Book: POUNDERS by Josh Barkeycategories: Book, Treeplanting, Adventure, Drama, Brothers, Reforestation, Passion, Subculture, Canada, Peru, Canadiana, Survival, Literary Fiction
Josh Barkeyabout this book: In writing POUNDERS, author Josh Barkey draws on his experience of ten summers of Canadian industrial reforestation, having hand-planted hundreds of thousands of trees in a remote environment ripe for drama, passion, and betrayal. But POUNDERS is more than just a fascinating glimpse into the tight-knit subculture of treeplanting. It delves further, uncovering moments of beauty, laughter, and love in the midst of excruciating pain.
While men and women who have lived and worked in the world of Canadian treeplanting have received the novel enthusiastically, others who knew nothing about that world before they encountered POUNDERS have remarked that it contains just the right amount of description to paint a clear picture. One such reader called it "the Moby Dick of treeplanting" for the way in which it sucks you into a fascinating new subculture while simultaneously telling a cracking good tale.
For the author, POUNDERS was a labor of love stretching over three years, with countless rewrites and a lot of additional research going beyond even his extensive pre-existing knowledge of the subject. He reached out to various experts in the field and ran the completed manuscript past several treeplanting and forestry professionals to ensure that every bit of the story was grounded in fact. Over the course of the project he also drew on other parts of his past, from his early years running barefoot in the Amazon basin to his post-secondary education in Canada. He considers the final product not only his best book to date but also an offering of his full, unvarnished self.
POUNDERS is set in the world of treeplanting, but that's merely the "Vietnam-without-the-guns" backdrop for a story that explores some of the hardest questions any of us ever face, like "What does it mean to be a brother?" and "How can life have meaning in a world full of so much pain?" The novel handles such questions with wit and humor, balanced with a tension that keeps readers turning pages. To put it in the words of one Amazon reviewer, "Expect to get your heart broken."
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