• Barkskins

  • A Novel
  • By: Annie Proulx
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 25 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (1,938 ratings)

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Barkskins  By  cover art

Barkskins

By: Annie Proulx
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
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Publisher's summary

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

Critic reviews

"[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)