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Barkskins Audiobook

Barkskins

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Publisher's Summary

From Annie Proulx, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain, comes her masterpiece, 10 years in the writing - an epic, dazzling, violent, magnificently dramatic novel about taming the wilderness and destroying the forest, set over three centuries.

In the late 17th century, two illiterate woodsmen, Rene Sel and Charles Duquet, make their way from Northern France to New France to seek a living. Bound to a feudal lord, a seigneur, for three years in exchange for land, they suffer extraordinary hardship, always in awe of the forest they are charged with clearing, sometimes brimming with dreams of its commercial potential.

Rene marries an Indian healer, and they have children, mixing the blood of two cultures. Duquet travels the globe and back, starting a logging company that will prosper for generations.

Proulx tells the stories of the children, grandchildren, and descendants of these two lineages, the Sels and the Duquets, as well as the descendants of their allies and foes, as they travel back to Europe, to China, to New England, always in quest of a livelihood or a fortune or fleeing stunningly brutal conditions - accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks, the revenge of rivals.

In this feat of astonishing imagination, Proulx's inimitable genius is her creation of characters who are so vivid - in their greed, lust, vengefulness, sorrow, compassion, and hope - that we follow them with fierce attention. Annie Proulx is one of the most formidable writers of our time, and Barkskins is the story she has been writing all her life: a magnificent American novel.

©2016 Annie Proulx (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the Critics Say

Praise for Annie Proulx: "One of the greatest American writers." (Independent)
"A sublimely good writer." (Daily Telegraph)
"It is hard to think of any living writer who deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Dickens, with the exception of Proulx." (New Statesman)
"Proulx's prose is monumental." (Observer)
"Like a mystic seeing the transfigured universe, she recreates the beauty of ordinary things." (Independent on Sunday)
"Ms. Proulx writes with all the brutal beauty of one of her Wyoming snowstorms." (Wall Street Journal)
"Annie Proulx is a true original. She has a shrewd understanding of people, a strong feeling for landscape and a wry sense of humour rather like Mark Twain's." (Los Angeles Times)
"Artful, eloquent, wondrous." (Boston Globe)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (48 )
5 star
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4.0 (44 )
5 star
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Story
4.4 (44 )
5 star
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    shirley 28/09/2016
    shirley 28/09/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An amazing saga"

    This book is poetry. The writing is strong and evocative but it is so long covering hundreds of years. ... Hundreds of characters ... Hundreds of stories. An important over-arching story of man's greed and destruction with small shoots of hope.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barb 19/08/2016
    Barb 19/08/2016 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "boring"

    I did not finish the story did not capture my attention, very slow and dry

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Warwick Foster 01/08/2016
    Warwick Foster 01/08/2016 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a journey"

    How many generations did it cover? Really recommend. Although how the writing of the first generation survived is a little far reaching.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wendy Coffs Harbour, Australia 31/07/2016
    wendy Coffs Harbour, Australia 31/07/2016 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "a disappointment"

    This book seems really sprawling and disjointed. Its baffling, it seemed to try to address too many issues…everything from environmental vandalism, sexism, raciscm, colonialism …. to incest? an ambitious project and didn't quite meet the mark. I really didn't feel connected to ..or particularly like ….. any of the characters. A waste of my time really.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Malcolm Hart
    Doncaster East, Vic Australia
    16/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Proulx is brilliant as always."

    An absolutely stunning novel. Proulx could not do more to show us how white colonialism has stolen and then destroyed everything it touched in the name of progress.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • DartmoorDiva
    Dartmoor
    30/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A real tour de force"

    The summary of this book did not appeal but, having just listened to 'The Shipping News' and loved it, I thought I would try my second Annie Proulx. Very glad I did. A fascinating book, beautifully written and well read. I felt it tailed off slightly at the end and became a little preachy, but that is a minor criticism of a long and enthralling novel. I think listening to the audiobook was a good move for me as I tend to struggle with difficult/unfamiliar names. I suspect the written version would be more of a challenge.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Essex , United Kingdom
    2/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic & intriguing"

    Great book, flawless performance. Combines family history with ecology & the changes over centuries. Recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fiona
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom
    10/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wonderful book"

    Loved this book and will feel bereft now I've finished it. So many important issues covered with an excellent portrayal of the origins of modern days ecological disasters. Captivating story line, fascinating insight into the history of the timber trade. Cannot praise it enough!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Linda
    9/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful listening experience"
    Would you listen to Barkskins again? Why?

    Yes. The information and ideas are too much to absorb the first time.


    What other book might you compare Barkskins to, and why?

    I can't think of another book quite like this. The characters are Dickensian and the span of the story is epic in terms of time and place.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It didn't make me cry but it was thought-provoking and tragic. At the end there is some sense of mankind becoming more aware of the Earth but thoughtless, irreparable damage has been done to the great forests of the planet for profit.


    Any additional comments?

    This could be a life-changing book.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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