Melki's Reviews > Close Range: Wyoming Stories

Close Range by Annie Proulx
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Jul 22, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: short-story-collections
Read from July 22 to 31, 2012

Once again, Annie Proulx proves she's got bigger balls than most of the male writers out there.
Whether they're roping, ranching, or riding the rodeo, the characters in these tales are all tough, hard-living people who do what needs to be done and don't spend a lot of time whining about it.

Some of their exploits made my mouth drop open:

Their endurance of pain was legendary. When a section of narrow mountain trail broke away under Marion's horse, the horse falling with him onto rocks below, the animal's back broken and Marion's left leg, he shot the horse, splinted his own leg with some yucca stalks and his wild rag, whittled a crutch from the limb he shot off a scrub cedar, and in three days hopped twenty miles to the Shiverses' place, asked for a drink of water, swallowed it, pivoted on the cedar crutch, and began to hop toward the home ranch, another seven miles east, before George Shivers cajoled him into a wagon. Shivers saw then what he missed before--Marion had carried his heavy stock saddle the distance.

These are leathery-skinned, no-nonsense people. They don't sit around in drumming circles, talking about their feelings. Even the womenfolk are super tough:

When the youngest girl, Mabel, was a few months old they made a journey into Laramie, the infant howling intolerably, the wagon bungling along, stones sliding beneath the wheels. As they crossed the Little Laramie Mrs. Tinsley stood up and hurled the crying infant into the water. The child's white dress filled with air and it floated a few yards in the stiff current, then disappeared beneath a bower of willows at the bend. The woman shrieked and made to leap after the child but Horm Tinsley held her back. They galloped across the bridge and to the river's edge below the bend.
Gone and gone.


Gulp!

See what I mean? This lady writer has got cojones. Big ones.

Even one of her characters admits: "Anyway, you're comin a the bull sale. And I'll give you a pointer you don't want to forget. Scrotal circumference is damn important."

Never stop learning.
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01/29/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus And I'll give you a pointer you don't want to forget. Scrotal circumference is damn important.

So I've found.


message 2: by James (new)

James Thane I agree. I liked this book a lot, but then I've yet to be disappointed by anything that Proulx has written.


message 3: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan Maldrie HeHe all this talk about big or not so big "balls" makes me think of a Betty White quote :)


message 4: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan Maldrie “Why do people say "grow some balls"? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.”
― Betty White


All the talk about big or not so big "balls" brought to mind the above quote hehe.


Melki I love it! And so true!


message 6: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Although, interestingly, I witnessed an accidental knee to the nether regions during a women's Muay Thai fight, and she dropped just as hard as I've seen any guy... Although I understand the politics involved.


message 7: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan Maldrie Jeremy wrote: "Although, interestingly, I witnessed an accidental knee to the nether regions during a women's Muay Thai fight, and she dropped just as hard as I've seen any guy... Although I understand the politi..."

LOL well Jeremy, you really are literal hehe.


Cecily Your final quote is one I've been unable to forget! Not one I have much cause to throw into everyday conversation, but it made me chuckle.


Melki Yeah, that is a tough one to work into the conversation, though a good thing to keep in mind when choosing a potential mate.


message 10: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley Ovaries before brovaries.


Melki Ashley wrote: "Ovaries before brovaries."

Love it! That's shirt-worthy, fer sure.


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