Close Range: Wyoming Stories

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
May 1999
5 hours 36 minutes
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning and bestselling author of The Shipping News and Accordion Crimes comes one of the most celebrated short story collections of our time.

Annie Proulx's masterful language and fierce love of Wyoming are evident in this collection of stories about loneliness, quick violence, and wrong kinds of love. In 'The Mud Below,' a rodeo rider's obsession marks the deepening fissures between his family life and self-imposed isolation. In 'The Half-Skinned Steer,' an elderly fool drives west to the ranch he grew up on for his brother's funeral, and dies a mile from home. In 'Brokeback Mountain,' the difficult affair between two cowboys survives everything but the world's violent intolerance.

These are stories of desperation, hard times, and unlikely elation, set in a landscape both brutal and magnificent. Enlivened by folk tales, flights of fancy, and details of ranch and rural work, they juxtapose Wyoming's traditional character and attitudes—confrontation of tough problems, prejudice, persistence in the face of difficulty—with the more benign values of the new west.

Stories in Close Range have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and GQ. They have been selected for the O. Henry Stories 1998 and The Best American Short Stories of the Century and have won the National Magazine Award for Fiction. This is work by an author writing at the peak of her craft.
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Mark S.

Annie Proulx is an incredibly talented writer. She literally paints pictures with words. That being said, I did not enjoy this book. The stories are very dark. Don't look for happy endings. Don't look for likable characters. I did like two of the stories in the book. Brokeback Mountain was a sad story, but I was prepared for it, having seen the movie. The Blood Bay is the best story in the book, and actually made me laugh. I was not familiar with the folk tale on which it is based. I appreciated The Mud Below because Ms. Proulx portrayed a vivid picture of a rodeo rider. That's about it. During my two brief visits to Wyoming, I spoke to some friendly people at a museum, the motel I stayed at, and the restaurants I ate in. None of them or anybody like them will be found in this book. As to the audio, maybe it was me, but the stories were not narrated in the order they appear in my kindle or softcover versions, and two or three of the stories appear not to be on the audio at all. As to the stories that are on the audio, which I think claims to be complete, all three narrators are excellent, doing good voices to their characters, and acting their roles well. If you like dark western tales with sad or somber endings, expertly crafted with excellent writing, this book is for you. If you like your westerns with heroic characters and happy endings avoid this book.

Close Range: Wyoming Stories
This title is due for release on May 1, 1999.

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