Snotchocheez's Reviews > Bird Cloud

Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx
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Feb 04, 11

Read from February 01 to 04, 2011

There are some professional actors whose work I totally admire, yet I'd care not a whit to spend two minutes together with them in "the real world" to get to know them. Their art and talent can stay ensconced on the big screen, their real life personae can stay forever cloaked behind their Beverly Hills mansions or Aspen megalithic chalets. After reading "Bird Cloud", Proulx' "memoir" revolving around her acquisition of 640 acres of land in Wyoming and her experiences in building a house on that land, I can probably add Ms. Proulx to the list of people I'd NEVER want to meet in person.

I gave this "memoir" (which is hardly a memoir, it's more of a well-worded rant session) 2 stars not because of my feelings for her as a person, but that it's simply a totally disappointing read. The first half of the book is simply awful and is comprised of a really badly-constructed family tree, ostensibly to provide enough background information to explain Proulx' wanderlust, but really (to me) serves more as an arm's length distancer then actually explaining who she is. The other component of the first half is her grousing and moaning over her experiences in buying the the land, then constructing a house on it. (Um...Ms. Proulx? You CHOSE to buy 640 acres in the middle of nowhere in the the middle of the least populated state in the United States. You're not going to find a Frank Gehry or a Maya Lin or an IM Pei or a Frank Lloyd Wright to design your architectural paean to bird watching within 1000 miles of you. Okay, you've got beaucoup bucks from selling the rights of "Brokeback Mountain". We get it. We don't, however, understand why you feel so entitled to get what you want that you have to grouse about it in book form. (and charge the public $26.00 for the privilege to read about it)) I suppose there is a certain amount of comedic value in superimposing Ms. Proulx's snarling jacket photo image ("Take the f***ing picture already" she seems to say in it) onto a barren Platte River locale and gripe and complain about the cost overruns and the 30-below-zero winters and the concrete floor not at all working with the acid stain applied or that your planner and your builder and your assorted lackeys can't seem to agree on anything.

The last half of the book is the only redeeming part, when she talks about the archaeolgy and history of the site. (And if you're into bird watching (which I certainly am not) there's at least 25 pages devoted to her bird-watching diary. Fun!) The only thing I got from this "memoir" is that Ms. Proulx seems to hate almost everyone and wishes to sequester herself with the birds and wildlife and nature (and then bitch about them). Stick with your art, Ms. Proulx..."memoirs" don't "become" you.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Bonnie Exactly!!


Snotchocheez ugh...what a waste of paper...and I LOVED "The Shipping News"...to think that the same person who penned that masterpiece drivelled this poopy whine-fest.


message 3: by Tina (new) - added it

Tina Cipolla I actually DID meet this author in real life, and she is painfully shy and very awkward. No, you wouldn't want to spend time with her.


Snotchocheez Didn't think so. Thanks for the heads up.


message 5: by Deborah (new) - added it

Deborah "Trust the art, not the artist." — John Lennon


Snotchocheez Umm...thanks? I'll keep that in mind the next time I feel compelled to read another artist's self-absorbed whine-fest.


Kelly (and the Book Boar) ^^^^^*gigglesnort*


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