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Short Synopsis
A tale of lost gods and haunted visions, Paul Kingsnorth's The Wake is both a sensational, gripping story and a major literary achievement.

Full Synopsis
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 a thousand 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.

"Vance masterfully narrates Buccmaster’s chronicle of what has happened to his world as if it were agonizingly current." ---Booklist Starred Review

"[R]ich in ghosts and the old gods, is daring…" ---Kirkus

"It's a brilliant novelty…" ---Publishers Weekly

"Masterfully wrought historical fiction turning epoch-making events into a harrowing nightmare." ---Booklist Starred Review

"Buccmaster's astonishing voice will haunt readers long after they finish this bold book." ---Library Journal Starred Review
Booklist Audio

Booklist Review

Library Journal Review

The Wake

Author Paul Kingsnorth

Narrated by Simon Vance

Publication date Feb 9, 2016

Running time 9 hrs

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