Annie Proulx, who plainly loves Wyoming and truly understands loneliness, offers eleven stories written in the "spare, gnarly prose" that her readers have become acqainted with through her novels, The Shipping News and Accordion Crimes, and other story collections. In the last story in this collection, Brokeback Mountain, she deals most effectively with the homoerotic strain in American culture, when she writes of Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist and their 20-year relationship. This story was the basis of a film by the same name, featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger.
Annie Proulx's stories hold the reader's interest; there is no doubt about that. This collection of short stories is dynamic and paints, I think, a realistic picture of the modern West but still contains random sparks of fantasy throughout. Her characters are typically gritty, jaded, and generally worn down by the dust, sun and bone-chilling winters of Montana. While "Brokeback Mountain" is part of this collection, it is by no means the best of it. Reading this made me want to read more of her work.
I bought this book because I wanted to read the short story Brokeback Mountain. I was happy with the read. I did not read all of the other stories contained in the book.