Brokeback Mountain

by Annie Proulx | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0739462164 Global Overview for this book
Registered by amymaew of Worland, Wyoming USA on 2/26/2006
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14 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by amymaew from Worland, Wyoming USA on Sunday, February 26, 2006
I loved this story. I didn't realize it was a short story when I bought it (online!) and I thought I'd be disappointed but I wasn't. The author really made the characters come to life.

Journal Entry 2 by amymaew from Worland, Wyoming USA on Sunday, February 26, 2006
Book Description

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.

Journal Entry 3 by amymaew from Worland, Wyoming USA on Tuesday, March 07, 2006
This book is going out in a bookray! Please try to read it as soon as you get it (it's fine if you need to finish something else first, but please don't put it on the bottom of a 500 book high TBR pile!!). Once you're almost done, pm the person after you for their address so you can ship it out when you finish. Finally, enjoy! It's a good book :). If you'd like to join the bookring and you're not listed here, just pm me and I'll fit you in. Thanks! Here's the list:

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

Journal Entry 4 by amymaew from Worland, Wyoming USA on Thursday, March 09, 2006
Sending to momx3lovesbooks - enjoy!

Journal Entry 5 by momx3lovesbooks on Thursday, March 16, 2006
Book arrived in Nebraska safe & sound. I'll be starting it immediately and Im pming the next person now.

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

Journal Entry 6 by mysteryfan03 from Moberly, Missouri USA on Thursday, March 30, 2006
This arrived in the mail yesterday! I was surprised (and disappointed) that the book is so small! It looks more like a short story. That said, I am anxious to read it and will start after I finish the book that I am reading:+) Thanks so much for sharing the book!!

Journal Entry 7 by mysteryfan03 from Moberly, Missouri USA on Wednesday, April 19, 2006
I finally got to sit and read this book. I was very disappointed that the book was really a short story. There really wasnt much of a storyline. I had not seen the movie, so I thought that I would give the book a try. Apparently, the movie must have LOTS more to it. Thanks for sharing the book with us!

Journal Entry 8 by tiatia from Fredericksburg, Virginia USA on Thursday, May 04, 2006
I'm a little backlogged as I received three bookring selections at once. Will do my best to read quickly and then journal.

Journal Entry 9 by tiatia from Fredericksburg, Virginia USA on Thursday, May 11, 2006
Glad I read the book but the emotions and personal struggles of the characters did not come across as well as they did in the movie. I am glad I saw it first. Thanks for sharing. I will PM the next in line for an addy.

Journal Entry 10 by tiatia from Fredericksburg, Virginia USA on Sunday, May 14, 2006
On the road, traveling for work. Will be put into the mail from Pocatello, ID.

Journal Entry 11 by shpriz1 from Clifton, New Jersey USA on Monday, May 22, 2006
Received it safe and sound. Wow, I didn’t realize that this book is so tiny. I will PM the next person right away.

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.

Journal Entry 12 by shpriz1 at -- By Hand or Post, Ray/ring, Rabck in Brooklyn, New York USA on Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (5/23/2006 UTC) at -- By Hand or Post, Ray/ring, Rabck in Brooklyn, New York USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Off to guinneth

Journal Entry 13 by Guinneth from Manchester, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, June 04, 2006
This arrived safe and sound while I was on vacation. I'll read it right away!

Journal Entry 14 by Guinneth from Manchester, New Hampshire USA on Monday, June 05, 2006
It's unfortunate that in an effort to capitalize on the film this short story was republished separately. It may read better within the context of the stories it was originally collected with (the anthology is titled Close Range, if anyone's looking for it.)

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

Journal Entry 15 by BooksnBeer from Annandale, Virginia USA on Saturday, June 10, 2006
Received safe and sound. Wow - it is a short story. It will take me no time to finish this. I will get to it as soon as I finish the other bookring I am reading.

Journal Entry 16 by BooksnBeer from Annandale, Virginia USA on Wednesday, June 14, 2006
I have to say I was disappointed in this. The characters are flat and I am not getting any emotions from these characters. It is a short story – and I feel that the author tries to fit two complete lives in a few short pages. She uses one short sentence to mark/describe a completely life changing event. The author gave me more words on the scenery, than the characters. It is surprising that this short story found it’s way to a movie. I did see the movie and felt it did a much better job. But, with that said I am glad I took the hour to read this.

I am waiting for the address for the next bookcrosser but, I expect to have this in the mail later this week.

Journal Entry 17 by Miss-R from Lingfield, Surrey United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Thanks for passing this on. I've got another ray to read before I get to this but I'll be as quick as I can.

Journal Entry 18 by Miss-R from Lingfield, Surrey United Kingdom on Thursday, June 22, 2006
What a dissapointment. I'm so glad I saw the film before reading this or it would have put me off the film completely. Neither of the characters engaged me at all, and it seemed more like an overview of a longer story than a story in its own right. I don't understand why the author didn't turn this into a full length novel, there's so much story here left untold.

Journal Entry 19 by bestfriends from - Ergens in de provincie, Gelderland Netherlands on Thursday, June 29, 2006
The book arrived safe and sound today. Thanks!

This should be a quick read given the number of pages. Will pass it on as soon as I'm finished.

Journal Entry 20 by bestfriends from - Ergens in de provincie, Gelderland Netherlands on Saturday, July 01, 2006
Finished reading yesterday. In itself the story is beautiful and touching, but far too short to my taste! Hope to see the DVD soon though.

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!

Journal Entry 21 by bestfriends from - Ergens in de provincie, Gelderland Netherlands on Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Veleta wished to be skipped too. Now waiting for a possible new address, as amymaew posted in the forum today, asking for more European participants.


Journal Entry 22 by bestfriends at on Thursday, July 06, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (7/6/2006 UTC) at

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

on it's way to dutchbooky in Holland

Journal Entry 23 by dutchbooky from Amsterdam, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Monday, July 10, 2006
Received from bestfriends today! Thanks for the card! Will read it soon and send it on its way.

Journal Entry 24 by dutchbooky from Amsterdam, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Thursday, July 13, 2006
I agree with BooksnBeer: disappointing story and flat characters. I have not seen the movie, but heard and read a lot of good things about it. This is probably more the work of the director than of the original story! Will try and see the movie soon.
I am going to PM okyrhoe to get his/her address and will mail it a.s.a.p!

Journal Entry 25 by dutchbooky from Amsterdam, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Friday, July 14, 2006
It is in the mail, on its way to okyrhoe!

Journal Entry 26 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Arrived in my po box today. Thanks amymaew (for including me in the book ray) and dutchbooky (for posting the book to me) !

Journal Entry 27 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Thursday, July 27, 2006
It's an interesting story, despite the shortness of length. I'd like to address some of the comments made in the previous journal reports.

"...this lifestyle."
- and -
"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."
- and -
"The characters are flat and I am not getting any emotions from these characters."
- and -
"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.

- - - - - - -
On its way to sarahbear in Tasmania.

Journal Entry 28 by sarahbear from St Helens, Tasmania Australia on Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Arrived safe and sound. Will read this one quickly and pass it on. Thanks for sharing.

Journal Entry 29 by sarahbear from St Helens, Tasmania Australia on Friday, August 11, 2006
This is such a beautiful but heartbreakingly sad love story. Thank you for sharing. Posting to DianeO on monday by surface mail.

Journal Entry 30 by DianeO from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Monday, August 21, 2006
Received today and read it almost immediately - only 55 pages. This is truly a story about love but not a book to reach for when you want a light holiday romance! The author has a very minimalist style using just a few words to describe a world entirely different to any we know.

Journal Entry 31 by DianeO from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Address received from criminologeek in Malaysia. Will be mailed out this week.

Journal Entry 32 by criminologeek on Sunday, September 10, 2006
Caught and read this relatively short story. The story is more in-depth compared to the movie of the same name directed by Ang Lee. The story is sad. Jack and Ennis wouldn't have to go through so many problems and pains in they are in the 21st century. Their relationship would have been more acceptable by the community.

Journal Entry 33 by amymaew from Worland, Wyoming USA on Friday, December 15, 2006
It's back from Malaysia! Actually, it's been back for a while, but I had a baby and got a bit distracted! But it's here safe and sound :) Thanks everyone!

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