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Brokeback Mountain

Proulx, Annie

(Book - 2005)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Brokeback Mountain
Baker & Taylor
The friendship between Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two cowboys, evolves into an intimate relationship while they are working together as a herder and camp tender, sharing a bond that spans many years and frequent separations.

& Taylor

The friendship between Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two cowboys, gradually evolves into an intimate relationship while they are working together as a herder and camp tender and living a remote cabin, sharing a bond that spans many years and frequent separations, in a stand-alone story from the collection Close Range. Simultaneous. 100,000 first printing. (A Focus Features film, written by Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, directed by Ang Lee, releasing December 2005, starring Jake Gyllenhaal & Heath Ledger) (General Fiction)

Simon and Schuster
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.

Publisher: New York : Scribner, c2005
ISBN: 0743271327
Branch Call Number: FIC P
Characteristics: 55 p. ; 19 cm.


From the critics

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To me, one of the one of the most beautiful love stories ever written.

How Brokeback Mountain lied...

Here's the passage from Annie Proulx's short story "Brokeback Mountain" in which the two men have their very first sexual encounter, after Jack invites Ennis to share Jack's pup tent and blanket on a cold night:

“It was big enough, warm enough, and in a little while they deepened their intimacy considerably. Ennis ran full throttle on all roads whether fence mending or money spending, and he wanted none of it when Jack seized his left hand and brought it to his erect cock. Ennis jerked his hand away as though he'd touched fire, got to his knees, unbuckled his belt, shoved his pants down, hauled Jack onto all fours, and, with the help of the clear slick and a little spit, entered him, nothing he'd done before but no instruction manual needed. They went at it in silence except for a few sharp intakes of breath and Jack's choked 'Gun's goin off,' then out, down, and asleep.”

The first thing that should be obvious to any critical eye is that Ms. Proulx has never in her life been anally penetrated, and that she most likely "researched" the scene by watching a few gay porn videos.

The second thing that should be obvious is that if a heterosexual male author had written a short romance between cowboy Ennis and cowgirl Jill, and Ennis had initiated their sexual affair by "hauling Jill onto all fours" and roughly fucking her in the anus using only spit and precum as lube, and the entire thing were presented as sweet and romantic, it probably never would have become an Oscar-nominated movie. Because odds are, the New Yorker wouldn't have printed the short story in the first place.

Because a "romantic" scene in which cowgirl Jill gets forcefully buttfucked doggie-style -- and keeps coming back to cowboy Ennis for more -- would have (quite reasonably) struck too many readers as one of misogynist violence (and/or a commentary on battered-wife syndrome). For this to have occurred as the opening sequence to a decades-long romance would've seemed "retro" not merely in the "Eisenhower era" sense, but rather, caveman retro.

And that's because when anal sex is placed in a heterosexual context, everyone immediately understands that if it's going to be done it all, it must be done very gently, and with lots of lube.—Throbert

Nov 18, 2010
  • Jennmro rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I read this short story long before the movie came out, and loved it! Its beautifully written and the sadness of it lingers long after you've finished the book.

Nov 04, 2007
  • Cabby rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great book by Canadian author.


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