Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2” as Want to Read:
Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2 (Wyoming Stories #2)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  2,578 Ratings  ·  249 Reviews
Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Annie Proulx returns with another stellar collection of short stories bound to be even more successful than her bestselling, critically acclaimed Close Range.

Annie Proulx’s new collection is peopled by characters who struggle with circumstances beyond their control. Born to ranching, drawn to it, or desperate to get out, they i
ebook, 240 pages
Published November 30th 2004 by Scribner (first published 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bad Dirt, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bad Dirt

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 07, 2009 Spike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annie Proulx has once again proven herself to be a literary treasure, one of very few writers who can affect a literary style without the pithy navel-gazing dreck found in nearly every lit mag in America. She actually tells stories, and they are interesting! Imagine that. The language is there: each sentence finely tuned to the story's sentiment at the moment. The characters were strong-willed and quirky. Although I liked the names, I had trouble believing so many character could have such names ...more
Sep 12, 2007 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The cover blurb on my paperback copy proclaims Proulx's work to be in the spirit of Mark Twain, and while I doubt I'd've come up with that myself, it is spot on, especially here. Proulx has a dark sense of humor which blends perfectly with the landscape she paints of the New West. Her characters are incredibly alive, flaws and all. Personal favorite in this collection: "The Trickle Down Effect" wherein the main character is hired to haul hay from Wisconsin to Wyoming, only just past the state li ...more
May 19, 2013 Bennet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels-stories

The drop to three stars from the five I gave volumes one and three in this series of Wyoming stories diminishes my regard for Proulx not a bit, we all have our ups and downs. Here the writing rallied only once, or perhaps I should say rallied me only once, during the reading of Man Crawling Out of Trees. The rest was mostly OK but overall left me feeling I'd encountered her on an off day, out of sorts, or perhaps just distracted, but it happens, nobody's perfect. On now to volume three, my favor
Frederick Bingham
Short stories set in Wyoming. They mostly center around the fictional town of Elk Tooth, with three bars and no Wal-Mart.The best one of the bunch is called "The Wamsutter Wolf". It is about a guy who drifts around from job to job. He finds himself living in a trailer across from a family of true trailer trash. Eventually the husband, drunk, beats one of the kids and breaks his arm. The wife seeks the main character's trailer for refuge, but ends up going back to her useless, violent husband.One ...more
May 02, 2009 Nan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is there a style called Wyoming Gothic? If not, Proulx invented it. If so, Proulx is the master of it. The dark humor makes this an easier read than Proulx's first collection of Wyoming stories. I look forward to the next collection.
Jul 31, 2016 Elsje rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Hoewel ik niet zo van de verhalen bundels ben, is dit toch wel een erg leuke. Alle verhalen, nou ja, de meeste in ieder geval, hangen samen. Zo spelen ze zich af in Wyoming, en de meeste verhalen gaan over de bewoners van het dorpje Elk Tooth en de drie kroegen die het dorp rijk is. Genieten!
Feb 06, 2011 Shane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful collection of short stories as good as the first one, Close Range.

Welcome to Wyoming, where the water is bad or missing and farm life is under threat, where lunch is dinner and newcomers don’t quite fit in, and where lambs are castrated with a pair of sharp teeth; where the characters are eccentric and the highest educated may be badgers (one has a university education, believe it or not!) Mercifully, one does not have to pay income taxes to live in this joint called the Emptiest St
Kat Hagedorn

I made the mistake of reading the first Wyoming Stories collection (Close Range) before seeing Brokeback Mountain, which somewhat ruined the movie for me. Here's hoping none of her other stories get made into film, because I did it again.

And I'm doubting these will-- the first collection was sweeping, lonely, grandiose, heartbreaking. Pretty much everything you think of when you think of Wyoming. The second collection has stories are spiteful (Man Crawling Out of Trees),
Jan 03, 2016 Ben rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One star for being somewhat readable, but there's nothing in this collection worthy of being read. The style is full of basic grammar, occasional and meaningless references and sometimes even a big word. It's boring.

The stories read like a half-edited series of character notes. This is a book that I can bet was published to fill a contract. It's like Proulx did some therapeutic writing in her back garden where consideration isn't given to the reader or to the narrative or the plot or the struct
Jul 29, 2007 Robyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a mistake to think that Ms. Proulx just writes depressing stories about tragic people in remote places: it's just those are the only stories of hers that get made into movies. Sure she's got a firm hand with sob stories, but she's also whip-smart with a tall tale and pinpoint accurate with details like characters who are such yuppies that they get married in a cow barn which the farmer rents to them for five grand.
David Ward
Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories II by Annie Proulx (Scribner 2005) (813.54). This is the second of Annie Proulx's fine collections of short stories. These are set in the West; three of these stories in this volume are set in the tiny town of Elk Tooth, Wyoming. Annie Proulx only writes the good stuff! My rating: 8/10, finished 1/1/2007.
Sara Eddy
Jan 21, 2014 Sara Eddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of these are fantastic stories--funny, inventive, moving, all the best that Proulx offers. But there are a few duds. It's not quite as strong a collection as CLOSE RANGE.
Jenny Shank
Nov 25, 2010 Jenny Shank rated it really liked it

Rocky Mountain News

To print this page, select File then Print from your browser
Proulx digs into eccentric West
By Jenny Shank, Special To The News
December 3, 2004

Annie Proulx writes of a West that is a touch more colorful than the one you and I inhabit. The first signs of this are the names of the characters who roam her second book of stories set in Wyoming, Bad Dirt, the follow-up to 2000's Close Range.

The men
Oct 20, 2016 Dave rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bad Dirt is well written, which makes it even more irritating that the short stories seem almost entirely focused on the dirtiest, most repugnant, and saddest aspects of life in the Wyoming back country. Who wants to read all of the gory details about broken down trailer homes, dirty diapers, fat housewives, empty bank accounts, and wasted lives of almost every character in the book. There are a few people who survive these misadventures, and some episodes that are so pathetic they are humorous, ...more
Jan 19, 2017 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
(***1/2) Proulx writes beautifully, but perhaps you have to be in the mood for her brand of curious hayseeds. Some of the stories soar, others idle a little too long and don't find enough traction. They're all fairly quirky with a dark edge; she's a stalwart country voice with a taste for the absurd.
Cristofer Enroth
Oct 21, 2016 Cristofer Enroth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annie is the Mark Twain of our times. She really knows how to tell a good story!
Andy Miller
Sep 07, 2015 Andy Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All of the short stories in this collection are set in Wyoming,but for the most part they do not celebrate the beauty of Wyoming or its people's love of the land but instead focus on hardscrabble lives on a sometimes harsh landscape. In some stories, especially the ones set in the small, isolated community of Elk Tooth Proulx's people risk becoming more caricature than character, which is not to say that there aren't good stories

'The Hellhole" was one of my favorite "Elk tooth" stories. Creel is
Jan 10, 2017 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great quick read. She does an excellent job of painting the characters & scenery of a changing western lifestyle.
Ronan Mcdonnell
Oct 06, 2016 Ronan Mcdonnell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The scope and scale of these tenuously linked shirt stories confounds expectation. Normally you expect a short story to ponder in minute detail, these Kay waste to swathes of land and incriminate whole sections of public service departments. There is a wistful delicate humour to them, based entirely on the remoteness of their rural settings.
I loved them. Quietly simmering stories about what it means to be human in a wide open country.
A special mention should be made of the Dickensian chuzzlewite
Christina Karvounis
Fans of short stories with common character or setting threads will live this. On point writing and lush but clear language kept me turning pages and looking forward to more of Proulx's work.
Laura Hancock
Nov 14, 2011 Laura Hancock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. A dear Utah friend, Doug, sent it to me when I moved to Wyoming. It fulfilled two needs: Entertaining short, breezy stories and insights to Wyomingites. I enjoyed "Bad Dirt" so much, in fact, I'm contemplating starting an Annie Proulx book club at my public library.
She has a hodge-podge of characters -- a couple from New York who purchased a retirement home outside Jackson, an heiress in Casper who plays polo in Sheridan, plenty of ranchers and even a story about badgers. On
Apr 09, 2012 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Annie Proulx tickles me. I loved "Shipping News" for its mix of quirky characters, dark humor, sentiment, sheer scariness, and the impact of an isolated and starkly beautiful landscape. Much of this shows up again in her short stories set in Wyoming, where isolation and economic contingencies tend to get a strangle hold on the people who live there. The tough survive OK, but only by fierce determination and good luck, of which there is scarcely enough to go around.

The stories range from brief co
Susan Oleksiw
Aug 01, 2016 Susan Oleksiw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Annie Proulx is a masterful storyteller and her characters arise out of the distinctive idiosyncrasy of the West, of Wyoming to be specific. In eleven stories, some veering delicately into magical realism, we meet game wardens, barkeeps, lawyers, laborers, ranchers, and a few escapees from urban life. We get to know the three bars in Elk Tooth, population fewer than eighty souls, and their regulars, and we get a taste of the landscape that is Wyoming, its beauty and its toughness, and what it do ...more
Sep 17, 2016 Adina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun and interesting short stories full of quirky characters living in small town Wyoming, with a little bit of magic thrown in.
Sep 06, 2009 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this with the intention of writing a book review for a workshop in grad school, and I resisted reading it. Once I got into it, however, I fell in love with the stories. Each works together to create a picture of the West as it is experienced by outsiders who either do not understand how life works or by insiders who struggle against the confines of small town life. Annie Proulx is herself an outsider, an east coaster, who attempted to move to Wyoming to experience something like peace, I' ...more
Feb 02, 2008 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Uneven collection of short stories by one of our finest writers working in long and short fiction. Successful entertainments like “The Hellhole” and “The Contest” are matched with less successful ones like “The Old Badger Game,” along with a few more substantive stories like “The Indian War Refought,” “Man Crawling Out of Trees,” and “The Wamsutter Wolf.” The meatier stories mix people from different worlds (geographic, cultural, or social) on the same grim Wyoming landscape and hang on somethin ...more
Feb 02, 2013 Inga rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ich war einmal in Wyoming. Die National Parks Grand Teton und Yellowstone liegen ganz oder teilweise in diesem nahezu quadratischen Bundesstaat der USA. Große Weite. Viele Berge, Prärie. Büffel am Wegesrand. Soweit meine Erinnerungen.
Annie Proulx lebt seit 1995 in Wyoming, was bislang zu drei Bänden mit Kurzgeschichten über die Menschen dort geführt hat:

Close Range, 1999 („Weit draußen“)
Bad Dirt, 2004 („Hinterland“)
Fine Just the Way It Is, 2008 („Hier hat's mir schon immer gefallen“)

Bekannt w
May 22, 2009 Marielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great compilation in the true Proulx tone. Or course we are back out West, this time with Amanda Gibb, the bartender, a bickering married couple from New York, a hole that sucks up bad people, Florida Aligators, a lesbian couple with an old teakettle, and much more. One of the stories that talked to me the most, just for its outright filthy trailer park environment, was the one in which a young man is forced to move out West after his parents kick him out when their house is robbed. He ...more
Mr. Kovach
This book is by one of my favorite writers - Annie Proulx. She is an amazing writer. She wrote another book, called The Shipping News, that is one of my favorites. This book (Bad Dirt) is a collection is short stories about Wyoming (where she lives). It is her second collection of stories about Wyoming (the other is called Close range). I liked the first collection so I decided to read this one as well. I liked it because she writes beautifully and because it is interesting to read about a place ...more
Karolyn Sherwood
Feb 07, 2011 Karolyn Sherwood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I'm on to Annie Proulx. I ain't never been to Wy-o-ming, and that's just a way she wants it. Tryin a keep the place all to herself.

I have a romantic image of Wyoming, open plains leading the way to the majestic Tetons, and of course the cowboys. But Proulx leads one to believe the cowboys are only interested in the other cowboys or the warm mammals, the wide open plains are full of wolves and snakes, and the winters are so harsh that no visitor could ever survive.

Her prose is so vivid,
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Field Notes: The Grace Note of the Canyon Wren
  • Still Wild: Short Fiction of the American West 1950 to the Present
  • Thuggin In Miami (The Family Is Made : Part 1)
  • Where Rivers Change Direction
  • Gallatin Canyon
  • The Best American Short Stories 2003
  • Secrets & Surprises
  • Where the Rivers Flow North
  • Stories
  • Starting Over: Stories
  • The Hermit's Story: Stories
  • Best Short Stories of Ring Lardner
  • Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales
  • Rising from the Plains
  • Day Out of Days
  • Miles from Nowhere: Tales from America's Contemporary Frontier
  • Who I Was Supposed to Be: Short Stories
  • Monument Rock (Kilkenny #5)
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
  • Fine Just the Way it Is

Share This Book