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Extended Audio Sample The Wake of Forgiveness, by Bruce Machart Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (601 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bruce Machart Narrator: Henry Strozier Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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On a moonless Texas night in 1895, an ambitious young landowner suffers the loss of “the only woman he’s ever been fond of” when his wife dies during childbirth with the couple’s fourth son, Karel. The boy is forever haunted by thoughts of the mother he never knew, by the bloodshot blame in his father’s eyes, and permanently marked by the yoke he and his brothers are forced to wear to plow the family fields. 

From an early age, Karel proves so talented on horseback that his father enlists him to ride in acreage-staked horseraces against his neighbors. In the winter of 1910, Karel rides in the ultimate high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters: hanging in the balance are his father’s fortune, his brothers’ futures, and his own fate.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Wake of Forgiveness, which hails from the Robert Olmstead school of western, is a dark tale about fathers and sons, missing mothers, and the poison that lies at the heart of the question, Who’s to blame?”

    Washington Post

  • “Machart’s prose is so evocative that you can smell the men’s cheap tobacco and corn mash, feel the bare, hard-packed earth from which they coax crops. Their dialogue, rural south Texas vernacular, is spare, gnarled, and often funny. In addition to the violence, betrayals, and cruelty of an old-fashioned western, The Wake of Forgiveness also finds redemption.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “The big state of Texas is home to many good writers, and the arrival of Bruce Machart’s debut novel shows there’s always room for one more.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Machart writes fine idiomatic dialogue and unwinds textured details of farm life, horse racing, and the vagaries of the weather.”

    Houston Chronicle

  • “Such evocative prose helps make Machart’s novel a standout this year, in any genre.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “This is pure literature; an emphasis on language over plot; risky, complex, and often unlikable characters and that echo, that ripple that flows forward into the future and backward into myth.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Bruce Machart has penned a dazzling, gratifying tale of retribution, redemption, and morality.”

    San Antonio Express-News

  • “In his luminous and wrenching tale of four motherless brothers, Machart skillfully evokes the rural Texas landscape.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A mesmerizing, mythic saga.”

    New York Times

  • “Machart’s moving story unfolds lyrically and sensually, with little fanfare, as his thoughtful prose propels a character-driven story about family, morality, and redemption.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • Selected for the October 2010 Indie Next List
  • Recipient of the Barnes & Noble Discover Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Athy | 2/12/2014

    " At first I thought this might be too detailed and rough. but I found that I really ilked the style and the story. It seems this author ahas written short stories beofre now so I will try to get holed of some of those. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Mackay | 2/12/2014

    " So, a book filled with nasty characters doing nasty things to each other in a nasty setting. Added to that, the narrative jumps back and forth in time, arbitrarily and capriciously. Disliking the book so, I found it easy to put down for long stretches, so the garbled time-line really bothered me. It might not have done had I cared to read in longer swatches. I only persevered because it was our book club's selection. I did not finish. I feel no remorse. I but wonder at the NYT reviewer whose glowing review made us want to read this lump in the first place. Paid off? Repaying a debt? Illiterate? Things that make me say, "hmmm." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Shannon | 2/10/2014

    " This book was so very male, yet had moments of such sweetness. I really enjoyed the charcters and Karel's sort of evolution. The structure in which we read the book brought everything together so well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Darcie | 1/22/2014

    " This book was good but it was very easy for me to put down. :) It was a Amazon favorite of 2010. "

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About the Author
Author Bruce Machart

Bruce Machart’s fiction has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Glimmer Train, Story, One-Story, and elsewhere, and has been anthologized in Best Stories of the American West. A graduate of the MFA program at Ohio State University, he currently lives and teaches in Houston.