14 journalers for this copy...
Annie Proulx has written some of the most original and brilliant short stories in contemporary literature, and for many readers and reviewers, "Brokeback Mountain" is her masterpiece.
Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they're working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent, the attraction is casual, inevitable, but something deeper catches them that summer.
Both men work hard, marry, and have kids because that's what cowboys do. But over the course of many years and frequent separations this relationship becomes the most important thing in their lives, and they do anything they can to preserve it.
The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for Fiction for its publication of "Brokeback Mountain," and the story was included in Prize Stories 1998: The O. Henry Awards. In gorgeous and haunting prose, Proulx limns the difficult, dangerous affair between two cowboys that survives everything but the world's violent intolerance.
1. momx3lovesbooks - US, int'l OK
2. mysteryfan03 - US, int'l OK
3. tiatia - US, US only
4. shpriz1 - US, int'l OK
5. guinneth - US, int'l OK
6. BooksnBeer - US, int'l OK
7. Miss-R - UK, UK/Europe only
8. bestfriends - France, Europe only
9. dutchbooky - Netherlands, int'l OK
10. okyrhoe - Greece, int'l OK
11. sarahbear - Australia, int'l OK (surface)
12. DianeO - UK, int'l OK
13. criminologeek - Malaysia, int'l OK
03/21-Ennis & Jack, two ranch hands, come together when they're working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line.
This is a real difficult subject matter for me. I don't agree with this lifestyle. Trying to put that aside, the writing was really good and it was a good true to life love story.
03/27-Mailed to mysteryfan03 today, via media mail
UPDATE: I read this book on my lunch hour. I really loved it. I only wish it could be longer. I didn't get enough of them. I haven't seen the movie yet, but now I will certainly watch it.
Waiting for an address of the next participant.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Off to guinneth
In true Proulx fashion, the prose is lovely and spare, but I didn't care for the characters in their original form nearly as much as I cared for them in the film version. The ending was still moving, however.
I am glad that I got the chance to read this, so thanks for sharing it, amymaew.
I'll be mailing this off to BooksnBeer tomorrow.
6/6/06: Del. conf.# 0305 0830 0001 2072 8933
I am waiting for the address for the next bookcrosser but, I expect to have this in the mail later this week.
This should be a quick read given the number of pages. Will pass it on as soon as I'm finished.
Next on the list (xana) wants to be skipped. Now waiting for veleta's address. No reply sofar. It looks like I have to send it to Australia in which case I'm glad it's so thin!
Released 13 yrs ago (7/6/2006 UTC) at
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
on it's way to dutchbooky in Holland
I am going to PM okyrhoe to get his/her address and will mail it a.s.a.p!
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"The author gave me more words on the scenery, than the characters."
I didn't find the term 'lifestyle' to be applicable in this narrative. What the 2 characters experience in the story is not about living a particular 'lifestyle', especially not that of the homosexual lifestyle. The way I interpret the narrative is that both men find themselves, as individuals, pitted against the forces of nature - the vast terrain, the livestock, the climatic conditions. The symbolism of blood and physical pain, the imagery of storms, winds, cold temperatures, soil, etc. all contribute to this theme. Even as boys, they are forced to become 'men' in order to survive in this environment. As they mature, that which they believed that provided them some respite from the harshness of life (even as it sets them apart from their families & their social milieu) is, in the end, just another 'force' to be endured. It's not a lifestyle choice for them, it's a matter of survival - another instance in which they have to muster physical and internal strength and bear it stoically, as with every other hardship in their life. I recall that Jack says at one point that nothing ever goes right for him, not even this.
"There really wasnt much of a storyline."
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"The characters are flat and I am not getting any emotions from these characters."
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"There's so much story here left untold."
Taking into account the thematic content I mention above, I find there is a richness & depth to the narrative. In terms of the interaction between the two characters, it is fair to say that the story doesn't reveal much, or at least the narrator does not portray the depths of intimacy of the relationship. I think though that this is intentional, to highlight the theme of the solitary life led by these two characters (and ranch/herdsmen in general). Just as Ennis does not find reading & being informed/educated to be of any practical use for his particular existence, it is also 'impractical' to be an emotionally expressive individual. This applies to all aspects of his social life - with his wife, his daughters, his horses. (His wife is unable to verbalize her own emotions, either, until it is too late.) And Jack, too, keeps the particulars of his intimate life to himself, by not sharing with Ennis certain details of what he's up to when they are apart. As readers, we are not given the full portrait of the two men. But that doesn't mean the characters are not complex.
One can ask, by the end how well (intimately) did the two men attempt/dare to know the other? However, that's not the kind of question that these characters are likely to ask. It's not a matter of how either character viewed themselves, as individuals, or together as companions.
My interpretation of the narrative is that each character, separately, each in his own way and for his own reasons, 'endures' rather than fails/truimphs in life.
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On its way to sarahbear in Tasmania.