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Adventures in the Alaskan Skin Trade

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
As the proprietor of Gamelands, the best little whorehouse in Alaska, beautiful and athletic Sunny Deauville is dedicated to a life of guilt-free hedonism. Yet she is haunted by dreams of her long-lost father, "Uncle Jake," a gentleman adventurer who dragged his family off to Alaska after the Crash of 1929. Each night as he returns to her dreams, Sunny relives the vivid ep ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 4th 1986 by Penguin Books (first published 1985)
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Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
The Alaskan Skin Trade is a Hawkes approach to memoir, somehow. But forget about the memoir nature of the book, this is a gorgeous piece of father-daughter alaskan adventuring told with more concern about narrative than the classic, early phase of Hawkes' novelizing. Should you grow weary of the 'enemy of plot' school (founded by Hawkes himself?) of experimental prose-ification, please do pick up this little Adventure.
Jan 10, 2009 Steve rated it it was ok
Have been familiar with Hawkes name since coming across it often in "The Habit of Being," the letters of Flannery O'Connor. I found this novel to be disappointing; while the writing was good (as one would expect), it seemed to be one tall tale after another, linked by highly improbably characters who were, most of the time, more caricature than flesh and blood.
Dec 22, 2010 Annie rated it liked it
Enjoyable, but possibly more for atmosphere than actuality
Bill Wallace
Jul 18, 2015 Bill Wallace rated it liked it
Postmodern Jack (and Jill) London. A series of tall Alaskan tales constructed around a central saga of a father --a clueless, two-fisted adventurer -- a daughter -- a tom-boy turned courtesan -- and the last American frontier. This is the first Hawkes novels I've read, so I don't know if it's typical of his work, but it certainly is distinctive. A style that reminds me a little of Barthelme and narrative that stays just on the mundane side of absurdity with a larger meaning that remains, I think ...more
Hawkes Räuberpistole aus der Welt der Fuchszüchter und Schnapsbrenner in Alaska wird von Sunny Deauville erzählt. Deauvilles Vater Jake zieht mit Frau und Kind nach Alaska, um u. a. auf den Pazifikinseln der Westküste nach einem Totempfahl zu fahnden, der als oberes Segment eine Figur Präsident Lincolns trägt. Wenn man weiß, dass die Ureinwohner der pazifischen Westküste ihre Totempfähle nach strengen Regeln anfertigen, klingen Jakes Abenteuer stark nach einem Schelmenroman mit Lagerfeuerromanti ...more
Mar 31, 2012 Rebekkila rated it really liked it
The book had such an interesting title that I felt I just had to read it. The skin trade not only refers to Sunny's brothel but also to the fox trapping and seal skins and for that matter all skins that can be sold in Alaska. It was a good adventure story recounted by Sunny who was brought to Alaska by her father. Her father, Jake is a pompous arrogant fool who was on my nerves for most of the book since those are traits that together make a character unbearable for me to read. But I did find so ...more
Jul 04, 2014 William rated it liked it
Very interesting descriptions of Juneau and the the Alaska Panhandle from about 1920s to 1950s. The characters were right on and the life styles were well done. Dragged a bit in places especially if the reader is not from the North as I am. Not much about sex or the fur trade so the title is a little misleading.
The imagery of Alaska is perfect, but the best part is the outstanding characterization of Sunny and her father, Uncle Jake. It captures so poigantly the complexities of their relationship--the good points and the bad points. It also, without coming right out and saying it, explains both Sunny's and Uncle Jake's courses of action. I felt bad for Uncle Jake, who ultimately couldn't live up to his (and his perceptions of others') expectations for himself, but worse for Sunny who was left to deal w ...more
May 29, 2016 David rated it really liked it
Great adventure novel and family memoir about life in Alaska in the early 20th century and how one's early life can shape what's to come. Hawkes throws in the usual naughty bits. Read with the hummmmm of engine in my ear on a long haul flight and was ideal for that situation - despite all the plane crashes described.
Abimelech Abimelech
Mar 10, 2014 Abimelech Abimelech marked it as to-read
2/3 pickt up
Lynn Freeborn
Sep 23, 2013 Lynn Freeborn rated it it was ok
wow. certainly nothing like Blood Oranges. I would have given it three stars if not for Martha Washington. what on earth was her point?! well, I know what her point was, but you know what I have to say? meh. heavy handed and coarse to the point of gross. Uncle Jake had his ... quirks, but he was SO much more ... presentable? than she.
May 24, 2012 Kit rated it liked it
Shelves: recentlyread
Amusing but overlong.
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John Hawkes, born John Clendennin Talbot Burne Hawkes, Jr., was a postmodern American novelist, known for the intensity of his work, which suspended the traditional constraints of the narrative.
Born in Stamford, Connecticut, and educated at Harvard University, Hawkes taught at Brown University for thirty years. Although he published his first novel, The Cannibal, in 1949, it was The Lime Twig (196
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