Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx: A Book Review

brokeback“There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can’t fix it you’ve got to stand it.”

Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain

What would be the differences had I not seen its movie adaptation yet; rather, I had read its book first, or vice versa?

Prior to the movie, I would have immersed myself in the pure, vivid prose of Annie Proulx, not having the slightest idea of the fact that the two rough-mannered cowboys living in a not-open-gay countryside will have sexual and intimate relationship. Then, at the end, I would have thrown it into the air and sworn blue murder, for the must-have-been happy ending will end up as a tragedy. In other case, since I have been aware of its homosexual immortality among the international confederation as well as seen it several times, I still found it the same. In fact, the love scenes are more febrile in my imagination although I had expected something flamer. A. Proulx spiced it up! However, the content of the book is not as detailed as in the movie. But I don’t give a damn on it. ^^

“I wish I knew how to quit you.”

Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain

Annie Proulx limns not only the highlighting love story between Ennis and Jack but also the typical rural life of cowboys in a countryside in Wyoming as well as the culturally bigoted meme of homosexuality in the said place. The story may bespeak that the homosexuality is incorruptible and incorrigible in rustic places no matter how rough culture is. ^^

So far, it is second to the A Home at the End of  the World  by Michael Cunningham  ( 5 stars ) as one of best “pink ” novels I have ever read. ^^

michael

Rating: 4/ 5 stars ( I really liked it. )

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7 thoughts on “Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx: A Book Review

  1. It’s interesting g how our response to a book can change depending if we saw the film first or read the book. I always prefer to read the book first. If i do it the other way around, I can never clear my head of their character portrayal

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    • That’s true! For instance, when I watched Life of Pi by Yann Martel after reading the book, I was very disappointed.The movie was not as detailed as the contents of the book. In another case just like of the Lord of the Flies by William Golding, I liked the book more upon watching its colored movie adaptation; I understood the story more -as heart-breaking as in the book. Therefore, I guess it still depends on the content or subjective impact upon a reader.

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      • Hmm, I’m surprised. While I rarely even watch movies after reading the books because they’ve never lived up to my imagination’s versions, I actually thought the film ‘Life of Pi’ was quite well-done, considering what the plot was: a boy on a raft with a tiger in the middle of the ocean. How do you shoot that? And, the theme of ‘the power of fiction’ was actually well-portrayed toward the end of movie, one so powerful I was sure I was going to be disappointed by the limits of cinema, but surprisingly, was not. Anyway, what a great story!

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  2. ‘Brokeback Mountain’ was actually not a full-length novel but a longer short story in one of Proulx’s Wyoming short story collections (I can’t remember which one of the three.) As an avid Proulx fan, I do not think this story lives up to her signature gritty, poetic style and dark humor. It was just mediocre. If you want classic Proulx, try ‘Shipping News’ for which she won a Pulitzer, or ‘Accordion Crimes’, both novels.

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    • Oh, thank you. I’ve wanted to read other Proulx’s books, notably her Shipping News. I have jsut been looking for its better version and book cover. In fact, they can be found at a very low price in a second- hand book store. I predict that I can be one of her avid fans right after reading her Shipping News. ^^

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