Paul Kingsnorth ( Pdf ) The Wake

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A post apocalyptic novel set a thousand years ago The Wake tells the story of Buccmaster of Holland a free farmer of Lincolnshire owner of three oxgangs a man clinging to the Old Gods as the world changes drasti. Upon reading the 2014 Man Booker longlist announcement I was immediately drawn to The Wake because of it s uniue premise and because I believe it s the prize s first crowdsourced nomination Sourced by readers I had to give it a try What is perhaps the most uniue about this novel and needs to be mentioned is the language Written in a version of Old English created by the author for layman readers I didn t know what to expect But what I think should be made clear is that Paul Kingsnorth didn t write this novel intending it to be a chore for the reader He wrote it this way to reflect the world it takes place in and he did so beautifully The story is fascinatingly alien and utterly relevant to a time we can only try and imagine I appreciate Kingsnorth s reasoning in the note on the languageThe way we speak is specific to our time and place Our assumptions our politics our worldview our attitudes all are implicit in our words and what we with them To put 21st century sentences into the mouths of eleventh century characters would be the euivalent of giving them iPads and cappuccinos Just wrongAnd he s right Ever get annoyed reading modern morals in a character of historical fiction I bet Kingsnorth would too but by taking the brilliant extra steps with language he s created something magical Once you pick up on the rules of the language reading it becomes second nature It nourishes the story never detracting from the tale There is a partial glossary in the back but I didn t use it once Kingsnorth did all the hard work for us and I found joy in understanding his new words through context Set during the Norman invasion of England the story follows Buccmaster and his somewhat misguided attempt to bring England back to what it used to be Buccmaster is cocky outspoken and probably schizophrenic but oddly riveting in an endearing sort of way Except for the homicidal tendencies of course But it s 1066 and his entire world is in turmoil The journey is dark but dreamy and I was sad to see it end Not that I was expecting otherwise but I ll be honest this one caught me off guard One of the best historical fictions I ve read yet it brings exciting new breath to the genreI look forward to reading of Paul Kingsnorth s work in the future Highly recommended

Summary The Wake

The Wake

NvadersWritten in a 'shadow tongue' – a version of Old English updated so as to be understandable for the modern reader – The Wake is a landmark in historical fiction and looks set to become a modern classic. Well that was uite a leap Can t say I ve ever gone from one star to five before But I revisited and finished this book and it turns out to be the impressive achievement that its fans claim It s a masterful stream of consciousness narrative told by a deeply unreliable narrator and one of the most compelling and chilling depictions of mental illness that I ve ever read It s also a beautifully crafted example of authorial subtlety not so easy from the first person perspective that deploys foreshadowing with grace and artfully conveys revelations to the reader while keeping our narrator unaware of them I think this book could easily wind up being used in high school English classes it s well constructed harrowing and short But there s another reason the experiment with language As noted everywhere Kingsnorth tells the story in a shadow language a readable but still deeply alien tongue meant to reflect elements of Old English while not striving for accuracy As you ll see below I initially found it deeply frustratingAnd I still think there are elements of the experiment that are a bit self indulgent What was gained by my not understanding until the afterword that scramasax means dagger or that socman is a class of free farmer Kingsnorth s afterword says that his intent was to accurately portray the thought patterns of people separated by time and culture and that language is an essential part of this I m not sure I buy it at least for the purposes of a novel Still the language inarguably affects the experience of reading the book It works your brain differently I found myself getting sleepy much faster than usual weirdly and it changes how you perceive Buccmaster s language with its limited vocabulary and lack of structure There s a revelatory element too as the book progresses and one begins to wonder where the lines exist between Buccmaster s ignorance and his mania It both introduces distance and sweeps you in to a place where you have no choice but to accept the flow of language All in all a neat trick and one that I ll grudgingly admit was essential But it is certainly not without its frustrationsORIGINAL REVIEW FOLLOWSBoy Screw this When authors write in dialect the subseuent conversation is often tinged with difficult racial dynamics Well here the dialect is a made up approximation of Middle English as the narrator describes the devastation of the Norman invasion in a stream of consciousness It s annoying as fuck I made it 3% through An example laboriously typed through autocorrecti will tell thu of this time my grandfather toc me trappan the ael i was a cilde a lytel cilde but my grandfather he wolde sae that the ways of the fenns moste be taught yonge or will nefer be cnawanSo yeah okay I don t really get to weigh in on this book because I didn t give it a proper chance There are some people who will enjoy the artfully added layers and the alienness of the chosen tongue For the rest of us the dialect will be a superficial gimmick and a substantial obstacle to connecting with any emotional core that the book might have And we will be inclined to punish the author with one star reviews for wasting our 9 Honestly I loved Jim Crace s Harvest from the last Booker class That novel was a historically informed first person rumination on the destruction of a kind of pastoral idyll in England I was primed to really like this book I am not going to struggle through this silly showy stunt though Get bent Mr Kingsnorth

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Cally around him After losing his sons at the Battle of Hastings and his wife and home to the invading Normans Buccmaster begins to gather together a band of 'grene men' who take up arms to resist their brutal i. AstoundingWritten in a shadow version of 11th century English which is incredibly evocative this is stark and brutal and magical An invaded country groups of men driven to the woods and fens a land haunted by dying gods where Christianity is the first invader Told by a magnificent creation buccmaster of holland an inarticulate rage filled brutal man consumed by paranoia and self doubt that expresses itself in visions of Odin as Wayland Smith This is a magnificent book The author has tried to restrict the vocabulary to pre Norman English and the poverty of language is incredibly expessive the struggles for expression the grinding repetition It s a difficult struggling dying language like the story it tells deop in the eorth where no man sees around the roots of the treow sleeps a great wyrm and this wyrm what has slept since before all time this wyrm now slow slow slow this wyrm begins to mofIt s pretty hard work at first and takes slow reading but my God it s worth it The Breach of Crowns paranoia and self doubt that expresses itself in visions of Odin as Wayland Smith This is a magnificent book The author has tried to restrict the vocabulary to Icebergs pre Norman English and the The Line poverty of language is incredibly expessive the struggles for expression the grinding repetition It s a difficult struggling dying language like the story it tells deop in the eorth where no man sees around the roots of the treow sleeps a great wyrm and this wyrm what has slept since before all time this wyrm now slow slow slow this wyrm begins to mofIt s Your Naughty Playmate 3 - Cuckolding Fantasy pretty hard work at first and takes slow reading but my God it s worth it


10 thoughts on “The Wake

  1. says:

    lif

  2. says:

    Upon reading the 2014 Man Booker longlist announcement I was immediately drawn to The Wake because of it's uniue premise a

  3. says:

    After the Norman invasion of England the French ravage and burn One man Buccmaster returns to his home to find nothing but ash and his wife's body amidst the ruinsHe takes to the woods to become a 'green man' an outlaw with loud proclamations of his intention to raise a group to fight the French in revenge for all he has lostThe s

  4. says:

    Outstanding novel about a landowner in Lincolnshire – Buccmaster of Holland – set in the years 1066 1068 Buccmaster even before the Norman invasion is apart from his fellow fen dwellers still like his grandfather but not

  5. says:

    35 – 4 starsWhen we think of post apocalyptic fiction we tend to think specifically of science fiction or at least I know I do Our vision is usually either of a near future survival thriller about the fall of current human civiliz

  6. says:

    AstoundingWritten in a shadow version of 11th century English which is incredibly evocative this is stark and brutal and magical An invaded country groups of men driven to the woods and fens a land haunted by dying gods where Christianity is the first invader Told by a magnificent creation buccmaster of holland an inarticu

  7. says:

    45 I've always wanted historical fiction written like this To feel like I was reading something of another older world but not hard work like Chaucer or Beowulf So I'd probably have read The Wake anyway regardless

  8. says:

    I suspect if I read this again it might get an extra star I've certainly been thinking about it enough in the three weeks since I finished it

  9. says:

    Well that was uite a leap Can't say I've ever gone from one star to five before But I revisited and finished this book and it turns out to be

  10. says:

    35 This has just won the Bookseller book of the year award; I wish I could say I appreciated it Kingsnorth calls his Booke

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