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Close Range : Wyoming Stories Paperback – February 10, 2000
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Pulitzer Prize-winner E. Annie Proulx forays through the underside of America's beloved Wild West in Close Range, a collection of stories about hardship and more hardship in Wyoming territory. Understanding that the West's infinite spaces tended to inspire neither introspection nor contemplation, but a violent and insatiable restlessness, Proulx's eight stories are dark reflections on the lives of a handful of characters striving to define themselves against the unforgiving landscapes. The three professional actors chosen to read the text give strong, resounding interpretations of the macabre tales. (Running time: 6 hours, 4 cassettes) --Natasha Senjanovich --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
This marvelous collection proves that Proulx's Pulitzer Prize for The Shipping News was no one-shot deal. Set in Wyoming, the 11 stories "feature down-on-their-luck ranchers, cowboys, and working men who watch helplessly as the modern world leaves them behind." (LJ 5/1/99)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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“You stand there, braced. Cloud shadows race over the buff rock stacks as a projected film, casting a queasy mottled ground rash. The air hisses and it is no local breeze but the great harsh sweep of wind from the turning of the earth. The wild country—indigo jags of mountain, grassy plain everlasting, tumbled stones like fallen cities, the flaring roll of sky—provokes a spiritual shudder. It is like a deep note that cannot be heard but is felt, it like a claw in the gut.”
Don't be tempted to look for happy endings against a backdrop like this. The characters who populate these stories, desperate for relief from their harsh, hard-scrabble existences, have a tendency to seek profit and pleasure in delusional pursuits of both the mind and the heart. Predictably (if not to them) they leave a wreckage of lives and livelihoods in their wake – either their own, their neighbors, their friends, or their families. Sometimes the lot. But oh, so enticingly.
You’ll also find Ms. Proulx’s heart-crushing tour de force, Brokeback Mountain, in this masterful lineup.
Reading other reviews, I cannot agree that the book reflects badly on Wyoming, that most of the characters are degenerate and that the book offers perversion as a source of enterntainment. Neither are the characters underdeveloped or one dimensional. I found that most of the characters learn something about themselves. But most of all I enjoyed the presence of the range in all the stories: wild, unforgiving, but also mesmerizing, captivating, of terrifying beauty.
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