Harry Potter House Eds books of the month
Search our site
Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell Read the opening extract of the brand new Bernard Cornwell book before its publication on 19/10/2017

Reader Reviewed
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
  

Barkskins

Literary Fiction   Books of the Month   Books of the Year 2016   Family Drama   Historical Fiction   Reading Groups   eBook Favourites   

RRP £18.99

Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

One of our Books of the Year 2016.

July 2016 Book of the Month.

For the Wolf Hall readership, this is a huge historical novel to immerse yourself in. A dramatic, violent, absorbing, long read for which you need to put aside serious time to devour. You will find it difficult to put down. Charting the lives of two families, the Sels and the Duquets from 1693 to 2013, it tells of the rape of the Canadian natural resources, namely timber and fur but predominantly timber. Hard men made fortunes with little regard for anything but power and wealth, certainly not for their workers’ lives or limbs. The first of the immigrant Sels married an Indian; their offspring are then trapped between two cultures. As you would expect, there is a huge number of characters for characters is what Proulx is all about. This is a truly impressive work detailing the destruction of the forests to the point of ecological disaster. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Annie Proulx you might also like to read books by Thomas Eidson, Carol Shields and Louise Erdrich.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read the full reviews.

  • Ed Robson - 'With the publication of Barkskins, Annie Proulx can justifiably lay claim to the title of America’s greatest living writer.'
  • Ann Peet - 'Magnificent, epic novel...An amazing feat of the imagination!'
  • Catherine Jenkins - 'The Great American Novel of our time, which considers the lives of indigenous inhabitants against a backdrop of deforestation.'
  • Sarah Musk - 'A magnificent book detailing just over three hundred years of Canadian history through the eyes of two very different families descended from the French settlers from the late seventeenth century.'
  • Jane Gilman - 'Greed, love, lust, revenge, sorrow and compassion. Those that desecrate and those that nurture, this novel has it all. Proulx fans will be delighted and I am sure this will gather her many more.'
  • Sheila Johnson - 'If you like long historical family sagas then this is your sort of book.  It is a long story.  Probably the longest I have ever read and I am 67!!'
  • Andrea Rayner - 'This is an epic book. It is monumental both in size and in subject matter...But perhaps most striking of all, is the author’s love, implicit in the language, of a ravaged landscape.'
  • Humaira Kauser - 'A complex read that took me a while but was generally good.'
  • Alfred Nobile - 'A difficult subject handled by a very competent writer. Though I enjoyed this book I much prefer her shorter fiction.'
  • Val Rowe - 'This is probably Annie Proulx's most magnificent novel ever and one to grace people's bookshelves for decades to come.'
  • Kathryn Whitfield - 'An amazing powerful story.'
  • Annette Woolfson - 'How I wanted to love this novel. Parts of it were stupendous - beautiful prose, characters full of passion and tenacity but they, like young seedlings on the forest floor, were nearly starved of light.'
  • Paula Dennan - 'An epic and meticulously detailed novel about the destruction of the world's forests, that sadly lacks in character.'

Win a Set of 10 Bloomsbury Modern Classics!

This month Bloomsbury has launched a series of ten modern classics chosen from highlights of the publisher's last thiry years, each with an eye-catching, iconic illustrated cover - and we have a full set to give away!

The ten titles are Restless by William Boyd, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale and The Little Friend by Donna Tartt.

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 6 November 2017. The winners will be notified by 20 November 2017.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 06/11/2017

Synopsis

Barkskins by Annie Proulx

In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, Rene Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a seigneur, for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters - barkskins. Rene suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi'kmaw woman and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures. But Duquet, 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 Duquet over three hundred years - their travels across North 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. Proulx's inimitable genius is her creation of characters who are so vivid - in their greed, lust, vengefulness, or their simple compassion and hope - that we follow them with fierce attention. Annie Proulx is one of the most formidable and compelling American writers, and Barkskins is her greatest novel, a magnificent marriage of history and imagination.

Reviews

Praise for Annie Proulx: '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

About the Author

Annie Proulx

Annie Proulx is the author of eight books, including the novel The Shipping News and the story collection Close Range. Her many honours include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and a PEN/Faulkner award. Her story Brokeback Mountain, which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award-winning film. She lives in Seattle

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

16th June 2016

Author

Annie Proulx

More books by Annie Proulx
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Hardback
736 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Books of the Month
Books of the Year 2016
Family Drama
Historical Fiction
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780007232000

Lovereading always comes up with great suggestions and has introduced me to enjoyable books and new authors to discover.

Gaynor Passmore

Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.

Claire Hill

Books of the month/debuts of the month, kids/adults, fiction/non-fiction, free prize draws and free extracts, what's not to love?

Emma Smith

If you love reading, then you'll love Lovereading! Full of tips & info for every discerning reader.

Lynne Rapson

My favourite thing about is the 'like for like' page this has really introduced me to some good reads! That and lots of honest reviews.

Sam Lewis

It is a website dedicated to those who adore reading It really is a one stop shop for book lovers. Love it!

Edel Waugh

Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!

Sheila Dale

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools