That Old Ace In The Hole

Abridged / Go to Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Annie Proulx

Narrated By: Arliss Howard

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: December 2002

Duration: 14 hours 20 minutes


Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Annie Proulx's That Old Ace in the Hole is told through the eyes of Bob Dollar, a young Denver man tryingto make good in a bad world. Dollar is out of college but aimless, when he takes a job with Global Pork Rind -- his task to locate big spreads of land in the Texas and Oklahoma panahandles that can be purchased by the corporation and converted to hog farms.
Dollar finds himself in a Texas town called Woolybucket, whose idiosyncratic inhabitants have ridden out all manner of seismic shifts in panhandle country. These are tough men and women who witnessed first hand tornadoes, dust storms, and the demise of the great cattle ranches. Now it's feed lots, hog farms, and ever-expanding drylands.
Dollar settles into LaVon Fronk's old bunkhouse for fifty dollars a month, helps out at Cy Frease's Old Dog Café, targets Ace and Tater Crouch's ranch for Global Pork, and learns the hard way how vigorously the old owners will hold on to their land, even though their children want no part of it.
Robust, often bawdy, strikingly original and intimate, The Old Ace in the Hole tracks the vast waves of change that have shaped the American landscape and the character over the past century. In Bob Dollar, Proulx has created one of the most irresistible characters in contemporary fiction.


  • Laura Myerson

    At first I thought the reader was lackluster, but once the many colorful characters were introduced, and he brought out each individual's personality with virtuosity, I was hooked. The subject matter -- the rape of the land and threats to communities posed by commercial exploitation and industrial farming -- is very current and important. I found Bob Dollar the least convincing of the characters, but cared for him nonetheless.

  • Nansy Mathews

    Annie Proulx is one of my favorite writers and this book did not disappoint me. She is so good at character development. And she teaches me about places I have never been, but have great respect for after her brilliant descriptions. She enlarges my world and touches a deep need for the feeling of intimacy that comes from small town folks.

  • Anonymous

    If you loved Shipping News you will love this.. She has a way of taking the most desolate and finding the human parts and making us care.. I loved this


    Weaving such characters as Hugh Doe, the bedwetting sheriff of Woollybucket, Betty Doke, the unscrupulous moneyperson for Global Pork Rinds, Advance Slaughter and his 10 daughters, his archenemy Francis Scott Keyster, LaVon Frump town gossip, land-owning brothers Ace and Tater, and the greedy Beautyroom family, into the life of feckless newcomer Bob Dollar, Proulx is in top form with this gut-bustin' funny saga of changing times in the Texas Panhandle.

That Old Ace In The Hole

by Annie Proulx

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That Old Ace In The Hole, Annie Proulx