In the aftermath of the Norman Invasion of 1066, William the Conqueror was uncompromising and brutal. English society was broken apart, its systems turned on their head. What is little known is that a fractured network of guerrilla fighters took up arms against the French occupiers.
In The Wake, a postapocalyptic novel set 1,000 years in the past, Paul Kingsnorth brings this dire scenario back to us through the eyes of the unforgettable Buccmaster, a proud landowner bearing witness to the end of his world. Accompanied by a band of like-minded men, Buccmaster is determined to seek revenge on the invaders. But as the men travel across the scorched English landscape, Buccmaster becomes increasingly unhinged by the immensity of his loss, and their path forward becomes increasingly unclear.
Written in what the author describes as "a shadow tongue" - a version of Old English updated so as to be understandable to a modern audience - The Wake renders the inner life of an Anglo-Saxon man with an accuracy and immediacy rare in historical fiction.
"[R]ich in ghosts and the old gods, is daring.…" (Kirkus)
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Please…get me out of his head!
Very interesting story, Excellent performance!
Well written, intriguing story with an interesting mix 11th century Anglo-Saxon and Middle English with enough modern phrasing and words to render it understandable to a 21st century listener/reader.
Speaking of listener/reader, Simon Vance's narration of this book was absolutely remarkable. He took a very difficult text, and transported me back nearly a thousand years. Very good indeed.
- Basil Sands