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Fine Just The Way It Is: Wyoming Stories 3 (Wyoming Stories #3)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  1,952 Ratings  ·  332 Reviews
"Returning to the territory of "Brokeback Mountain" (in her first volume of Wyoming Stories) and Bad Dirt (her second), National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx delivers a stunning and visceral new collection. In Fine Just the Way It Is, she has expanded the limits of the form. Her stories about multiple generations of Americans struggling through life in ...more
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Published September 9th 2008 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 2008)
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I love volume one of her Wyoming stories almost this much but not quite, because of Them Old Cowboy Songs , perhaps the sweetest short story I know. It is the love story of newlywed pioneers Archie and Rose, who in 1885 staked out a homestead where the Little Weed comes rattling down from the Sierra Madre, water named not for miniature and obnoxious flora but for P.H. Weed, a gold seeker who had starved near its source.

I say sweetest not because there's a thing sentimental about it, though much
I love fiction which evokes particular cultures in a way that captures the essence of a particular place or region. Here in nine stories Proulx eloquently does that for the semi-desert plains of Wyoming, spanning timepoints from the 1880’s to the current era, from a time of the open range and homesteading, to a time of farming growth wrought by the arrival of the railroads, to the current period of oil schemes and cowboys mostly confined to rodeos.

Several traditional stories focus on people who
Julene Bair
Aug 06, 2013 Julene Bair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I lived in Laramie and taught at the university, I knew several people who might have stepped right out of the pages of Fine Just the Way It Is. True, that was pretty much their philosophy. But never has it been so apparent to me all the suffering that lies under that grin up and bear it facade. And never have I read a more depressing story than “Tits-Up in a Ditch.” I’m not sure I’ll ever recover. To be born into such a family, then to meet a few people capable of expressing true thoughts ...more
Nov 20, 2012 orsodimondo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
C'è la natura selvaggia nei racconti di Proulx, la wilderness coi suoi panorami mozzafiato e la lotta quotidiana per domarla e sopravviverle.
Gli indiani, i cowboy, i pionieri.
L'America di frontiera, il West, e anche le trivelle in cerca del primo petrolio.
I pickup.

E una indimenticabile macchia di sudore sul cappello che ricordava le mura di Gerico.

E quando qualcuno sta per incontrare un momento di serenità o spensieratezza, il destino piomba implacabile.

Un mondo che sembra
Gregory Baird
“That was the trouble with Wyoming; everything you ever did or said kept pace with you right to the end.”

When it comes to description, Annie Proulx is undoubtedly one of the best and most unique writers out there. With her blunt, unsparing prose, a fierce intellect and a coal black sense of humor, Proulx can paint a vivid and stark portrait of American life, and nowhere is this on better display than in her Wyoming Stories, where the hardscrabble existences of her characters go hand in hand wi
Dec 11, 2014 Guy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, these are not happy stories. I'll get that out of the way. But man can this woman write. I've read everything she has written starting back with The Shipping News. Actually not. She had a couple of lesser known efforts before that and some works of non fiction. But all the fiction since The Shipping News. I've been hoping she would come out with a new novel. I don't remember her novels as being this dark. (And I believe she has something being released in 2015. Don't know if it is a novel. ...more
Jul 23, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been said that the selection committee for the winner of the Nobel prize for literature is biased against American writers. For the most part I think those critics do not really appreciate the breadth of writing talent that exists globally. However, each time I read one of Annie Proulx's works I move closer to the sentiment that those critics may be correct. Within six months after each years winner is announced, I read one of the recipient's books. Most times I am moved by the richness o ...more
Jun 01, 2009 Tasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grad-school
"Bill Fur had to ride into Rawlins and ask for a replacment for 'the bible thumpin, damn old goggle-eyed snappin turtle who run off.' The replacement, plucked from a Front Street saloon, was a tough drunk who lit his morning fires with pages from the former operator's bible and ate one pronghorn a week, scorching the meat in a never-washed skillet."

Can it get better than that?
Silvia Sirea
E' il mio primo approccio ad Annie Proulx. Conoscevo l'autrice perché sapevo che da uno dei suoi racconti di Storie del Wyoming è stato tratto il film I segreti di Brokeback Mountain e, siccome sono affezionata in particolar modo a questo film, ho voluto leggere qualcosa di sua creazione.

Ho sempre amato questo posto è una breve raccolta di racconti ambientati perlopiù nel Wyoming, terra indomabile, selvaggia e abitata da persone semplici che conducono una vita abbastanza ordinaria. Le descrizion
Steve Petherbridge
There is no author better writing about a sense of place and then immersing the reader in that place, in this case once again, Annie Proulx's beloved Wyoming. For these characters are striving after the idealised American Dream or that idealised Dream has passed them by forever really. Life is tough, yet there is an acceptable, sometimes intolerable, resilience and persistence among these characters that, yes, life is a bitch and it is a daily struggle. This is the other side to America. The Ame ...more
Oct 18, 2008 Renee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Following on my short story kick, I read Alice Munro then Annie Proulx. At the end of that journey I'd like say that I think I'd prefer if these two authors were actually one author. Munro has a tendency to describe the most minute variegates of emotion in a single social interaction. The way someone turns their head creates rippled of emotions. On the other side of that, Annie P will tell the story of a girl ignored and abused by her grandparents, yet just allude to the emotional interior of he ...more
Nov 30, 2008 Kirsten rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: if you've ever driven through Crowheart...
Recommended to Kirsten by: my Mom
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kasa Cotugno
Annie Proulx is a fearless writer. Her prose can be as uncompromising as the Wyoming landscape she inhabits, but, like it, laden with complexity; as well, it can paint poetic images (crones vied for the favors of palsied men with beef jerkey arms. The men could taken their pick of shapeless housecoats and flowery skeletons." "Herons flying upstream, their color matching the sky so closely they might have been eyes of wind." Each piece deals with yet another aspect of the history of the land, and ...more
Annie Proulx's stories, in this collection at any rate, are well-crafted, rarely a word out of place, with some tight endings, and a couple of funnier stories -- the one about the Devil renovating Hell comes to mind. She's good at painting scenes, detail, a touch of character. Still, there's something about it that's opaque to me -- I don't get involved in the writing, just dispassionately observe it. Maybe that's what's meant to happen, I don't know, but I'm not a huge fan of that method -- if ...more
Jan 16, 2009 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More Wyoming stories from the lady that brought us "Brokeback Mountain".
About six or seven short stories here, set in rural Wyoming (with two others set in Hell, go figure), very similar to her other stories set in the west. Achingly good reading, and achingly brutal endings. You feel kinship to the characters, even though they are not at all like you, nor is the setting around them anything like what most Americans can really understand.
Jul 07, 2011 Kayla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Bleak, bleak, bleak. These short stories are well written and set either in Wyoming or Hell. The stories set in Hell feel more jolly than the desperate lives of cow hands, subsistence farmers, and wounded lovers. No happy endings and some stereotypical representations. I was really disappointed in this book but gave it 3 stars because the writing works, I just don't recommend the journey.
Jun 12, 2009 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x2008-9-season
As the second collection I have read by her, it was nice to see an expanded range of topics this time around. All of the stories are enjoyable for their completely human protagonists and the unpredictable nature of the plotting.
Leigh Lyndon
i love being in the western landscape - both emotional and physical. i wasn't as captivated by the stories as i have been in the past. still enjoyed it.
Oct 17, 2012 Marsha rated it it was ok
Yikes. She is a good writer, but this was one of the most unremittingly bleak books I have read. Do not read with a loaded gun in the house.
May 02, 2009 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Proulx is at her best in her stories of rough-bitten Wyoming folks with Dickensian names. It's when she veers into fantasy stories of hell, or prehistoric Indians that she falls flat on her face.
Charlie Quimby
A third in Proulx's series of Wyoming stories. Wry and red dusted for authenticity, but not spectacular. Fine just the way they are.
Jenny Shank
Jan 03, 2011 Jenny Shank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Annie Proulx’s Wyoming Is “Fine Just the Way It Is”
Annie Proulx shines again in her third collection of Wyoming stories.

By Jenny Shank, 9-08-08

Fine Just the Way it Is: Wyoming Stories 3
by Annie Proulx
Scribner, 240 pages, $25

In an award-studded writing career now in its third decade, Annie Proulx has made the remarkable transition from east-coast-based Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist to much lauded Wyoming short story writer, and she’s brought her devoted r
Feb 12, 2017 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
excellent. as usual.
John Bond
Jan 20, 2017 John Bond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great collection.

I loved the ones with the Devil and the 10th circle!
Andy Miller
Dec 13, 2015 Andy Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Annie Proulx's third collection of short stories that are set in Wyoming. There are some great ones. In "Family Man" Ray Forkenbrock is living in a retirement home and we are introduced to him with the following dialogue which sets the stage for the story

The old man glared up at her"No,"he said. I wasn't no goddamn rancher. I was a hand," he said.
"I worked for them sonsabitches. Cowboyed,ran wild horses,rodeoed, worked in the oil patches,sheared sheep,drove trucks, did whatever." he sa
Jan 16, 2009 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen Gallup
Much of the time, while reading this, I couldn't avoid thinking that it might not be healthy for me to be reading Annie Proulx. There are two or three somewhat humorous pieces in this collection (two having to do with the Devil and one with a man-eating sage tree out on the prairie), but the overall tone is as bleak as Postcards, which I read about a year ago.

The author's prose is highly regarded, and that's what led me to her. Actually, I wouldn't say her words and sentences are remarkable in t
Aug 03, 2009 Jamie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my slew of women writers courses in college (always my favorites), three shorts stuck with me: A Jury of Her Peers, A New England Nun and The Blue Heron. While there are tons (tons and tons) of others I love equally, those three stand out because I used them as examples of setting within the stories of women writers. For Flannery O'Connor and Katherine Anne Porter, "setting" turns into it's own character--"local color," and what I specifically loved about it so much, was it's prevelence in wo ...more
Alma Jylhä
Jun 23, 2014 Alma Jylhä rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He kept to himself pretty much, often staring into the distance, but every man had something of value beyond the horizon.
p. 63

"Fetch some e-mail said the Lord of Darkness. Although he rarely received any messages himself, the Devil had ordered a few of his hackers roasting over eternal files to collect stranger's e-mail from the Upper World. He had been bored the last few hundred years with very little to do but wait ever since he had put certain observations of steam kettles into the head of a
Tom Bensley
Annie Proulx's Fine Just the Way it Is took me a damn long time to finish. Maybe even an entire month. Considering that the book is only 200 or so pages, that certainly could say something about the quality. Fortunately, this isn't entirely the case. FJTWII is a fantastic collection of poignant stories, some that will stay with me forever. This is my first experience with Proulx, and it just took me a long time to settle into her chosen setting. I'd say all most nothing is more alien to me than ...more
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Also published as E. Annie Proulx
Edna Annie Proulx is an American journalist and author. Her second novel, The Shipping News (1993), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for fiction in 1994. Her short story "Brokeback Mountain" was adapted as an Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe Award-winning major motion picture released in 2005. Brokeback Mountain received massive c
More about Annie Proulx...

Other Books in the Series

Wyoming Stories (3 books)
  • Close Range
  • Bad Dirt

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