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Brokeback Mountain Paperback – Deckle Edge, December 2, 2005
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"Proulx's understanding is at its most remarkable in the astonishing 'Brokeback Mountain.' [She] knows what she could only know...by the infrared that allows a very few writers clear sight in the dark of the imagination."
-- Richard Eder, The New York Times Book Review
"'Brokeback Mountain' does some of the best things a story can do. It abolishes the old West clichés, excavates and honors a certain kind of elusive life, then nearly levels you with the emotional weight at its center."
-- Gail Caldwell, The Boston Sunday Globe
"A stand-out story...'Brokeback Mountain' is the sad chronology of a love affair between two men who can't afford to call it that. They know what they're not -- not queer, not gay -- but have no idea what they are."
-- Walter Kirn, New York
About the Author
Annie Proulx is the author of eight books, including the novel The Shipping News and the story collection Close Range. Her many honors include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and a PEN/Faulkner award. Her story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Her most recent novel is Barkskins. She lives in Seattle.
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Brokeback Mountain was, for me, a wonderfully evocative movie of forbidden love between two unsophisticated cowboys, who never expected to find it in the high country of Brokeback Mountain. On reading the book which inspired the movie, I realised that the film's director, Ang Lee, had perfectly captured the essence of Annie Proulx's story. She has a beautiful style. Her stories may be only twenty pages long, but that's all you need. She has the ability to create an image that rings totally true, and captures the simplicity of cowboy country life in a unique way. I loved these stories!
The book is actually a short story, however Annie Proulx is able to take the reader where the story is going because the story is very detailed and definitive.
The book is slightly different from the movie, although I was surprised to see that just about everything in the movie was mentioned in the book. However there are some details in the book that are not mentioned in the movie, for example the mention of pot-smoking between the two men. Also, the book does not discuss the characters of Lureen and Alma as the movie did.
When I first read this book and saw the movie I thought it was an incredibly tragic story. After thinking about it over the past six months (I cannot get this movie out of my mind because it is so thought-provoking), I have decided that "Brokeback Mountain" is also a happy tale. Because true love is so fleeting, and scarce, and these two men were able to find some happiness within each other, however heart-rending it may be.
Just as the stark words your eyes saw probably moved your heart, to HEAR this tale in the dark, on a winter night, has a power all its own. Actor Campbell Scott delivers a spare reading of Proulx's work that unwraps the muscle and sinew of her matchless choices and skills. My god, the writing, the deadly-true detail. If anything, the story read aloud seems even MORE layered,sexual and doomed than it did on the printed page. Scott gets the flat, barren ethos exactly right.
You should be aware this 2005 CD is drawn from the final hour of Simon & Shuster's 1999 unabridged Audioworks cassette release of Proulx's Close Range, Wyoming Stories which runs six hours. Out of print, it sometimes turns up on ebay. Brokeback, the last story in the book/audiocassette, runs one hour on this CD. Some will say that you need the 80% prelim of Close Range that is NOT Brokeback to tip you into the quite unexpected pay-off that is Ennis and Twist. I kind of agree: I was gobsmacked.
But at this price, the Audio CD re-release is an invaluable riff on Brokeback's original material. It is chilling.
For fans of Close Range, Annie Proulx, the Brokeback story or the movie, this CD is a must-have.
Most recent customer reviews
Just... a little too sad...