Close Range by Annie Proulx

I’ve found that novels I’ve tried to read in recent years haven’t had the kind of themes I’m interested in and there are so many on line sources of material that the formally published book comes a poor second on my to-read list. So it seemed like a good idea to try a collection of short stories instead. Each story is not a huge commitment in time and if one is not to my particular taste well there is always the next. Much to my pleasure this collection proved a great success. I’ve only ever driven through Wyoming so I can’t comment too much on whether Annie Proulx has captured the way of life of the area with these stories but she has managed to catch something of the landscape and how I imagine people living in it might be affected.

There are a lot of very strange characters here. Mostly I found it hard to sympathise with the men because of the way they treated the women. Boy, do the women in these stories get short changed. They live hard, miserable lives and along the way are expected to have sex with any man who shows an interest. Brokeback Mountain is far and away my favourite of the stories. While entirely from a male point of view it was not difficult to sympathise with the characters’ predicament. I was surprised just how much of the story had been translated into the movie, and that made me love it all the more.

Current temperature: here 75F/24C, there 18C/64F

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