cover image Barkskins


Annie Proulx, read by Robert Petkoff. S&S Audio, unabridged, 21 CDs, 26 hrs., $59.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-7006-7

It’s a pleasure to listen to Petkoff’s low-key, straightforward reading of Proulx’s ambitious novel that spans 300 years and multiple locations. His reading is well paced and his diction clean and clear. But he faces the near-impossible task of rendering the foreign sentence structures and accented English dialogue of a huge variety of international characters in different periods of history. Proulx’s characters are French, English, Spanish, Irish, Scottish, Dutch, Chinese, American, Canadian, and Native American. The pidgin English of Native American men, women, and children is especially distracting for the listener when read aloud, for it turns the listener’s focus from the story to the accents. [em]A Scribner hardcover. (June) [/em]