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Publisher's Summary

By the celebrated author of Canada Reads Finalist Indian Horse, a stunning new novel that has all the timeless qualities of a classic, as it tells the universal story of a father/son struggle in a fresh, utterly memorable way, set in dramatic landscape of the BC Interior. For male and female listeners equally, for readers of Joseph Boyden, Cormac McCarthy, Thomas King, Russell Banks, and general literary.

Franklin Starlight is called to visit his father Eldon. He's 16 years old and has had the most fleeting of relationships with the man. The rare moments they've shared haunt and trouble Frank, but he answers the call, a son's duty to a father. He finds Eldon decimated after years of drinking, dying of liver failure in a small town flophouse. Eldon asks his son to take him into the mountains, so he may be buried in the traditional Ojibway manner.

What ensues is a journey through the rugged and beautiful backcountry, and a journey into the past, as the two men push forward to Eldon's end. From a poverty-stricken childhood, to the Korean War, and later the derelict houses of mill towns, Eldon relates both the desolate moments of his life and a time of redemption and love and in doing so offers Frank a history he has never known, the father he has never had, and a connection to himself he never expected.

A novel about love, friendship, courage, and the idea that the land has within it powers of healing, Medicine Walk reveals the ultimate goodness of its characters and offers a deeply moving and redemptive conclusion. Wagamese's writing soars and his insight and compassion are matched by his gift of communicating these to the listener.

©2014 Richard Wagamese (P)2015 Recorded Books

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  • Craig
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 07-31-15

In the end we are nothing...

A man's circumstances, geography, vices, and guilt are background for this road trip (horse trip) story about redemption and forgiveness. It is a mid-20th-century Canadian Western that engagingly makes the point that sometimes humans can only rise as far as circumstance allows. The main characters, Franklin and Eldon Starlight are Native Canadians (First Peoples). Eldon, the father has tremendous guilt and psychic trauma resulting from the Korean War. Franklin, the son, is the unintended victim of his father's PTSD.

The story revolves around a request that the father makes to the son for a Warrior's Burial in the Canadian mountains. Franklin must face his own demons to honor his father's last request.

Medicine Walk has many redemptive and thought provoking qualities. I am still thinking about it several days after the listen. I recommend this book to those of us whom enjoy Native American stories and realistic fiction.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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wonderful story

I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this book and the presentation. it took me to another place and my emotional reactions were deep. it reminded me that we can never guess another's personal journey and we should have patience and kindness rather than judgement.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Mr. Wagamese is a wordsmith.

So well written. An amazing account of the struggles of a boy, his father and his dad. Loved it.

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Mesmerizing Narrative & Narration

This story is truly special and simply profound. Wagamese weaves a powerful story without any frills or verbosity, but full of easy grace and simple power. This story will leave you feeling healed, even if you weren’t aware you needed healing.

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Thanks Richard Wagamese , your voice lives on

Beautiful descriptions of nature, the challenges of life and the power of story. A Canadian story. A universal story.

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A so, so sad tale beautifully told....

I am an avid reader but have rarely experienced being in such beautiful rhythm with a story. Richard invites the reader to walk, to experience the emotions of Eldon and his son, Frank. A terrible beauty. Wow.

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Engaging Story

Story starts quietly taking time to create well developed characters and an engaging plot. Narrator was great for this story.

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An exquisite and haunting sadness

This is a life-changing book, written with honesty and courage. A native boy, raised with love and wisdom by his white stepfather, shares the last days of his birth father. The story of the father's life unfolds with the loss of mother and friend, followed by unexpressed grief and confusion, addiction, and shame, all woven throughout by the pen of Wagamese with the natural beauty of the mountains, and a deep love and understanding of the land.

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  • Susan
  • Arroyo Grande, CA, United States
  • 04-28-17

One of the Best I Have Listened to in a Long Time

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a terrific book and the reader is outstanding. I was held spellbound for the entire journey.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Medicine Walk?

Franklin is a beautifully developed character, as are the rest of the interesting and compelling characters.

Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is one of Tom's best performances. Having said that, however, he is ALWAYS a great reader.

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Awesome

I enjoyed this book immensely. Story was fantastic and narration spot on. I have recommended it to several people.