Group Read: Barkskins by Annie Proulx
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I bought my copy, in Dutch translation, last November after spotting it on Megan's thread (Ireadthereforiam).
I will be getting started in a week or so.
I will probably start Schorshuiden (the Dutch title) near the end of next week and read it in 3 or 4 days. I prefer reading on until the end in the shortest possible time. When a book grabs me, I tend to skip all housekeeping tasks for a few days to keep on reading ;-)
I only manage to take poetry and some non-fiction in small parts.
I hope to start it next week.
>12 msf59: You are very welcome, Mark. For me it is my first Proulx.
I think the English edition contains a family tree, at the end of the book, that sadly is absent in the Dutch edition.
Could one of you send me a scan or photo of the page(s) with the family tree?
My question above still stands: Could one of you send me a scan or photo of the page(s) with the family tree?, as it is missing in the Dutch edition.
My review will follow later, probably tomorrow.
Epic historical fiction, starting at the end of the 17th century and ending present day.
Two Frenchmen arrive in the New World in 1693, they become woodcutters. René Sel marries a Mi'kmaw woman and his descendant live a harsh life, torn between western and indigenous lifestyles. Charles Duquet, who changes his last name into Duke, is the founder of a big logging company, that ruthlessly clears the woods where ever possible.
Very good read. Following the two families through over three centuries, the one shows the decline of the Mi'kmaw tribe and their way of life. The other shows us how far some will go for profit.
Considering the subject of forest conservation, I should have bought the e-book, as for my paper copy trees died...
Loving it so far. Even if the first man's story was slightly more gripping that the second.
Just thought I'd note that :)
I always want to know what I am going to read, so I do read the back of the book and some reviews first. If I read a very tense story, I even read the last pages first. It relaxes me to know the ending.
>19 LovingLit: THANK YOU!!!
-Blackpoll Warbler, (which Proulx describes below)
"Violet maples flare against the black spruce. Rivers of birds on their great autumnal journeys filled the skies- Hudsonian godwits, whole nations of hawks, countless black warblers- paruline rayee- looking like tiny men with their black berets, chalky faces and dark mustache streaks, cranes, longspurs, goldeneyes, loons, sparrows, flycatchers, warblers and geese."
^I am 70 pages in and quite enjoying it in the early going. I did not realize the epic story started in the 17th century.
Here is a link to an article about Kauri dieback- a disease that is killing NZ's Kauri trees. In case you're interested!
Also- YAY! Mark has joined the party :)
I tought of looking for a picture when I read the book, but forgot to do it.
>23 LovingLit: Thanks, Megan, I don't always read the last part first. But sometimes it makes reading a book less thrilling. You might understand now that I don't mind spoilers.
And thanks for the link about the disease that is threathning the Kauri. It is sad, as they are very special trees. After reading The hidden life of trees last year I even care more for trees in general.
“...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.”
Annie Proulx had not released a novel, since The Shipping News. That was 14 years ago! Well, she delivers quite a chunkster here: A 700 page, multigenerational family saga, that focuses on two Frenchman and their descendants, spanning three hundred years. It mostly deals with the timber trade and begins in the deep wilderness of Canada and radiates from there and it even touches down in New Zealand and China.
This book takes some patience, but the author's passion and knowledge of the subject, keeps the reader turning pages. There is also a strong environmental theme, running throughout, as we witness the plunder of our forests and other natural resources. This epic novel may not have hit the highs it intended but it is still a good and worthy read.
*Thanks again for setting up this Group Read, Anita. I am glad I finally got to this one.
I was just saying on Ellen's thread, that even though I agree with the sentiment of Proulx's work, I feel like there is a little bit (just a tiny bit) of preaching in-between the lines. I wonder if the subtle preaching (can there be such a thing!!?) works to enlighten the unenlightened just as much as I wonder if preaching to the converted is a worthy pastime! In any case, I am reading on, and trying less hard to keep track of who is who, just letting the story read easy for me.
When you manage to finish Barkskins, the thread will still be here to share your thoughts ;-)