Brokeback Mountain

Published By: Scribner

Book Category: Fiction, Short Stories

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Reviewed by Julie Failla Earhart

When Brokeback Mountain rolled into the theatres, I admit that I wasn't interested. However, when I learned that it was based on the Annie Proulx short story of the same name, well, that got my attention. Proulx is one of the most literary and accessible writers of her generation. I meant to track down a copy of the story but I was lucky enough to find a reissued copy (thanks, Scribner) in my local indie bookstore (which is Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Mo., if you ever get the chance).

Brokeback is beautiful. The language is gorgeous. She uses color the way the Great Masters did: both vivid and subtle at once. The landscape is sweeping and reminds me of Nicholas Evans' The Horse Whisperer.
And the way Proulx spans time is amazing. I feel as if in these mere 55 pages, I know the complete story of Jack and Ennis, together and apart. The story covers 20 years with seamless transitions, making it easy for the reader to know the every who, what, where, when, why and how aspect of the story.

Forget that the protagonists are gay. That's not the story. The story is of lost opportunities and risks not taken. It's heartbreaking and rough.

Even if I had had plans to rent the movie, I won't now because I know how Hollywood usually manages to muck up a great story.

Armchair Interviews says: Read this wonderful short story for its beauty of language and story.

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