Friday, February 10, 2017

The Book I'd Been Looking For Was Here All The Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      When Annie Proulx's most recent novel, "Barkskins," came out, I knew I wanted to read it, both because of its author, and because of the grandeur of its scope.  So, I purchased a copy, shortly thereafter, saving it for a time when my mind would need stimulation from a challenging, lengthy book.

                                         That came in late January.  Even though "Thomas Jefferson Dreams Of Sally Hemmings" was no lightweight, its experimental style and swiftly executed verbal rhythms, while engaging, did not really challenge me.

                                            So, toward the end of last month, I picked up "Barkskins," with some trepidation.  Years before, I enjoyed her story collection "Close Range," which features the now classic, "Brokeback Mountain," but I recalled how, years before that, I could not make it through her prize-winning work, "The Shipping News."  I began to wonder if maybe Proulx wrote better in a shorter form, and reading "Barkskins" was a test, for me, of sorts.

                                            Well, darlings, as Dorothy discovered in "The Wizard of Oz," the big book I was looking for had been there all the time.  This book swept me off my feet engulfing into a riveting, several centuries saga of Canadian and Indian families, that, in turn covers the exploitation of forests, and the need for environmental protection today, the existence of covert forms of sexuality, even in the distant past, the history of the timber industry on both sides of the Atlantic, written at a breakneck pace that had my eyes racing, yet stunned by so many lyrical passages.

                                                Yes, girls, Miss Proulx's book is a winner.  I don't know what happened with "The Shipping News" and I, but I cannot recommend "Barkskins" highly enough.  For those such as I who like this type of epic fiction, it is what you have been waiting for.

                                                  I can tell you for certain, this book would go over in the David Lynch's version of Lumberton,  North Carolina, from "Blue Velvet, where, of course, "Everyone knows how much wood a woodchuck chucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                                   Now, if only I could find a "Sloe Club" of my own, wear that blue gown and do Isabel Rossellini's nightclub act in the evening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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