Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books

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Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian

This is a non-fiction memoir written by Gary Paulsen about the events in this life that he merged into his Brian Roberson novels. Paulson’s novel is divided into 7 chapters, that includes a Foreword and a basic section, with primitive survival skills. The other 5 chapters that recount the experiences from his own life that inspired his Brian books.

Moving back and forth during events in his past, Paulsen says that he served in the miltary and became a volunteer for ambulance services, an Iditarod racer, pilot for small planes, encountered mishaps and hunting experiences. Most of these experiences happened in Canada, Minnesota, and the wilderness of Alaska. Paulsen is honest about what he went through, telling readers everything so they will realize that he is writing about his experiences. Paulsen says that he did not let Brian experience anything that he did not. Paulsen says that this is because he wants to give readers real knowledge through his wriitng, and not just drama.

Paulsen systematically flows through the experiences of Brian in those 4 books. When the plane crashes because the pilot died from a heart attack, Paulsen tells about a couple of experiences he had. While Paulsen is working as one of the ambulance volunteers, responded to a lot of heart attack cases. One was particularly about Harvey, a man who looked Paulsen in the eyes while Paulsen was saving his life. The pilot who was in Hatchet was looking at Brian with the same expression in his eyes. The plane crash was from Paulsen’s experience in witnessing an aftermath of plane crashes, and from once seeing an actual plane crash while he is boarded a ship.

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The illustrations of Paulsen about Brian’s survival in the wilderness was also from Paulsen’s experience. For instance, adapting to sounds and learning to hunt using a bow and arrow that Paulsen mastered since he was a child until he became a teenager.

Paulsen’s experiences are written in this book and what inspired the Brian novels he wrote. This audiobook will be all you need. 

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List book in the series

  1. Hatchet
  2. The River
  3. Brian’s Winter
  4. Brian’s Return
  5. Brian’s Hunt
  6. Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books


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