Petra Eggs's Reviews > Bird Cloud

Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx
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Mar 06, 2011

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bookshelves: biography-true-story, reviewed
Read from March 06 to 11, 2011

"Well do I know my own character negatives," she writes, "bossy, impatient, reclusively shy, short-tempered, single-minded." Says Annie Proulx. What she didn't add was that she was downright stupid when it came to checking important details.

The book is about Annie looking for the perfect place to build the home of her dreams, the one she looks forward to living in for the rest of her life. She finds the site in a wild place in Wyoming, far from any town or neighbours with only the cries of eagles and the whistling wind for company. It is described at length especially the wildlife including an amusing incident (the only one, she does not write in a humorous vein) of cows jumping over an electric fence as the grass seemed so much greener on her side. She spends vasts sums of money on an architect, builders, fencers, heavy equipment, even a Japanese tub and shoji screens and several years getting this house built. At the end of it, her other house sold, moved in, builders problems put right, she finds she cannot live in it.

The road the house is on is impassible to wheeled vehicles for the entire winter. She would be just entirely snowed in. You might have thought she would check this and so she did. She was assured, verbally, more than once that the city council kept it open all year. That's it. Nothing in writing. And this from a lady who wouldn't deal with the builders on a handshake but insisted on proper contracts.

Stupid is as stupid does and so she stubbornly lived there for one entire year and then kept it as a summer retreat. Lucky she's rich, isn't it?
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01/11 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Books like this about wealthy people who talk about it make me depressed.

A book I did love about a couple building their first house and all the people who were involved in it is House by Tracy Kidder. None of the nature, just the house. But, I found it fascinating. And I didn't get overly depressed.


message 2: by Petra Eggs (last edited Mar 11, 2011 03:18PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Petra Eggs Lisa wrote: "Books like this about wealthy people who talk about it make me depressed."

I love that.

One of my friends, a very old lady, is as rich as the state of Texas, one of the wealthiest women in the world. I do not hold this against her because she has a passion for growing odd bananas I research for her and entirely misspent her youth and middle-years. She privately published a cookbook that started off with how this architect had built a wonderful house with a fantastic kitchen in it for her so she set about learning to cook. She said cooking was wonderful. That now she could eat what she wanted and when she wanted, times and menu no longer at the whims of the chef.

The rich really are different. Really different!

The book, spiral-bound priced at $150 (she had been ripped off and charged a $100 per copy to print it, but didn't notice) sold not one copy. Her really wealthy friends don't cook (they have chefs) and no one else could afford it.


message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Peculiar. But I was thinking how she certainly could find a chef. I'm fine with the few wealthy people I know who don't flaunt it and who don't seem different, but I'm finding that that's a rare combination.


message 4: by Juanita (new)

Juanita I just hate thin story lines.

Was this a Young Adult reader? If not, there's no excuse for the short plot.

LOVE your reviews!!!


Petra Eggs Not a YA book. No plot because it is a memoir of a very wealthy author building a house. Literary talent, in this case, didn't translate to commonsense.


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