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Extended Audio Sample Barkskins: A Novel, by Annie Proulx Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Annie Proulx Narrator: Robert Petkoff Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From Annie Proulx—the Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award–winning author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain—comes her masterpiece, ten years in the writing: an epic, dazzling, violent, magnificently dramatic novel about taming the wilderness, set over two centuries.

In the late eighteenth century Rene Sel, an illiterate woodsman, makes his way from Northern France to New France to seek a living. Bound to a feudal lord, a “seigneur,” for three years in exchange for land, he suffers extraordinary hardship, always in awe of the forest he is charged with cleaning. Rene marries an Indian healer with children already, and they have more, mixing the blood of two cultures. Proulx tells the stories of the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of two lineages, the Sels and the Duquets, as well as the descendants of their allies and foes, as they travel back to Europe, to China, to New England, always in quest of a livelihood or fleeing stunningly brutal conditions—accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks, the revenge of rivals.

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 American writers of our time, and Barkskins is her Moby Dick.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A stunning, bracing, full-tilt ride through 300 years of US and Canadian history…with the type of full-immersion plot that keeps you curled in your chair, reluctant to stop reading.”


  • “A tale too beautiful to miss, excellent for long afternoons spent swaying in a hammock.”

    Good Housekeeping

  • Masterful, full of an urgent, tense lyricism, its plotting beautifully unexpected.”

    USA Today

  • “Pages melt away as readers zoom through the decades…This is Proulx at the height of her powers as an irreplaceable American voice.”

    Entertainment Weekly (Grade A)

  • “Barkskins is grand entertainment in the tradition of Dickens and Tolstoy.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Magnificent…One of the chief pleasures of Proulx’s prose is that it conveys you to so many vanished wildwoods, where you get to stand ‘tiny and amazed in the kingdom of pines’…If Barkskins doesn’t bear exquisite witness to our species’ insatiable appetite for consumption, nothing can.”


  • “Annie Proulx’s Barkskins is remarkable…the kind of immersive reading experience that only comes along every few years.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Proulx’s talents shine brightest in her vividly real and tragically flawed characters, who cling to the misguided belief that the bounty of the forest will endure forever.”


  • “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…A transporting listen. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for June 2016
  • An Indie Next List Pick for July 2016
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A BookPage Top Pick for July 2016
  • A 2016 Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, Top 10 Selection
  • An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016
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