Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Brokeback Mountain ~ Annie Proulx

I couldn’t find a webpage for the author, but you can find the book at any major retailer or your local library (which is where I found my copy).


Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they're working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent, the attraction is casual, inevitable, but something deeper catches them that summer.

Both men work hard, marry, and have kids because that's what cowboys do. But over the course of many years and frequent separations this relationship becomes the most important thing in their lives, and they do anything they can to preserve it.

The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for Fiction for its publication of "Brokeback Mountain," and the story was included inPrize Stories 1998: The O. Henry Awards. In gorgeous and haunting prose, Proulx limns the difficult, dangerous affair between two cowboys that survives everything but the world's violent intolerance.

I want to preface this by saying I still haven’t seen this movie, as crazy as that might seem.  Honestly, I’m glad that I hadn’t caved because I think having seen the movie before reading this short novella would have really detracted from the impact it had on me. 

Over the course of fifty-five very short pages (the book itself is about half the size of your average paperback), you are introduced to Ennis and Jack and from that moment on you watch them become friends, then lovers, and then everything in the world to each other.  Ennis is the reluctant one, the one who tries hard to please his wife and make things work, no matter how much he’d rather have something he can’t name.  Jack, on the other hand, wants what he wants and nothing more.  He’s the free-spirit and unpredictable one.  He’s also the one that breaks your heart at the end.

The ending of this story caught me completely off guard.  I was traumatized and left feeling hollow and empty for hours after I finished it.  I suppose part of the fault is mine, I knew better to be reading unpredictable material at 6 AM, but I couldn’t stop reading.  The majority of the fault lies in the the concise, controlled prose of the author who, with few words and many emotions, weaves a spectacular story that works its way into you and refuses to let go.  Ever. 

Can I say how very thankful I am that my local library has several other books and collections by this author?  She is simply amazing.  Never have I read a love story so timeless and so all-encompassing that you can’t help but relate. 

~Your extremely emotional Crazy Lady

Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from my local library because I’ve long wanted to watch the movie but instead stumbled upon the book. 

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