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Old 6th Dec 2005, 22:24   #1
rick green
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Default Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain

Read the story online before the movie comes to town.
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Old 7th Dec 2005, 4:05   #2
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Default Re: Brokeback Mountain

And hey, it's pretty dang good.
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Old 7th Dec 2005, 8:40   #3
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Default Re: Brokeback Mountain

I knew this was meant to be good, but now I'm crying into my cornflakes .

All the previews say good things too.
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Old 7th Dec 2005, 16:40   #4
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Default Re: Brokeback Mountain

Yeah, it's sad alright.
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Old 9th Dec 2005, 16:52   #5
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Default Re: Brokeback Mountain

I read it this morning. At first I thought it moved a little too jumpily, in that Proulx doesn't use ten words when one will do, and never says anything she doesn't have to: but that's a problem of the reader, of me trying to race through it too quickly as I usually do. So once I got used to it, me and Brokeback Mountain got along just fine. The appearance of male intimacy is sudden and unexpected even when you know the theme, and the story at its end is as moving as you've been told, and the effect not diminished at all for the forewarning. I'm just glad Ennis didn't get to scatter half Jack's ashes on Brokeback Mountain, otherwise I would have been a hopeless mess. As it is I can't think of the recurring line 'if you can't fix it you've got to stand it' without tears springing up behind my eyes.

It will be interesting, all right, to see if the film maintains the power of the story and doesn't dilute it by stretching it out over two hours. Empire magazine didn't think so, clearly, giving it five stars and calling it Ang Lee's 'masterpiece.' We'll find out on 6 January or thereafter.
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Old 9th Dec 2005, 19:18   #6
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Default Re: Brokeback Mountain

Good story. I like Proulx. The Shipping News is one of my favorite books. I also have some little agricultural brochures she wrote before she hit as a novelist. Picked them up at the local Agway, next to the powdered fox urine.
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Old 9th Dec 2005, 19:23   #7
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Default Re: Brokeback Mountain

I've got The Shipping News and started it once but got distracted (sorry, RC, if you're reading this). Will have to pull it out again. I picked up her latest collection Bad Dirt (her second volume of 'Wyoming Stories') too after I read Brokeback Mountain (which features in the collection Close Range: Wyoming Stories). Proulx didn't publish her first novel until the age of 56. There's hope for us all: except you, gil.

EDIT: Incidentally, the About the Author on Bad Dirt says:
Quote:
Annie Proulx lives in Wyoming. She published her first novel, Postcards, in 1991 at the age of 56. Her second novel, The Shipping News, won the Irish Times International Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Her third novel, Accordion Crimes, was published in 1996 and her fifth novel, That Old Ace in the Hole, in 2003. She is also the author of two short story collections: Heart Songs and Close Range.
So: can anyone tell me what her fourth novel was? I thought to begin with that they meant fourth and not fifth for That Old Ace in the Hole, but then again, seven years between it and her previous one would be a long time, given her previous three novels were published in the space of five years, so it's more likely that there was a fourth between 1996 and 2003. But damned if I can find it.

By the way rick, as this thread so far deals only with the book/story, I've moved it to the Book Reviews thread. We can start another one for the film in due course.
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Old 9th Dec 2005, 20:07   #8
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Default Re: Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain

As in this story, Proulx uses local idiom in The Shipping News to great effect, but there in a sometimes comic way. She's great at building unpretty characters. I remember her description of Quoyle in TSN as looking like an uncooked lump of dough.


I'm betting the movie of Brokeback will have all the usual pretty actors--that's one of the truly annoying, predictable traits of Hollywood movies. These guys are supposed to have buck teeth, broken noses, one has meat on his hips. If the English made this movie, the actors would have physical flaws and tatty clothes. Watch Heath Ledger traipse around looking like Adonis in Ralph Lauren.
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Old 9th Dec 2005, 20:08   #9
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Default Re: Brokeback Mountain

JS after looking around a little it sure seems that That Old Ace In The Hole is her fourth novel. I found a bibliography here and in this review it specifically says it is her fourth.

I've had Shipping News on my Amazon Wish List for a while now but reading this story has definitely motivated me to get it soon.
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Old 9th Dec 2005, 20:40   #10
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Default Re: Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain

Ah, thanks Paul. Shame really, as that reduces the amount of Proulx I've yet to have the pleasure of discovering by 20%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knovella
I'm betting the movie of Brokeback will have all the usual pretty actors ... Watch Heath Ledger traipse around looking like Adonis in Ralph Lauren.
I don't have a mental image of Heath Ledger as I've never seen him in anything, but the other actor is Jake Gyllenhaal (sp?), who is something of a 'pretty boy.'



I suppose it's swings and roundabouts: to get the film made at all, and get it seen by mainstream audiences, they had to have some Hollywood heart-throbs in it. Certainly if Ang Lee hadn't picked it up, it would still be sitting around waiting: according to the piece in this month's Empire magazine, the script has been knocking about for around five years, and nobody had the guts to greenlight it.

What I think will be interesting about it is how it brings the old story of forbidden love home to us. So often we read 19th century novels or films based on them, where the heroine and hero can't get together because of social mores which simply no longer apply, which can make the whole thing rather detached and dilute the emotional core. Here, we have something we can much more easily credit happening (ie the trials and tribulations of Jack and Ennis) even today, although the story sets it in the recent past, and less suspension of disbelief is required, and the force is greater as a result.
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