The River Audiobook by Gary Paulsen – Hatchet #2

Children's AudiobooksThe River Audiobook by Gary Paulsen - Hatchet #2
5/5 - (4 votes)
Status: Completed
Version: Unabridged
Author: Gary Paulsen
Narrator: Peter Coyote
Series: Hatchet
Genre: Children's Audiobooks, Action & Adventure
Updated: 21/11/2023
Listening Time: 2 hrs and 31 mins
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The River Audiobook, also known as The Return or Hatchet: The Return Audiobook, is a 1991 young adult novel by Gary Paulsen. It is the second installment in the Hatchet series, but chronologically the third with Brian’s Winter serving as an alternative second book.

This story was awarded An IRA-CBC Children’s Choice and A Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year.

Plot Summary

“We want you to do it again.”

These words, spoken to Brian Robeson, a 15-year-old boy who spent 54 days surviving alone in the Canadian wilderness the previous summer, changes his life.

After hesitation at first, Brian eventually agrees with the suggestion from the government as they would like him to again in the woods with only two knives and surviving only by his wits, so the military can learn his survival techniques.

This time, Brian sets out for a remote Canadian location accompanied by Derek Holtzer, a government psychologist. Soon, the project backfires, though, leaving Brian with a wounded partner and a long river to navigate. His only hope is to build a raft and try to transport the injured man a hundred miles downstream to a trading post – if the map he has is accurate.

A recommended audiobook for young kids

This sequel to The Hatchet is so well-crafted and just as suspenseful as the first book. Just like The Hatchet: The River Audiobook Mp3 that Brian paddles down, this story also has many twists & turns that keeps you riveted & inside Brian’s head. You truly get a sense of his angst, even if you haven’t spent time in The Backcountry.

If you have (as I have) you get a true sense of his desperation & struggle to acclimatize when returning home that few understand who haven’t experienced the struggle.

“Vividly written, a book that will, as intended, please the readers who hoped that Paulsen, like Brian, would ‘do it again.’” – Kirkus Reviews.

 “My 12 year old really likes this series which is great because he is not a big fan of books. Listening to them is great. We loved the first one and the second one is just ok. Kind of short… Definitely will check out the next in the series because they are good enough to continue on. I wouldn’t hesitate to get this and recommend finishing the series, especially for a boy who doesn’t like to read, it is almost a miracle series. Peter Coyote is a fabulous reader, he gets 5 stars!”.

“A great listen in the car for the whole family! Peter Coyote has a wonderful and impressive voice, made it so easy to follow! This book is NOT just for teen boys, but ANYONE who appreciates The Wilderness & wants to understand what is truly important in life.”

Download and Listen Free!

Gary Paulsen’s The River – Hatchet #2 is now available in audible format, mp3 is more than two hours long, yet the narration by Peter Coyote is so enticing that you get hooked instantly and keep you up the whole way listening!

Listening Length: 2 hrs and 31 mins
Narrated by: Peter Coyote
Version: Unabridged

You may love to listen to all stories in The Hatchet Audiobooks Series by Gary Paulsen on 

  1. Hatchet Audiobook
  2. River Audiobook
  3. Brian’s Winter Audiobook
  4. Brian’s Return Audiobook
  5. Brian’s Hunt Audiobook
  6. Guts Audiobook


My name is Stephen Dale, I enjoy listening to the Audiobooks and finding ways to help your guys have the same wonderful experiences. I am open, friendly, outgoing, and a team player. Let share with me!


  1. Stephen,

    After sending Comment the 3 parts are now available, please disregard my last comment. Thanks for making quality audiobooks, much appreciated and enjoyed,



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