READER Þ DOC Barkskins 9780743288781 FREE ✓ ANNIE PROULX

EBOOK Å ë Annie Proulx

EBOOK Å ë Annie Proulx Forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures But Duuet crafty and ruthless runs away from the seigneur becomes a fur trader then sets up a timber business Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duuet over three hundred years their travels across Nor Awe Inspiring Far Reaching Epic of Descendants of 2 French Settlers Charles Duuet Rene' Sel in 1693 New France now in Nova Scotia and Destinies Over Next 320 YearsI enjoyed this sweeping epic covering nearly 320 years Though 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 over the centuries than the latter The greed and rage of Charles Duke formerly Duuet is on full display here “Inside Duuet something like a tightly closed pine cone licked by fire opened abruptly and he exploded with incensed and uncontrollable fury a life’s pent up rage ‘No one helped me’ he shrieked ‘I did everything myself I endured I contended with powerful men I suffered in the wilderness I accepted the risk I might die No one helped me’ The boy’s gaze shifted the fever boiled eyes following Duuet’s rising arm closing only when the tomahawk split his brain”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 befriendedI 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 Kauri Tree in New Zealand where part of novel takes placeProulx 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 45 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 charactersrelationships that results from the ambitious scope of the book Why can't a writer focus on the story 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

BOOK Barkskins

READER Þ DOC Barkskins 9780743288781 FREE ✓ ANNIE PROULX Ô In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen René Sel and Charles Duuet arrive in New France Bound to a feudal lord a “ seigneur” for three years in exchange for land they become wood cutters—barkskins René suffers extraordi Th America to Europe China and New Zealand under stunningly brutal conditions the revenge of rivals accidents pestilence Indian attacks and cultural annihilation Over and over again they seize what they can of a presumed infinite resource leaving the modern day characters face to face with possible ecological collapse This review can also be found on my blog Dana and the BooksThere aren’t an abundance of Canadian history novels of this type so I jumped on this book like Torontonian spotting a Tim Horton’s on a long road tripI loved the overall story of the book Long historical epics are awesome Long historical epic about Canada are even awesomeReferences and settings in places I have actually visited helped me picture and get involved with the story However I did feel a disconnect from the characters I didn’t get emotionally attached to any of them; I was just there on the sidelines watching them do their thingDespite the distance from the characters it was still an interesting read especially for someone who has an interest in Canadian history and Native Canadian historyAt just over 700 pages it’s by no means a uick read I read it slowly over the course of a couple months but it wasn’t the length that made me read slowly it was the density Some chapters glazed over important events with several years passing in the span of just a few pages I wanted to experience events with the characters but instead it was just a paragraph of explanation and then moving on to the next thing Unfortunately it made for a bit of a dry read in placesIt was not at all a character driven story None of the characters stood out to me and by the end of the book they had all meshed together I wish it were longer so we could get to know the characters flesh out events instead of glossing over themI love historical epics The longer the better But this one definitely should have been longer If it were longer or split into two larger books we could get the experience of both an interesting epic plot as well as the characters who drive it Instead at times I felt like I was reading a non fiction account of the history of two families and the ramifications of deforestationInteresting yes Captivating noThanks so much to HarperCollins UK 4th Estate for approving me for a copy on Netgalley

Annie Proulx ë Barkskins TEXT

BarkskinsIn the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen René Sel and Charles Duuet arrive in New France Bound to a feudal lord a “ seigneur” 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 the newcomers did not care to understand the strange new country beyond taking whatever turned a profit They knew only what they knew The forest was there for them Barkskins is Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx’s the author of Brokeback Mountain and Pulitzer winner for The Shipping News magnum opus a wide ranging historical novel in which the central character is the land itself particularly the primeval forested land of primarily North America Proulx plants a pod with two seeds the arrival in New France of René Sel and Charles Duuet in 1693 They are contracted to remain with a local seigneur in essence a feudal lord for a limited number of years Duuet flees the seigneur’s cruelty and uses his considerable native intelligence strength guile and ruthlessness to become a fur trader and much Sel suffers greatly at the hands of the lord even being forced to marry a native woman From these roots there grows an overview of than three hundred years of history as the Sel towards the Native American side and Duuet to a logging dynasty lines branch out in numbers and geography are periodically pruned back by disasters both natural and political but persist through time like the trees some of their representatives are often so eager to fell Proulx takes us all the way up to 2013 For me the chief character in the long story was the forest the great now lost forests of the world The characters as interesting as they were to develop were there to carry the story of how we have cut and destroyed the wooden world from The New Yorker interviewIt was not solely the wooden world that was ravaged The native peoples who lived in and near those woods were cut down no less than the trees that had helped sustain and define them Annie Proulx Photo by Wian Ang for the Wall Street JournalThere are ten parts in the book not noted by rings covering diverse durations from 10 years at the low end to 227 in the final hurry up part Proulx walks us through stages in the denuding of North America’s woodlands beginning in what is now Canada then moving east and south to Maine heading west to take in the Ohio Valley then up to Michigan and touching briefly on southern and western woodlands There are forays outside the continent as well with looks at forestry practices in the Old World of Germany a look see at some of the magnificent old giants of New Zealand and a uick trip to take in the unimaginable diversity of the She shows us how native peoples were driven off the land pressured into accepting European ways and interbred willingly and not with the eastern invaders Proulx paints a bleak portrait of what life was like for those unlucky enough to make their living at the bottom of the logging world power structure Death was a daily visitor danger a constant companion and discomfort and worse from wet cold fire disease and buzzing pests offered persistent hardship One of the lumber barons a female head of a logging business family demonstrates how the media was used to manipulate workers She urged editors to praise the manliness and toughness of shanty men inculcating axmen with the belief that they could take extreme risks and withstand the most desperate conditions because they were heroic rugged fellows; the same sauce served settlers into the third generation who believed they were “pioneers” and could outlast perils and adversities Loggers and frontier settlers she thought would live on pride and belief in their own invulnerability instead of money The European loggers’ approach to their work was not based at least at first on pure greed There was that of course but there was also a considerable shortage of actual knowledge “How big is this forest?” asked Duuet in his whinging treble voice He was scarcely bigger than a child “It is the forest of the world It is infinite It twists around as a snake swallows its own tail and has no end and no beginning No one has ever seen its farthest dimension” While the book is a long term scan of the despoilation of landscape by the ignorant and avaricious it is not entirely charcoal and birch We know a lot now about the worldwide supply of woodland than it was possible to know then This is reflected in Proulx’s characters who consider decisions made in the light of what was known at the time This changes as eventually it becomes known that the woodland is not mythically eternal But she also points out that in certain areas there was indeed knowledge available of less horrific forestry practices used in other parts of the world that was largely ignored by the North American logging industry Even if everyone knew it was too late we’d still keep on There seems to be something in the human psyche that is unable to stop and step back and repair and fix things It’s not willing to It’s like we can’t shift easily There’s just something in people It’s the fatal flaw in humanity I think Once we start doing something we keep on from the Globe and Mail articleThere is much in here about what one might call the American spirit or likely the entrepreneurial spirit as there are plenty of representatives than willing to undertake daring ventures risking much and sometimes all in hopes of reaping a reward But there are several sorts of enterprise on display When a logging executive newly arrived from Europe sees a relative greasing the palm of a state official to ensure access to attractive parcels of forest he remarks that the man had truly become an American Strong women play key roles here I was reminded in one case of Jeanne Anne McCullough from the The Son another historical of eastern invaders and local devastationA Maine clearcut From the Forest Ecology NetworkProulx offers some beacons of hope a light in the forest? in her grim landscape One European forester brings a notion of sustainability to the lumber business We are thus exposed to extant theory of the era of how it might be possible to carve out a modus vivendi between humanity and nature Not that this happens of course but the ideas are introduced There are also sprigs of the family bush that find interesting ways to think about the land than in terms of potential board feet One dedicates his life to studying the diversity of the another well several others devote themselves to studying the complex interactions and interdependence of ecosystems And just as some seek to restore a sense of understanding of sanity to human interaction with natural resources others feel the pull of their family of their cultural roots and seek those remaining stands of tribal knowledge and lifeProulx tosses into each chapter bits about the time that allow us to place where we are and what is happening Oh that first came in there? Cool And that began there and then? She accomplishes this uite deftly so that it does not at all come across as excess exposition More like easily identifiable road signage that fits in nicely with its surroundings Changes in fashion and foods mark the times as well Part of the progression is a look at the step wise changes in logging technologyThe downside of this book is that because it takes in such a long period it is impossible to give enough time to any of the many wonderful characters that inhabit the space Of course had she attended to of them fully the book could easily have tripled in length And there are certainly plenty of characters who will engage your interest and many episodes that will touch your heart however brief the encounter Proulx is a master of saying a lot with few wordsFrom the Forest Stewardship CouncilThere is a considerable body count here as one might expect in a novel covering than three centuries Character A is dispatched so we can move on to characters B and C in the next step of social and economic development or landscape rape as the case may be And they are carried off in diverse ways some that were new to me One unlucky fellow is tossed overboard during a cold weather storm and is later found encased in ice a corpsesicle? Infections fires starvation a scalping More than enough to fill an Edward Gorey couplet book or three S is for Steve who got stuck in a tree T is for Tom who was frozen at sea A cough here or a pain there are likely within a page or two to turn terminal Hi lovely to meet you Where are you going? Oh nooooo There is definitely a “They’ve killed Kenny” vibe that pops up with some regularity I suspect Proulx had a bit of fun figuring out how to off so many of her tale bearers Not as much as Tim Dorsey maybe but still Perhaps she uses Annie’s Spin the Death wheel Ok what are we gonna do to this one? Crushed by floating logs? shot by invaders? a surprise scalping? could we call that skullduggery? nifty house fire? forest conflagration? done in by unfriendly natives? infected cut? heart attack? contract assassination? Go ahead give it a turn I think we’re gonna need a bigger wheel The list goes on these things happened to people I mean if you've got to kill off a character you might as well do it with a bit of panache from the NPR interviewThere are some magical scenes of sylvan idylls as native people traverse remote lands to engage in a traditional hunt And moments of beauty dapple the tale as those open to the glory of the wild allow the wonder all about them to find its way inside But beyond that there is nothing enchanted about these woods although a cleric at a residential school for Indians might bear a strong thematic resemblance to the woodland resident encountered by Hansel and Gretel People are indeed transformed by their experiences in the forest But while it may be a place of opportunity it is hardly a place of refuge There are indeed dark scenes in this book that would seem suitable for the woodsy horrorlands of the Grimms Plenty of two legged troll like monsters to go around than happy to engage in unspeakable acts of violence and cruelty Were Tom Bombadil to have been found by the invaders his home would soon have been burned to the ground and he would have been lucky to escape with all four limbs his head on his neck and his scalp still covering its top And were any ents to wander in from Middle Earth they would well recognize the sort of holocaust being practiced on their cousins The enchantment has been driven from these woods with sharp steel edges and fire For North American forests after the arrival of Europeans it is winter all the time and never Christmas In his seminal look at how human societies have gone to ruin Collapse Jared Diamond identifies one of the most important elements in furthering this destruction as national deforestation While Proulx looks primarily at forests here she is using them to stand in for a range of short sighted activities that are ruining our home planet Reliance on fossil fuels for example overpopulation over fishing pollution That is not in the book per se well not much but it is pretty clear that this is what her intended larger picture includesFilm rights have been bought by National Geographic and are being developed by Scott Rudin It seems to me that the best possible cinematic outcome for this work would be as a lengthy series of The Game of Thrones sort This would allow the story to be told without racing off to the morgue every ten pages or so to clear a path for the next set of characters There are many wonderful personalities in this book and a leisurely look at their experiences would be most welcome and well supported by the material Fingers are crossed Barkskins is a triumph It cuts a swath through a large historical spanse offering a brilliant and engaging look at how the traditional rape and plunder formula for resource extraction has scarred the landscape ruined many of its inhabitants destroyed endemic culture and contributed to making our planet one that is choking on its own smoke warming to the boiling point and threatening to extinguish those who have treated it so fecklessly In folklore the forest may be a place where people are afraid but today and for many centuries now it has been clear that it is the forest that must shiver at the sight of man Many have gone into the woods but far too few have allowed the woods to go into them In the Anthropocene we have become the darkness we feared Published June 14 2016Review First Posted – August 26 2016In the summer of 2019 GR reduced the allowable review size by 25% from 20000 to 15000 characters In order to accommodate the text beyond that I have moved it to the comments section directly below