1. SayWhatNow?
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    SayWhatNow? Senior Member

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    Hatchet by Gary Paulson

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by SayWhatNow?, Dec 4, 2009.

    My teacher is making us read 'Hatchet' by Gary Paulson. So far we have read up to chapter 19, near the end. The question of this post is...

    WHY IN THE WORLD IS THIS BOOK IN SCHOOL CURRICULUM???

    There is no plot, WAY too much repitition, Brian falls flat, there are so many things in this book that are totally unnecessary . . .

    I cannot even begin to comprehend why anyone would enjoy this book. Coming from the one who sat down and read half of Catcher In The Rye at once, I almost fell asleep in Literature class when we had to read it.

    DOES ANYONE KNOW WHY IT IS CONSIDERED GOOD???
     
  2. Yarnillah
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    Yarnillah Contributing Member

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    I think I might have read 'Hatchet'. Is that the one where they pilot has a heart attack and the plane crashes and the kid has to survive on his own for a few months???
     
  3. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like nature, and thus, I like this book quite a bit. Now, it's been at least 8 years since I read it and my mind could have changed, but I adored it back then.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Yes.

    It's been about 8-9 years since I first read this book. I thought it was good, and it was actually one of my favorites back in the day. It's basically a book about survival, and that part of the book takes precedence over any "plot." I might have appreciated the book a little more than others just because I spend a lot of time outdoors as a kid.

    Also, I don't see how Brian "falls flat" or how there are unnecessary elements in the book.
     
  5. SayWhatNow?
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    SayWhatNow? Senior Member

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    I recall an incedent where Paulson spends half a page describing a wolf that has absolutely no point and doesn't show up at all past that. And he also spent two pages describing how Brian caught a bird. It was amateur and boring.

    Also, the only thing we EVER hear about is how pissed off about his parents divorcing. He never discusses what he used to do for fun, anything about his personality, if he was smart, a jock, average, or what. I can't, for all my worth, bring myself to care about Brian at all. You would think that being trapped in the wilderness for a month and half would bring up at least something about friends, crushes, or something of the like.
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I don't remember the wolf part. But as for everything else, Paulson's just showing the harsh realities of surviving alone. Since this is Brian's first time hunting a bird, I think taking two pages to describe it is warranted. As for his personal life, I do agree that it would have been better if we knew something about his life. But, like I mentioned before, this novel is primarily about survival of an individual (sort of reminds me of The Road). Taking away the personal elements of it means that the reader can connect closer to the character without being worried around personal tastes, beliefs, etc. I hope that makes a little sense, at least.

    Maybe I'm going a little overboard with my analysis, but I just feel the need to defend this book because I liked it as a kid.
     
  7. Hollowly
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    Hollowly Member

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    our teacher had us read this too. Also watch the movie. It's pretty forgetable
     
  8. Killey
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    Killey Member

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    I liked this book when I was 13/14. It was one of the more memorable books I read in high school. I do not know how I would rate it now.

    I loved the survival aspect of the book. I suppose trying to live is repetitive. Especially in a forest, in a cave or wherever he found shelter near a lake.

    I still remember parts of it, at least vaguely. He must of done something right.
     
  9. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    How does "trying not to die of starvation and exposure" count as no plot?
     
  10. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, it's basically a "coming of age" story. Kid loses father, must survive on his own in the wilderness, becomes a man through the process. The end. That's why they make us read it.
     
  11. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's very easy to teach and easy to learn. Helpful to teachers.
     
  12. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    I love the book becuase of the nature and survival skills. That's something that I love. It's a good book to read. However, if you aren't into detail, I think the book couold cause your head to spin...
     

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