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Paperback Close Range: Wyoming Stories Book

ISBN: 0684852225

ISBN13: 9780684852225

Close Range: Wyoming Stories

(Book #1 in the Wyoming Stories Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning and bestselling author of The Shipping News and Accordion Crimes comes one of the most celebrated short story collections of our time. Annie Proulx's masterful language and fierce love of Wyoming are evident in these breathtaking tales of loneliness, quick violence, and the wrong kinds of love. Each of the stunning portraits in Close Range reveals characters fiercely wrought with precision and grace. These are stories...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A transforming work

I wanted to be able to talk about this story in a casual conversation without getting tears in my eyes so I actually went and saw the movie. It has been my experience that however powerful a piece of literature might be, a movie can make it banal. For those who have seen the movie, I was exactly as sucessful as you would have thought. Now I can't talk about the story or the movie. It is a symptom of our national myopia about homosexuality that anyone would conclude that this story is about gays or was written to serve some gay agenda. Downright silly if you ask me, so don't let yourself get sidetracked. I can't shake this story, me, a respectable mother of 3 with nothing in my life history which would approach the grief these two men experience. All I can conclude at this point is that my spirit knows the losses that are to come to me -- my parents, a brother, maybe my husband -- and the crushing grief that is to come. To say this story changed me would be inaccurate -- it has not finished its work in my life. I can't think what more a reader could ask for. So read it -- even if you are anti-gay, pro-family, etc. Be open to the idea that there is something in this story for you, or, at the very least, be prepared to defend your position in the face of what Ms. Proulx has given us.

I cried after reading this book

The first time I picked up Close Range: Wyoming Stories. I thought MMm...Just another collection of boring stories about white rural hicks. I've read stuff like this before. Usually set in the South. With the typical set of colorful charicters. From the pompous upper crust to reddest of rednecks. But I started reading. And kept on reading, for nine hours strait! I couldn't put it down. Annie Proulx is one powerful writer! She made me rethink my attitudes about how rural folk lived. Their lives are just as complex, mixed up and sad as us city dwellers are. I chuckled at the first two or three stories. Felt empathy for fourth. but it was the last story, Brokeback Mountain. That one tore my heart out. I ached for the charicters of Ennis and Jack. They lived in a time that had no kind words for what were or how they felt about each other. If they had lived 3000 years earlier or just 40 years later they could've been very happy together. But spending all those years apart. Only seeing each other maybe one or if they were lucky twice a year. Just made what they had even more bitter sweet. The ending had me in tears for three days, And I'm not the emotional type! I've just ordered the audio version. and can't wait to hear this wonderful book set to the spoken word. Please, Please buy this book!

Proulx will break your heart with that last story--

--but the rest of the collection is powerful, too. If you haven't read Proulx, pick this one up. It's rough, raw, brutally honest storytelling. But honestly, I can't explain what it is about Brokeback Mountain that makes me pull the book off the shelf at least twice a year since it came out five years ago. It's got to be one of the most intensely moving stories I've ever read in my life. Those men, their lives. The scattered, fragile moments where they do connect, like that scene on the front porch when they haven't seen each other in four years or that moment where he finds the flannel shirts. Kick me in the gut while you grab my heart and rip it to shreds. You'll love it, I promise. I'm sure that some people unfamiliar with Proulx's work or this story will permit the film adaptation to become another banal symbol of those crazy gays taking over EVERYTHING--and deny themselves the pleasure of reading good, solid American fiction. Regardless, do yourself a huge favor: read this story before seeing the film (fingers crossed).

Wyoming as a state of the soul

I am a grown-up, middle aged man not drawn much to sentimentality. I am not a practiced reader of fiction and I have spent only one night in Wyoming. I just finished reading the final story in the collection, "Brokeback Mountain",about ten minutes ago. I still have tears in my eyes. It seems to me that I am falling out of a dream into the wet and chill February morning by San Francisco Bay where I now live. But the dream was of a place utterly familiar. I mean, emotionally familiar, familiar in memory, and evidently, familiar to my body. I can still feel the tingling just behind my cheekbones and the low-voltage electric discomfort in my chest. I guess Annie Proulx touched something in the geography of my own soul with her story. And even in the sadness that swirls around my eyes, I am grateful to her for that. And amazed that this woman could write so tellingly of men's hearts. I said that I am a middle-aged man. So I have a history behind me. That's part of what makes you middle-aged. When you're young, who you want to be someday is the largest part of who you are. When you're middle-aged, the evidence begins to mount. The past is what it was and that is the largest part of who you are. It's harder to make believe anymore. And the story includes loss, confusion, missed opportunities, cowardice, fear, and memories of your own Brokeback Mountain. And sometimes the only redemption for the past, if it is redemption, is to remember it, fully. That's all. Now that I am back in the waking world a bit more, I also want to say how beautifully Annie Proulx weaves the English language, with the kind of strength, color and contrapuntal roughness that makes it so earthy and satisfying. There were a few passages that I read out loud, just for the rhythm, the accents, the tumbled spring-thaw rush of sound. In a story about people not noted either for reflective insight or poetic diction, she has, paradoxically, by her own re-membering of them, let them be themselves, without apology, and yet re-situated them in a place of human grandeur. I guess Aristotle had a point when he wrote about poetry as a moment of katharsis, of the compelling power of pity and fear. I bet he never thought he could find it on Brokeback Mountain.

A Wyoming Cowboy's Opinion

I grew up a cowboy, working on my granddaddy's ranch in Western Wyoming, and reading "Close Range" reminded me of all the reasons I chose to leave Wyoming, and all the reasons I wish I were back there.Life back home was a big stew of frostbite and mud, blood, snot, booze, and just a pinch of hope that tomorrow might be better. This book has the recipe down pat. Just one cowboy's opinion- read this book.

Close Range: Wyoming Stories Mentions in Our Blog

Close Range: Wyoming Stories in Such Sweet Sorrow: The Literary Legacy of Star-Crossed Lovers
Such Sweet Sorrow: The Literary Legacy of Star-Crossed Lovers
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 29, 2021

On this date in 1595, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was first performed (not officially published until 1597). Although the renowned tragedy was by no means the first literary story of doomed love, it coined the phrase "star-cross'd lovers" and continues to inspire heartbreaking sagas even today.

Close Range: Wyoming Stories in Get Lost in the Wild West
Get Lost in the Wild West
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • June 05, 2019

Celebrate Larry McMurtry's 83rd birthday this week with one of these rip-roaring Western adventure tales.

Close Range: Wyoming Stories in Famous Last Lines: Endings to Remember
Famous Last Lines: Endings to Remember
Published by Beth Clark • May 31, 2018

For all of our "get the last word in" readers (you know who you are!), here are some famous last lines to applaud, echo, laugh at, and think about.

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