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Heart Songs and Other Stories Paperback – March 17, 1995
Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Kimberly G. Allen, Network MCI Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
A strong theme threading through several stories is the clash of values of two very different worlds: big-city hobbyists with ready money who show up in the country sporting their flash hunting gear and brand new boots - their rifles new and shiny, just like their cars - bringlng unwelcome improvements impinging on the land, customs and traditions of the poor rural community. My personal favourite of the collection is Stone City: a hunter stumbles on a remote, derelict farm high up on the snow-covered wooded hillsides but senses an atmosphere of evil pervading the abandoned ruin, Stone City, once owned by the Stone family, old man Stone and his brood of wild, unruly offspring. Gradually, more shocking revelations about the Stones and the grim past of Stone City come to light. Try also Annie Proulx's other superb short story collection of Wyoming stories, Close Range. Both books highly recommended!
The characters in these stories are too brutal and/or witless and the stories too nightmarish for me.
For a more life-like (or at least less morbid) version of this world, try Wendell Berry's Jayber Crow.
All eleven stories are set in back-country, up-mountain New England, many in "Chopping County". All (except the last) feature crusty New Englanders, who manage to scrape by, living in the woods and on old farms in houses in varying stages of disrepair, some in ill humor and others with wry humor, either alone or in strained, bitter companionship with someone of the opposite sex. The principal pastime is hunting or fishing.
A few of the stories also feature outlanders -- the well-to-do who have invaded New England via second homes. Invariably, they are fools of one brand or another. In one story, the outlander showed up in "his dusty Mercedes, with an inverted bicycle on the roof, pulled up at the village store and [came in] clenching a map and asking for directions to his own house."
The first and last stories are a couple notches below the rest and for me drag the collection down from five Amazon stars to four. But I highly recommend the middle nine stories. They are populated by characters who without exception are interesting and (I think) true-to-life; they all have good plots, most with a twist at the end; and there is plenty of fine, crisp writing. The best stories, to my mind, are "A Run of Bad Luck" and "Electric Arrows".
Annie Proulx certainly is fond of similes. Perhaps overly fond, as some don't work.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Author Proulx never shies away from exploring the rougher side of the human story. I am always left thinking, something we don't do enough of.Published 2 months ago by islandmama
Proulx is such a good writer I never tire of reading her novels or short stories.Published 8 months ago by Billy
Moving stories of the subtle dynamics of human relationships told in the heart wrenching style that only Annie Proulx can writePublished 11 months ago by sherberty
One of my favorite writers ... Proulx has a keen, often cold, eye and never flinches.Published 13 months ago by Bonnie Towles
Annie Proulx's writing is phenomenal. The way that she puts words together to enable the reader to not only see the scene, but taste and feel it. Read morePublished 19 months ago by rebecca preston
E. Annie Proulx (E for Edna) had spent most of her life in Vermont and other parts of Northern New England when she wrote the stories in this, her first collection. Read morePublished on June 2, 2013 by David R. Anderson
Annie Proulx has a distinctive style of prose which I find very intriguing. The stories are interesting, and many end leaving more questions than answersPublished on January 19, 2013 by lhoste
As with all her stufff it's not just well written but...it's the defination of writing. Great stories but of course I would like more meat, more Annie-isms on each and every... Read morePublished on January 18, 2013 by sharpeihead
The stories presented here are simple yet evocative and delicious to read. I wholeheartedly recommend this compilation of stories. Read morePublished on January 13, 2013 by Julia Rose Larouche