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    Description

    Now a television mini-series airing on National Geographic May 2020!

    A Washington Post Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book from the Pulitzer Prize-­­winning author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain comes the New York Times best-selling epic about the demise of the world’s forests.

    Barkskins is grand entertainment in the tradition of Dickens and Tolstoy…the crowning achievement of Annie Proulx’s distinguished career, but also perhaps the greatest environmental novel ever written.” (San Francisco Chronicle).

    In the late 17th century, two young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters — barkskins. René suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a native woman and their descendants live trapped between two cultures. But Duquet runs away, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business. Annie Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over 300 years — their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand — the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks, and cultural annihilation. Over and over, they seize what they can of a presumed infinite resource, leaving the modern-day characters face to face with possible ecological collapse. 

    “A stunning, bracing, full-tilt ride through three hundred years of US and Canadian history…with the type of full-immersion plot that keeps you curled in your chair, reluctant to stop reading” (Elle), Barkskins showcases Proulx’s inimitable genius of creating characters who are so vivid that we follow them with fierce attention. 

    “This is Proulx at the height of her powers as an irreplaceable American voice” (Entertainment Weekly, Grade A), and Barkskins “is an awesome monument of a book” (The Washington Post) — “the masterpiece she was meant to write” (The Boston Globe). 

    As Anthony Doerr says, “This magnificent novel possesses the dark humor of The Shipping News and the social awareness of Brokeback Mountain." 

    PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

    ©2016 Annie Proulx (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

    Commentaires

    "[Narrator Robert] Petkoff's delivery is mesmerizing, with distinctive voices for generations of well-developed characters, and perfect pacing and incredible accents that give an air of authenticity. Immediately the listener is immersed in a place so colorfully depicted through both the written and spoken word that the time slips past and Proulx's wild forests settle in all around. The novel is indeed a sweeping saga, but Proulx and Petkoff are the duo to make the time seem too short. A transporting listen." ( AudioFile)

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de Barkskins

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Stephanie N. Johnson
    • Stephanie N. Johnson
    • 23/05/2018

    Chapter 23

    The end of chapter 23 is cut off! Let’s see how the rest of the book goes, but would be nice to know what happens at the end of this chapter.

    Thanks!

    95 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      3 out of 5 stars
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      3 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour RIchard Lombard
    • RIchard Lombard
    • 23/09/2016

    Educational

    The book is very long and detailed with so many characters to follow that you only get a brief impression of each one. The material feels a little dry at times, almost like a beautifully written history textbook. I did enjoy it and kept coming back to it for the beauty of the language and the historical perspective it gave me. So many small details of everyday life in America.

    65 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      2 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Jake Eldrich
    • Jake Eldrich
    • 15/03/2018

    Long and goes nowhere.

    What disappointed you about Barkskins?

    Too many characters that drop off and are not well integrated into the story. The book leaves a bad taste regarding "white man", progress, and the future of the planet. No positive message. White Europeans destroyed North America (and cut down all the trees)?

    Any additional comments?

    Got this because my wife was reading (she could not finish). Although I finished neither of us care for this depressing book. Little redeeming qualities.

    48 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour W Perry Hall
    • W Perry Hall
    • 30/06/2016

    Awe-Inspiring, Far-Reaching Epic


    An Awe-Inspiring, Far-Reaching Epic of the Descendants of 2 French Settlers in 1681 in New France (in an area now in Nova Scotia) and Their Destinies Over the Next 330 Years


    I was thoroughly enthralled by this sweeping epic covering nearly 330 years. Although it's 736 pages, there's no one protagonist or any character that is fully developed. In fact, I believe it's difficult, if not impossible, to write an three-century epic like this that is very compelling or moving in the usual sense of literary fiction. That is to say, this is an epic that does not go back to one original narrator's storyline but instead travels straight through 320 years from 1681 to 2012 (no backward and forward except for explanation's sake) and thus does not lend itself to the reader's personal attachment to a character or a love affair, or to a development of either in the way that has become the custom for today's readers. Perhaps the only sure way to have such an attachment is if the author develops these ingredients, adding another 500-700 pages, in which case most won't read it. In any case, Proulx's obvious intent was to tell a story that shows her necessary truth about the land, the intermixing of families, and the biblical battle always present, here greed versus good (the former winning much more over the centuries than the latter).

    I certainly appreciated the change from the typical literary structures, which tend to wear me out upon much accumulation, such as when it takes 30 pages to ponder a madeleine cake.

    I loved seeing how much families change over time, how they blended, nearly ended, how one member of a generation can have a dramatic impact on the next gen but each member of a generation can be pegged into one of 2 general camps favoring 1) love of money and accumulation of wealth for the familly in the rich, and, in the poor, simply survival above all else, versus 2) love of others including future generations and, for the Indians, saving of their traditional ways, the land of their ancestors and the spirit of the land that they have revered and befriended.

    I was dumbstruck by the destruction of the forests, their role in our environment and future, and the complete apathy of nearly all humans toward anything to do with the environment, either ignoring the current problems on the thought that it's all a myth, it's not my problem it will be their problem, or they are incapable of conceiving that it will one day be a huge problem for Earth.

    I would definitely read this novel again. I gained a better appreciation for the outdoors, wildlife, forests and trees from reading this novel, as well as a somber realization of how so many people died over the past 300 years as a result of human greed, the billions made in the pillage and the plunder of forests in the United States, Canada, as well as in New Zealand, where a good 40-page chunk of the book was set.

    Proulx is a great writer. This is the first book of hers I've read. I'd definitely recommend this for a worthwhile change of scenery in your summer reading.

    In fact, I've talked myself into giving this 5 stars. 4.5 stars, realizing the above-stated negatives and positives of a 736 page book covering 320 years. Did Ms. Proulx accomplish what she set out to write and did it affect me? Absolutely yes on both counts. If I gave this 4, it would be due to the inability to fully develop characters/relationships that results from the ambitious scope of the book. Why can't a writer focus on the story more than any particular character? Who says? She did an excellent job in creating this realistic world over so many deaths and births, marriages, abandonments, murders, capsizes, betrayals, hope and hopelessness.

    It deserves 5 stars.


    133 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Amy
    • Amy
    • 01/10/2016

    What an amazing story!

    I was impressed with the extensive detail regarding the Native Americans and the lumber industry. The things that I learned from this book will stay with me for a very long time.

    29 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Richard Joers
    • Richard Joers
    • 28/09/2016

    Man's arrogance and self-absorption

    Man has a dramatic impact on the environment. It's a long-term issue that unfortunately needs a very long time to resolve. Barkskins takes its time to lay out the cruel destruction, where even the well intentioned can cause great harm. Decision by decision man is seen solely focusing on their own needs, desires, and aspiration all while failing to understand the interconnectedness of all matter that is this earth. This book brings you along man's journey to first master and then destroy all that is loved.

    19 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      3 out of 5 stars
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      2 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Clodhopper
    • Clodhopper
    • 09/07/2016

    A bit like perusing the obituaries

    “Barkskins” is one of those sprawling epics that extends across generations and continents and families, and it fails for the reason such epics commonly do: the sheer quantity of narration required to tell the story leaves little space in which to develop personalities, conflicts, emotional tension. Characters appear and disappear in rapid succession. I read their condensed stories with the detached indifference I feel when perusing obituary notices. Yes, here was a notable person; he or she led a fascinating life – but I didn’t really know them, so it is hard to feel any human empathy.

    Someone has said that this is Proulx’s “Moby Dick”. Apparently, that person was daunted by the length of both books, and read neither. Melville started with a self-contained story and used it as a point of departure for ruminations about life, nature, technology, and ultimately, the conflict between civilization and nature. Proulx is so preoccupied with getting her story told that she has no space left for rumination. She leaves us with a few not-too-subtle slogans. She is too busy telling a story to write a novel.

    80 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Kindle Customer
    • 25/04/2018

    Big time commitment but so worth it!

    A truly epic family saga expertly performed. I was continually amazed at the historic details, complex and engrossing storylines and characters, and the exceptional writing. It felt like I listened for much of the winter, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

    The only thing I missed by listening to the audio book was the ability to easily flip back to the family genealogy to keep all the generations and family members straight. I think it may have been possible to download it with the book, but I didn't. Should have!

    12 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Ilana
    • Ilana
    • 19/06/2016

    The Forest for the Trees

    Barkskins is a multi-generational saga, but the main character of the story is the forest—the ancient forests that covered the world and most of North America before the settlers arrived and decided they must conquer the forest as well as the native Indians who had been living in peaceful harmony with the ancient trees before the arrival of the colonizers. The story begins with two French settlers who have signed on as indentured servants to work in New France. They are the originators of two 'dynasties': the Sels, and the Dukes. The Dukes are descendent from Charles Duquet, who literally escapes from his obligations into the woods, and through years of travel and trading, and an eventual marriage to a wealthy Dutch woman, establishes a foresting company that will operate over several generations and be partly responsible for the clear-cutting and deforestation of North America and New Zealand, from the 17th through the 21st century. The Sels are descendants from René Sel, who is forced into a marriage with a native Micmac woman. He fathers mixed-heritage children, who are all faced with the problems plaguing the native Indians as the settlers methodically took away their lands and their rights, as they strive to keep their Micmac origins alive despite the overwhelming challenges and persecution they face.

    By necessity, some of the characters weren't as fully developed as others, and I found the huge cast of characters quite daunting, though there is a helpful family tree provided as a pdf chart with the audiobook. I had to refer to this often, but eventually it ceased to be an issue as a handful of characters were fully developed and came to the fore, carrying the bulk of the story with them. Proulx clearly wanted to show how the white Colonialists, motivated by greed and hubris, systematically destroyed forest land which they assumed was endless and would continue to regenerate itself. Of course we now know otherwise and are suffering the consequences of events which Proulx makes clear originated from the very beginning of the discovery of the Americas by the Europeans.

    I very much wanted to love this story, but found it somewhat overwhelming at times, and the environmental message, while it is one I think is important to keep in mind, seemed overbearing at times, if not always explicitly stated. The word 'Barkskins' is an invention by Proulx, who says in an NPR interview that she's not entirely sure where the word originated, admitting she might have coined it herself, and that (her novel) "was Barkskins before even the first word was written." (http://www.npr.org/2016/06/10/481449357/annie-proulx-s-bloody-new-novel-barkskins-is-about-more-than-deforestation)

    The narrator handled the various accents very well, and his overall performance is definitely recommended.

    68 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Anne Welsbacher
    • Anne Welsbacher
    • 08/07/2017

    beautifilly rendered work

    The writing and the narration of this epic fable, which is more truthful than most non-fiction, are absolute perfection.

    10 personnes ont trouvé cela utile