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Book: Close Range, Annie Proulx

March 13, 2008
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(this will be a short review, I’m posting mostly so I don’t forget that I’ve read this book, and also to distract myself because I’m still not feeling well, see end of blog post)

I love Annie Proulx. I adored The Shipping News — what a strange, beautiful, unusual book! So I was excited to get this, a collection of short stories about Wyoming, including Brokeback Mountain.

I have stated before that I am not a fan of short stories, and I am still not really a fan of short stories. However, I did like these. I read *most* of them, some of them I was just not interested in. I figure that’s how you read a short-story collection, you just pick the ones you want to read, right?

Anyway. As always, her writing is amazing, spot-on, completely convincing, beautiful, harsh, clear, evocative but never flowery or overdone. I wish I could write like this.

Stories about Wyoming cowboys, the unforgiving but beautiful landscape, the cows and sweat and dirt and pickups and hard lives, and all the little stories that happen in between the larger tale of the Old West.

Of course my favorite was Brokeback Mountain, and it is an amazing story, and thank goodness the movie does it justice, because this is a story that deserves a beautiful movie. The actors in the movie were perfectly cast, and the mountain in the movie is even more beautiful than I could have imagined from the book. And the story is short, sweet, brutal and devastating. I loved it, loved it.

If I were taking a road trip to Wyoming, I would definitely bring this book along and re-read it. It was excellent. And I don’t even like short stories.

I’m reading another set of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates, and it’s not going as well. D’Arcy and I have long established that we don’t ‘get’ JCO, and I still don’t. More on that, later. Feeling too yucky to continue writing.

Quick ear update: still yucky. Still feeling bad. Back to the doctor today at 11:15. Ugh.

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