Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books is a non-fiction book by Gary Paulsen, published on January 23, 2001 by Delacorte Books. It is about some of Paulsen's life adventures, including dog sledding in blizzards, being in a plane stalling in the air in the arctic, watching as a little boy gets stomped to death by a baby buck, and eating bugs. He discusses the inspirations of his life and the way they helped to create events for his character Brian Robeson in his Brian series.
When Paulsen was a child, his parents were negligent and didn't provide enough money for food and school supplies, so he worked as a pinsetter in a bowling alley for money and hunted rabbits, ducks, and grouse for food. He grew to love hunting and the woods and later starting favoring the bow rather than the gun. This is because he says guns create too much unnatural noise, and bows were more part of nature anyway. He had a great number of experiences hunting as a boy (not always good ones) and these are what mostly inspired the Brian Books. He also says that he did everything Brian did in the books to make sure it could be done. The one thing he didn't was eat a raw turtle egg. He tried but threw up and decided to put it in his book anyway, because Brian was starving, and Paulsen says that the best sauce is hunger.
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