Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese

83%

8 Critic Reviews

Wagamese’s muscular prose and spare tone complement this gem of a narrative, which examines the bond between father and son.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

“A novel about the role of stories in our lives, those we tell ourselves about ourselves and those we agree to live by.”
—Globe and Mail

When Franklin Starlight is called to visit his father, he has mixed emotions. Raised by the old man he was entrusted to soon after his birth, Frank is haunted by the brief and troubling moments he has shared with his father, Eldon. When he finally travels by horseback to town, he finds Eldon on the edge of death, decimated from years of drinking.

The two undertake difficult journey into the mountainous backcountry, in search of a place for Eldon to die and be buried in the warrior way. As they travel, Eldon tells his son the story of his own life—from an impoverished childhood to combat in the Korean War and his shell-shocked return. Through the fog of pain, Eldon relates to his son these desolate moments, as well as his life’s fleeting but nonetheless crucial moments of happiness and hope, the sacrifices made in the name of love. And in telling his story, Eldon offers his son a world the boy has never seen, a history he has never known.
 

About Richard Wagamese

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Published May 12, 2015 by Milkweed Editions. 258 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Westerns. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Medicine Walk
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Jan 21 2015

Wagamese (Dream Wheels, 2006, etc.) sends young Franklin Starlight on a "medicine walk," a journey of knowing, in this story about the nature of manhood...A powerful novel of hard men in hard country reminiscent of Jim Harrison’s Legends of the Fall.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Mar 06 2015

Wagamese’s muscular prose and spare tone complement this gem of a narrative, which examines the bond between father and son.

Read Full Review of Medicine Walk | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Liam Callanan on May 22 2015

Though death saturates these pages, not a word here is lugubrious. Though revelations abound, there are no cheap surprises.

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Star Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by Sarah Stonich on May 21 2015

There is a compelling story running through this novel, but between its lack of subtlety and cliché-fraught dialogue, “Medicine Walk” stumbles.

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Globe and Mail

Above average
Reviewed by Christine Fischer Guy on Apr 11 2014

To be alive is to be vulnerable to the myriad shocks and disappointments of the human condition, but Medicine Walk is also testament to the redemptive power of love and compassion.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by James Grainger on Apr 10 2014

The mountainous B.C. Interior becomes its own unfolding spiritual teaching for father and son as they journey to the mountain...Wagamese also balances the novel’s spiritual and political subtexts with sly humour, sharp, believable dialogue and superb storytelling skills.

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National Post arts

Excellent
Reviewed by Natalee Caple on Apr 04 2014

It would be easy at this point to read the novel as autobiographical...But it would do a disservice to Wagamese’s journey as an artist to overlook the skill in his portrayals of Franklin...Medicine Walk is a masterpiece, a work of art that explores human interconnectedness with a level of artistry so superb that the personal becomes eternal.

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National Post arts

Excellent
Reviewed by Natalee Caple on Apr 04 2014

Medicine Walk is a masterpiece, a work of art that explores human interconnectedness with a level of artistry so superb that the personal becomes eternal.

Read Full Review of Medicine Walk | See more reviews from National Post arts

Reader Rating for Medicine Walk
95%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 40 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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