- Paperback: 340 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 8, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1530403464
- ISBN-13: 978-1530403462
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,859,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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pounders Paperback – July 8, 2016
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A side educational note: I didn't know a single thing about reforestation before reading this book, and while that isn't really the point of the book, I learned quite a bit. I also know that I never want to do that as a job. While the camaraderie could be fun for a bit, the work sounds far too grueling for me.
Well, pounders, who Josh Barkey wrote it, is just about planet Earth like I'm on every day. That's a pretty big problem. Also I don't know what 'Canadian industrial reforestation' is, but it makes my tongue hurt.
But Pounders is pretty great if you don't count the space ships. You don't have to because I did. Zero space ships.
Ha, I tricked you because Pounders is actually kind of like a new planet. No one ever wrote about 'Canadian industrial reforestation' before. The people at 'Canadian industrial reforestation' also keep planting so much trees I think they are robots. And Canada is a huge galaxy like except green stars that look like trees. And some robots talk French.
There's good stuff in there. Some guy is jealous of his brother, but they also loved each other, so so they almost broke their nose. A little puppy tried to fly a helicopter. Well he sneaked into a bag. And sometimes you have to get hurt to love someone really really. And if your brain won't shut up you can just get mad and plant a load of trees like a boss. Showers are good even if someone takes your towel because freezing lakes make your you know what hurt. There's lots more stuff. Like girls can be awesome sometimes but sometimes they are like What?!
If you just keep reading and see if there's someone wearing a gamma armor suit, then pow, the last page and you read all the stuff. Because there's good stuff Josh Barkey wrote on most pages almost.
I think Josh Barkey wrote this on accident because no one can really write a book this good. Only if it has marswolfs and laser pistols it might be this good. But only on accident with just bears and shovels.
You should read it and give it to your mom.
We get to know Jude and Dain in flashbacks as young boys, and as young adults in their first years tree planting. Barkey draws on his own years of tree planting in Northern BC - encounters with wildlife, bugs, boredom and humans pushed to their physical limits - giving the reader a glimpse into the ups and downs (with humor) of planting life.
Barkey nails the brother-brother relationship; competitive, protective, selfish at times. The narrator, Jude, starts off immature, unlikeable almost - as he footnotes his excuses of poor choices or offers explanations the reader doesn’t need. But he finds less need for this as the story goes on - and we begin to like him more as we see him in situations outside his comfort zone.
Jude and Dain experience real growth, and the book feels intimate - anyone who is a brother or has brothers can relate to the stories, and by the end you love them both even for all their faults. The supporting characters also have rich personalities and solid back stories as appropriate.
His descriptions, particularly those of the beauty and serenity of the forest and the cut blocks, almost make me want to go back, but then he also captures the dark miserable side of planting that I cannot help but chuckle at and thank God is years past.
"But back in the day, if you wanted to plant with the big dogs, you had to tape. It sort of worked, but it also sort of literally stank, and turned the skin of your hands to a leprous, sodden mass. One more small indignity in the succession of the bending-over-and-taking-it moments that made up the planting day."
There are also moments in the book that seem to parallel those magical moments of standing in a forest with all of its majestic beauty, such as in this passage: "If those trees could talk... well, they did talk, slow and steady in the words you almost wipe yourself out to hear. Telling a story of time. Of human lives coming and going, flitting their way across the planet and flashing out like fireflies, desperate to be seen."
Overall a moving and pleasurable read.