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Hatchet

Written by: Gary Paulsen
Narrated by: Peter Coyote
Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (90 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Newbery Award-winner Gary Paulsen's best-known book comes to audio in this breathless, heart-gripping drama about a boy pitted against the wilderness with only a hatchet and a will to live.

On his way to visit his recently divorced father in the Canadian mountains, thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is the only survivor when the single-engine plane crashes. His body battered, his clothes in shreds, Brian must now stay alive in the boundless Canadian wilderness.

More than a survival story, Hatchet is a tale of tough decisions. When all is stripped down to the barest essentials, Brian discovers some stark and simple truths. Self-pity doesn't work. Despair doesn't work. And if Brian is to survive physically as well as mentally, he must discover courage.

©1992 Gary Paulsen (P)1992 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, An Imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the critics say

"Brian Robeson, the sole passenger in a single-engine plane, is on his way to visit his father in the Canadian oil fields when his pilot suffers a heart attack. Alone and desperate, Brian guides the plane to a landing on an isolated lake. In a straightforward but compelling narration, Coyote captures Brian's terror, anguish and exultation as he learns to survive alone in the wilderness.... Musical effects underscore an air of suspense, mystery and dread." (AudioFile magazine)

"A dramatic, heart-stopping story." (Publishers Weekly

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping survival story.

Appealed to our whole family including adults, teens and younger kids. The narration was excellent and added to the experience. Highly recommended as an audible.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great story, but didn't like the repetitiveness

was suspenseful and had you on edge, the only downfall imo was the author's repetitiveness in Brian's thoughts. will definitely get the rest in the series though!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What a thrilling story very well narrated

It's a short story but it really captures you, I found myself jumping out the bed with some chapters eyes wide open in the dark hahaha

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Rory

Awesome book 📖 is it a real story?? I love it make more like it. My name is Rory Lennon

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

by far one of my favorite childhood books.

It was great to revisit the novel after many years.
great naration and sound effects bring it to life.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

good nostalgia

the book is quite good although I always feel the ending is a little abrupt. at the same time though it is fitting for the unexpected nature of surviving in the wilderness

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A great read and an even better listen!

I work away from home and listened to this timeless classic while my 8 year old daughter enjoyed the written version. We enjoyed discussing the book each day as we progressed through this exciting story of adventure and mishaps. A great book for the young and old. The narrator does an excellent job on this story, you won’t be disappointed #Audible1

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What an Adventure

Brian's journey as a character leave the reader both amazed and afraid of the "Great Outdoors"

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Raquel Aceves-Mittman
  • Ramona, CA USA
  • 2012-02-14

Outstanding!

I was looking for an adventure book that my 14 year old son, 11 year old and 9 year old daughters would like. This book fit the bill perfectly! We drive a lot and love to listen to books together. This one kept us on the edge of our seats, wondering what would happen next. Mr. Paulsen is a fantastic writer and we look forward to listening to the rest of the books in this series.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • East Boothbay, ME, USA
  • 2004-04-06

Too real to be fiction

I could listen to Peter Coyote read anything. The story itself is a wonderful tale of adventure in the very harsh world of the wilds, yet there is a beauty in this boy's struggle to survive. The scenes of desperateness will make you breath shallow and strain to hear. It is a great story, too good to be fiction. Enjoy.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tara
  • 2007-12-14

Gripping! Life inspiring story.

I listened to this story after my 4th grade daughter reccomended it to me! They read it in class and I listened while doing my usual stuff. It was so amazing, gripping, sad, exciting and truly visual that I would have to stop what I was doing just to stare at my laptop! Peter Coyote is a brilliant narrator/actor and I want to hear more of his narrations now. Thank you to author Paulson for a great story. Can't wait to hear THE RIVER.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Teacher / music lover / book lover
  • 2006-04-11

Survival Story for Grades 5 or 6 through 8.

This is a story about a young boy, aged about 12, whose parents are divorcing. He is on his way to visit his father in the Canadian wilderness when a disaster occurs. The pilot has a heart attack and dies, mid-flight, and the boy must figure out how to get the plane to land and then survive in the Canadian wilderness until help arrives. My son read it in 6th grade and loved it, and he really hated to read. It does have some mature themes -- divorce, infidelity, and death -- so is not suitable for K-4 or K-5 children. It is, however, an enthralling story that pre-teens and young adolescents enjoy.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kristi Villani
  • 2004-04-23

the whole family loved it!!!

This started out being a entertainment for a road trip and turned into a highlight of our weekend away. My mind kept going back to the movie "Castaway" with Tom Hanks. The way such a young boy finds strength in himself, against all odds, is absolutely inspiring.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kc
  • 2019-01-12

Great story to revisit

I remember reading while in grade school and wanted something quick to listen to while working. Great story that paints the whole picture but the only that took me out of it sometimes was the music/tones. I know it was during tense parts but felt "outdated." Like this was recorded back in the 80s....personally could've done without it but performance was still great. Recommend and enjoy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • K. Gregory-Fiala
  • 2003-12-04

Excellent book for young teenagers

Gary Paulsen wrote an excellent book on self-reliance, strong character and good common sense,and he wrapped it all up in an exciting survival story. Brian is an incredible character. Every kid should read this book in Middle School. I recommend the audio book for car trips. It keeps everyone engaged and makes the drive time much more enjoyable!! Look for the 2 sequels as well.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • R. Wellmore
  • 2012-04-04

Inspiring...

This story is aimed at young folk, but as a 50-something I got a lot out of it and enjoyed it so much I am listening to the rest of the series. My one criticism is that there is way too much dramatic music, and for me it was way too loud. That's why I gave the audiobook three stars overall, even though I rated the story and performance four stars.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TruBluDevil
  • 2004-12-15

Excellent Listen!

I don't know where to start in singing the praises of "Hatchet"! It has all the key ingredients necessary in a good audiobook, including a narrator who reads with emotion and clarity, and a thoroughly gripping plot. I nearly missed my bus one morning, I was so engrossed in the story! For anyone who loved/s "My Side of the Mountain," this is even better.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-08-16

Great Performance but Distracting Noises

I really enjoyed the performance of the reader. he was articulate and conveyed the emotions appropriate for the story. The background theatrics were distracting, at times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful