| Quote #1
Vampires, he thought. Apparently they didn't like the deep of night, perhaps because it was too cool, and they couldn't take the direct sunlight. But in that gray time in the morning, when it began to get warm and before the sun was full up and hot—he couldn't believe them. Never, in all the reading, in the movies he had watched on television about the outdoors, never once had they mentioned the mosquitoes or flies. All they ever showed on the naturalist shows was beautiful scenery or animals jumping around having a good time. Nobody ever mentioned mosquitoes and flies. (4.38)
Didn't anyone ever tell Brian to bring bug spray? We guess not. Brian's "experience" of nature—through television and books—turns out to have missed one of the most fundamental, unavoidable realities he meets when experiencing nature directly: mini blood-suckers.
| Quote #2
The backs of his hands were puffy and his eyes were almost swollen shut from the mosquitoes, and he saw everything through a narrow squint.
Not that there was much to see, he thought, scratching the bites. In front of him lay the lake, blue and deep. (4.40-41)
Brian's first impression of the lake is that there isn't much to see. Not so much, B. His first mistake? Thinking that what's on the surface—what's obvious—is all there is.
| Quote #3
What had he read or seen that told him about food in the wilderness? Hadn't there been something? A show, yes, a show on television about air force pilots and some kind of course they took. A survival course. (6.22)
Brian is really dragging up every scrap of knowledge he can to help him survive. Oh, and now you can tell your parents that TV isn't all bad, right? Watching it may even be necessary to your survival. Genius.