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Close Range: Brokeback Mountain and Other Stories [Paperback]

Annie Proulx
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Nov 2005

The inspiration behind ‘Life of Pi’ director Ang Lee’s ‘Brokeback Mountain’ is one of the short stories to be found in this haunting collection of Wyoming tales.

‘Brokeback Mountain’ is set in the beautiful, wild landscape of Wyoming where cowboys live as they have done for generations. Hard, lonely lives in unforgiving country. Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar are two ranch hands, glad to have found each other’s company where none had been expected. But companionship becomes something else on Brokeback Mountain, something not looked for – an intimacy neither can forget.

‘Brokeback Mountain’ was made into an Academy Award-winning film by Ang Lee, and starred Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Film tie-in edition edition (7 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007205589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007205585
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Annie Proulx's The Shipping News won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award for Fiction, and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize. She is the author of two other novels: Postcards, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, and Accordion Crimes. She has also written two collections of short stories, Heart Songs and Other Stories and Close Range. In 2001, The Shipping News was made into a major motion picture. Annie Proulx lives in Wyoming and Newfoundland.

Product Description


Praise for Bad Dirt:

‘Proulx writes in wonderful stews, everything thrown in together…the stories demand a second reading.' Daily Telegraph

'Her keen eye for idiosyncrasy ensures her continuing reputation as one of the shrewdest chroniclers of contemporary America.' David Robson, Sunday Telegraph

Praise for The Shipping News:

‘A very impressive achievement. So funny, so full of delights.’ Guardian

‘As stark and ruggedly beautiful as the storm-battered coast of Newfoundland itself.’ Sunday Telegraph

Praise for Accordion Crimes:

‘The detail is breathtaking, her ear for dialogue matchless, her observation unsentimental, her pace infectious. She tackles death, sex and the gruesome with black hilarity and the skills of a born storyteller. Rich and dense, Accordion Crimes is a splendid novel.’ The Times

‘The power and presence of this book cannot be overstated.’ Sunday Express

‘Exhilarating magic, leaves you begging for an encore.’ Daily Telegraph

About the Author

Annie Proulx published her first novel Postcards in 1991 at the age of 56. She is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shipping News, the acclaimed novels Accordion Crimes and That Old Ace in the Hole, and the short story collections Close Range and Bad Dirt.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nitty-gritty 24 Mar 2006
By jfp2006
Previous reviewers here have not always made it clear that it is a collection of eleven stories, of which "Brokeback Mountain", representing just thirty-five pages, is the last. The collection was originally published as "Close Range: Wyoming Stories", and, to tie in with the movie, has been reissued and retitled "Close Range/Brokeback Mountain and other stories", with, of course, cover photographs of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal against a backdrop of scenery from the Ang Lee movie.
The majority of readers will come to this volume, as I did, having already seen the film, and so turn straight to page 283. The story "Brokeback Mountain" is quickly recognizable as the inspiration behind the film, and is as such doubtless the best introduction to Annie Proulx's complex and brilliantly dense prose-style. Some of the dialogue in the film comes directly from that in the story, while other elements feature in the narrative part. For example: "the brilliant charge of their infrequent couplings was darkened by the sense of time flying, never enough time, never enough." [In the film, the words "never enough time, never enough" are spoken by Jack Twist.]
Despite the easily recognisable overall situation, reading the short story is, of course, a significantly different experience from watching the film. The female characters generally speaking feature relatively little in the story, and Jack's first meeting with his wife is absent, for example, as is the Thanksgiving confrontation between Jack and his father-in-law. However, there are also elements in the story which were left out of the movie, a particularly unsettling one being a late revelation about the conflict between Jack and his father, glossed over in the movie when Jack briefly mentions that his father never had any time for him.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating, tragic, simply incredible story 23 Dec 2005
Before buying this book, after being told about the film, I wasn't aware of how short it was...One thing I regret about this book is it's length. It's such a magical and well told story that I only wish it was much longer, maybe even as long as a normal novel. Annie Proulx tells a wonderful story about forbidden desire and love which is so heart wrenchingly real and genuine that you just wish it went on for longer and that it wasn't just a "short story." I'm now really looking forward to the film adaption which is set to be an instant classic, the cast looks amazing and the acting also. I love this story!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply and sparsely superb 12 Jan 2006
By Slinky
Brokeback Mountain, having begun its life as a short story written for The New Yorker, is a sparse, desolate and utterly compelling description of loneliness, longing and fate. It is short, but each word can be interpreted as a thousand - telling the story of two sheep herders whose chance meeting and uncovered need mature into a form of love, yet constrained by circumstance and fear. Ultimately sad, there are moments of pure joy and heart wrenching misery.
More than recommended - though a surprising price for something so slim.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brokeback Mountain 22 Jan 2006
By Four Violets VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the film so much I decided I would have to read the book, being a huge fan of Annie Proulx. I was also intrigued by the fact that Larry McMurty wrote the screen play to the film as he is famous for writing the cowboy series "Lonesome Dove" which stopped short of his main characters actually confessing their love and attatchment to each other, let alone allowing their emotions to spill over into overt sexual acts.
When I received my book I was amazed to realise it was only a (very) short story, being 35 pages long and the last in a series of 11 short stories. But I was NOT disappointed by the story, though I was glad I had seen the film first in this case. Everything is there, either hinted at, implied or seething below the surface exactly as it does in the film. Even the fate of Jack is left enigmatic. The bewilderment of two inarticulate men who are in a place and time where it is totally unacceptable to openly declare their magnetic attraction to each other is agonising and poignant.
Now to read the other 10 stories!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am still thinking about these stories. . . 11 April 2006
By Peter
The author manages to weave beauty, pain, and humor into her stories which feature the roughened cowboys and the hard Wyoming landscape. I came to Proulx because of "Brokeback Mountain". The rest of the stories are equally well done. Proulx is an amazing writer, creating unbelievably vivid stories with a sure hand. How she uses the language is truely amazing. No wasted words. I typically don't read cowboy stories, but Proulx has won me over. Her writing is superb and poetic. These are stories about individual people, and though fiction there is truth here, wiht unique perspectives. Now that I have gotten into Cowboy mode I recently read "Lonesome Dove" another must read and "Across the High Lonesome" also not to be missed!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and heart-breaking 7 Jan 2006
By Fantasy Lore TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This is an incredibly subtle, evocative and moving account of two ranch hands in 1960's America who are thrown together in ordinary circumstances and who very quickly discover they share something that runs so deep that it virtually consumes them, a connection and affection that only intensifies through the years. And this story is made all the more powerful by the succinct prose and almost sparse, but vibrant language.
At only 58, small pages and because the two main characters, Jack and Ennis, and their story is so fascinating - this is a book that you’ll very likely finish in one sitting. Everything works here, but most essentially- the two men at the centre of the story who are more different than they are alike, but who compliment each other perfectly- makes for a very undemanding, but intensely involving and ultimately bittersweet story. And most refreshingly, Proulx never patronises her readers- predictable plot twists and tidy, happy endings don't apply here. It's almost as if she isn't aware she's writing for anyone other than herself, she simply lays out a story to be taken or not and I'm very glad I did.
In some ways, this is a story that the reader must add a lot to themselves, because all love is unspoken here, between people not used to expressing themselves or their feelings openly, even those between husband and wife, so some reading between the lines is required. And ultimately, the story was very powerful for me because it highlighted just how few boundaries life imposes on us, but how very many we impose on ourselves.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
100% as described.
Published 10 days ago by Francis Brady
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Biggest rubbish I have ever heard
Published 1 month ago by Oldgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Annie Proulx - a genius
Well, what can you say? Annie Proulx is an absolute genius. The stories require concentration and thought to take in the very different lifestyle they describe - not light reading,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Janet Tchamani
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!
Bought this as I'd studied The Mud Below at University and wanted to read more Proulx from the same collection. The stories are fantastic, the setting amazing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Walden Wolf
5.0 out of 5 stars So Interesting
I have always admired Annie Proulx's work and before this had read several of her stories. She has a brilliant way of drawing you so fully into her characters world that when you... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Laura
3.0 out of 5 stars A book club choice which I had to read.
I do not normally choose a book of short stories however as it was required due to book club membership and chosen by someone else. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mrs.C.M.Nurse
5.0 out of 5 stars brokeback mountain
this is a lovely book sometimes very touching and sad very well written it is about two cowboys in america and their relationship together i loved it
Published 19 months ago by Julie Dalton
3.0 out of 5 stars Brokeback is special, the others less so...
It is probable that readers will, on the back of the film, split this into Brokeback Mountain and the rest, as the title implies. So... Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2011 by bloodsimple
4.0 out of 5 stars Close Range
Close Range isn't usually a book that I would be compelled to pick up and read, but after studying it as an english assignment I found I really enjoyed it. Read more
Published on 12 Nov 2010 by Gee
1.0 out of 5 stars No feeling
Short stories which don't seem to have an ending, but just come to a sudden halt! Peopled by characters with odd names like Aladdin Touhey, Hondo Gunsch, Car Scrope! Read more
Published on 11 Nov 2010 by Mountain Man
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