > Teens
#53 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I started reading this book the day it came in the mail and couldn't put it down! I read the entire book in one sitting. In this book, Paulsen describes way more details than in his "Hatchet" series. It is very interesting how he got his information to make "Hatchet" very authentic, from being an ambulance driver, being in the air force, being in the Iditarod, flying planes, being attacked by animals, and having an exciting childhood. One thing I learned about Paulsen that I didn't know before was why and how he learned, as a boy, to be a survivor. You will have to read the book yourself to find this out. It is pretty amazing how he survived some of his experiences, all of which helped make the "Hatchet" series so captivating. Now I know why "Hatchet" has been my favorite book for such a long time. I think anyone would enjoy reading "Guts" by Gary Paulsen.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By H.S. Cross on December 23, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There seems to be very little Gary Paulsen hasn't experienced first hand: crashing a bush plane, being pummeled half to death by an angry moose, attempting to drag a 200 pound deer out of a swamp, roasting squirrels over spits, eating bugs, eyeballs, and guts... This is a collection of real life adventures that inspired events in Paulsen's novels. A must-read for fans of these books and for anybody (esp. boys) who love disgusting, dangerous, modern-day survival stories. It's easy to read and gives an appreciation for true survival skills in a world that has largely lost touch with such values. ages 10+
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By a student on February 22, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book Guts is an autobiography about Gary Paulsen. All of the adventures he has been on. How he survived as a kid when he ran away or like the first time he got a book when he walked into a library and an old lady gave him a library card. He has many stories about how he was attacked by moose and how he was saving peoples lives by driving them to the hospital in an ambulance. All of the great stories he has for you it just captures you and makes you want to read and read till you get tiered. The part of the story I liked the most was when he was hunting and got attacked by a moose. A simile that really fits this book is hatchet. This is a great book and I would recommend it to any reader.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Anthony Neace Book Review Final Draft
1-30-02 6B
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Guts: The True Story Behind Delacorte Press, 2001, 148 PP,... Hatchet and the Brian Books. ISBN: 0-385-32650-5
Gary Paulsen
BOOK REVIEW
Ever been attacked by a deer, or a moose? Well, Gary Paulsen has, and in Guts, Gary Paulsen talks about how he got the idea for Hatchet and the Brian Books. He tells about how he has spent a good portion of his life roughing it out in the woods and in the snow-covered regions of Alaska.
Also in guts, there are many violent or not so violent scenarios that the author has experienced that played a role in the books. For example, one of them might be moose attacks.
I though Gary Paulsen's experiences in the book were very interesting, how it inspired a major part of the story and all. I enjoyed reading this book; the stories in it were very interesting. The areas of the stories were mostly in woods, parks, or lowly populated areas.
One story in guts tells how Gary Paulsen witnessed a child being killed by a deer. A 4-year-old child was giving a deer a piece of candy. His mother asked him to hold the candy away from the dear for a minute to get a good picture. This angered the deer, and he stomped his hoofs into the boy's chest. The impact of the attack was great; the child was killed in an instant. Everyone around looked at the deer, now in an angry rage. Not too far away, there was a sign that said do not feed the deer.
I highly recommend this book for people 10 and up, who are interested in stories involving the woods, attacks, and even cooking methods.
I rate this book a 9 out of 10.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the autobiography Guts by Gary Paulsen, he explains what life life was like for him growing up in the wild. He explains some of the things that he had done when he was hunting for small game in the woods or something that happened when he he was in the Iditarod in Alaska or when he was being pummled by a moose in the middle of a river heading down stream to set the fall traps. This book is like a autobiograph of ten different people and their childhoods all packed into one person. He has seen things that only some people could think of, and then portrays them in a fairy tale manner. The book does not drag on like some, it is a very fun and exciting book to read and a non stop cliff hanger that will keep you reading until the book is done and then wishing that there was more to read. I suggest this book to anybody of any age.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 28, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is gory and interesting. This book has a variety of true stories. Most of the stories are gory but the last story"The Joy of Cooking". My favorite part is when a little boy was teasing a white tail deer with mints the deer jump up and stabbed the boy in the chest with his hooves.
I like this book it is interesting and gory it is fun to read.
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