Feb 21, 2013

Brokeback Mountain

by Annie Proulx

I was curious about this book. Have seen the film. It's about two ranch hands who meet while herding sheep for a season. Alone together in the isolation of the sheep camp, they find themselves connecting in ways neither one of them would have expected. After that time they part ways, each goes on to get married and have kids, but they never forget about each other. They try to find ways to reconnect throughout the years, while keeping their relationship a secret.

I wasn't able to finish reading this book, in spite of its length. It's really a novella, or short story. It was just a bit too crude for my taste. Of course, seeing as it's about a clandestine love affair, I was expecting some sex. I'm fine with sex in books, in general. And this one didn't even have excessive detail, the explicit scenes were brief, to-the-point. But they were crude enough that I found it distasteful and didn't want to continue.

I do love the way the author describes places and people, relationships and formative moments in how these boys grew up (as they describe their pasts to each other). It's concise, and very vivid. I flipped through most of the book after deciding to quit, and it seems like the movie version was very faithful to this story. The book has more of the grittiness, though. The characters are depicted with all their little unclean habits, sour unwashed clothes, dirty teeth and so forth. And yet they found each other irresistibly attractive, with an intensity and passion that is a bit frightening in its power.

It is a strong story. I just didn't care for it. You might. Don't take my word as the last one.

When I come across another book by this author, I am definitely going to pick it up. I like the way she writes.

Abandoned ........ 55 pages, 1997

more opinions:
Books Without Any Pictures
The Reader's Book Blog
The Little Bird
Quill Cafe
A Momentary Taste of Being


Literary Feline said...

I keep meaning to read this story, but haven't managed to yet. I wonder what I will think of it.

bermudaonion said...

I never saw the movie so probably won't look for the book.

Cath said...

I haven't read this or even seen the movie but, coincidently, I did pick up a book of the author's short stories at the library today. Set in Wyoming it's called Bad Dirt. Glad to hear that she writes well.

Jeane said...

Literary Feline- I'll be glad to know what you think when you do read it! For some reason reviews by others who liked this book where I didn't interest me a lot.

Bermudaonion- I don't think you have to have seen the film to enjoy the book. They are pretty close to each other in style and content- conversations duplicated word-for-word, for example.

Cath- Bad Dirt sounds interesting. I definitely want to try a few more books by this author.

Trish said...

I've been curious about this one too--the movie was very emotional but not one that I wanted to watch more than once. I read her Shipping News a few years ago and just didn't get it at all. It's one of the few books I haven't kept onto. I did pick up another one of hers at a sale a while ago but don't remember title. Accordion something?