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Brokeback Mountain: Story to Screenplay

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,324 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Annie Proulx has written some of the most original and brilliant short stories in contemporary literature, and for many readers and reviewers, "Brokeback Mountain" is her masterpiece. Now the major motion picture "Brokeback Mountain" is being hailed as equally masterful, with performances that are "the stuff of Hollywood history" "(The New York Times)." "Brokeback Mountain ...more
Hardcover, 166 pages
Published April 11th 2006 by Scribner Book Company (first published December 27th 2005)
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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,324 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Jacoline Maes
The short story is just okay, the movie is beautiful. This confirms what I always fear for in short stories: the limited page number makes it impossible for the story and characters to grow on me and it doesn't help that it spans twenty years. In the movie there's time to work out nuances of the characters, to give them more backstory and a real sense of the world they live in. In the story there are just a few sentences mentioning those things and that makes it feel a bit empty and it doesn't s ...more
Emilie Morscheck
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had to read this book for my university course in screenwriting.

Anne Proulx's short story is lyrical and emotional. The screenplay really does a great job at expanding the short story and building on Proulx's tones. The script is sensitive and ends the way I have come to appreciate in stories - an end with no clear resolution, just the sense that life goes on. The extra material after the screenplay was interesting and provided an insight into Proulx's and the screen writers' experience the ad
Miguel Vega
Good story, decent characters, but not my type.
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: changed-me
If you like to book you'll love this title. I came away with a much greater insight into the process of getting this made into a screenplay and the courageous men and women who made it happen. I was particularly impressed with their tenacity give the climate in the U.S. and the buzz created by a story that was completely mislabeled as a "gay cowboy story". Cheers to Annie & Ang. Well done and Cheers!
Desiree Rico
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
loved the original short story! seeing the development from story to screenplay with input from the author and screenwriters was very interesting.
Leigh Ann
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just as beautiful as the film.
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-school
This short story was far better and close to the actual movie than I expected. I absolutely adore Annie Proulx, though, so that's to be expected.

Honestly, I think more people should read the short story and actually pay attention to it, because this is not about "two gay cowboys". First of all, they aren't gay. Second of all, they aren't cowboys. Third of all, it's not about their romance. It's about homophobia and society pressure, both external and internal. And it is absolutely wonderful. By
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic short story and it was fascinating to read the screenplay as well, and to learn about the journey from story to film. I loved the essays from Proulx, McMurtry and Ossana.
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Run, don't walk, to find this one. Everyone knows the basic premise of the story, but the writing is truly amazing.
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-fiction
Words to describe the story: beautiful, poetic, longing, bittersweet, towering
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
"If you can't fix it, you have to stand it."
Matt Sautman
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 is likely a more accurate star rating for me. I find the overall presentation of this book more interesting than the original short story itself. To be able to have access to Proulx full original text with the screenplay is neat, but also having a later section dedicated to her own reactions to the adaptation process seems far neater to me. I can’t shake the feeling at times though that the relationships in the short story feel unreal to me, specifically with Jack and Ennis’s relationship se ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some differences in the screenplay when compared with the short story but they're complementary. As one of the essays said, the short story was the rough blueprint and the screenwriters used it to develop the characters beyond what was showed or and to bring out the essence of the story, doing so brilliantly.

People call Brokeback Mountain the 'gay cowboy movie' but it's so much more than that (also because neither main character is a cowboy xD)! The essays by Annie Proulx, Larry McMur
Took a wonderful "spiritual exploration" class back in 2006 or so where we read this book (containing the short story) and watched the film together as a group. It was a day long retreat, and we followed with discussion and then individual art time. I've since lost my artwork. It wasn't very good. But the day of re-watching and re-reading such a beautifully created, incredibly moving story with a group of people remains a memorable event for me.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Had to read this for a class and loved it. I had the luxury of reading the short story before watching the film, which I think is ideal. The film expands upon the short story, so it might be disappointing to read the story after watching the movie version. Proulx has a wonderful, straight forward style- she's blunt yet still writes incredibly human, heartfelt scenes.
Clinton Read
This was an okay story. I felt it was a little rushed but most short stories are. I will always find the movie sooooooo much better then this. It was interesting reading the screenplay right after the short story and the extra stories in this were interesting as well I guess. Overall I still ove the love between Ennis and Jack :)
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
One of the few books I was able to get my hands on which shows the written/printed format of a movie screenplay, allowing you to compare it to a novel AND the movie. It's very helpful to have if Brokeback was a movie you loved and you are looking for a printed example of a screenplay.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have wanted to read this short story and the screen play ever since I viewed the movie (which I loved). The short story was wonderful and so beautifully written, I loved it too. Annie P thank you again.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read Proulx's short story as an undergrad, and I was deeply moved. I typically hate love stories, but this one felt real and raw and heartbreaking.
Ann Canann
Apr 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This little book of one-hundred sixty pages starts with Annie Proulx's spare and touching short story, "Brokeback Mountain". The story was originally published in "The New Yorker" in 1997.It is a tragedy of emotional deprivation. As in her other works, the place is immensely important. In this case it is rural Wyoming. It was a place and time (1963) when it was dangerous to be homosexual. A year after this story was published, Matthew Shepard was murdered in Wyoming. It is a state that has the h ...more
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-challenge
Book to Movie category for the 2015 Challenge. Read Annie Proulx's short story again. So laden with meaning and emotion. Then read McMurty/Ossana screenplay, concluding with commentaries from all three. The screenwriters so respectfully captured the essence of Ms Proulx's words and her characters. Ang Lee, the film director, honored Proulx, McMurtry, and Ossana. And the film's actors bestowed great honor on all four of them. I have always been most fond of simple mementos and found that Jack's a ...more
Michael Burge
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's been years since I read this incredible piece of short fiction, and the accompanying screenplay adaptation makes it all the more compelling.

Here you'll find all the reasons why a gay man, almost forty, living in Wyoming, could not simply head off to San Francisco, in 1984, to embark on his happiest, out, days, as some critics of the movie wrote.

Proulx did not write a "Gay Cowboy Story", but something a lot more insightful: a tale of two men who could barely come out to themselves, let alone
Andrea Mullarkey
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: screenplay
I’ve read Brokeback Mountain before, part of Annie Proulx’s Close Range. I remember thinking I’d have to read it again to really do it justice. Now I read it along with the screenplay and commentary on the adaptation process by Annie Proulx, Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana and I can say that this time I really did it justice. After this process I stand by my statement that it is lyrical and I’ll add that it was spare, intense, and poetic. The screenplay was a marvelous example of how a story can ...more
Claudia Marin
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A strong, powerful, and sometimes rough short novel which describes the growing and unexpected love between two individuals who share something too powerful to be left aside. I never watched the movie, but decided to find out what the novel was about. And I found myself completely amazed by the strength and authenticity of the narration, as much by a subtle description of the inevitable nature of a human bond.
Iris Windmeijer
I absolutely loved the tragic lovestory of Jack and Enis, Brokeback Mountain is a touching story one must read! Their love feels so passionate but their story is heartbreaking. The script and how it came into being was really interesting to read. The view of the writer and the adapters on primary source and the eventual outcome is enlightening.
This is a must read, not only the short story but also how the adaptation came into being is worth reading.
Aug 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Interesting. The essays were eh (sorry, don't care), but having the story and the screenplay next to each other really made you appreciate how McMurtry and Ossana expanded the short story into the movie -- taking small details and creating whole scenes and characters out of them. Annie Proulx probably needs to take herself less seriously, though. I can't imagine how her essay would've turned out if the movie had actually won Best Picture.
My first M/M romance. *sigh*

If you have not read this, you MUST. The writing is fucking beautiful; a true modern classic. It will break your heart, it will make you smile, it will change you. (Well, it did me, anyway.)

This book sets a high bar on novellas.

It is also one of the few books I've seen truly faithfully adapted to film, and if you have not seen Ang Lee's rendition, then go get it NOW. THE best film of the last decade, IMO.

...I think I'm due for a re-read.
Jun 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this pretty quickly and enjoyed it. While the movie is immensely better than the story it was still great to see the original source material for the movie. I liked this book and would recommend it to anyone that wants to compare the script to the original. Also there are some phenomenal essays by other people that were involved with the movie in this particular edition as well.
Simon Fletcher
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is as much a great idea as it is a great book containing as it does the original short story (which in a mere 30 pages is a truely heartbreaking story of love and loss), the screenplay and three monographs on the experience of writing the story, the screenplay and on the making of the film. As such it is a great insight into the film world.
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contains both the original sreenplay and the original novella. I read both. The novella was beautifully written. The screenplay gave it flesh, bone, and blood. I didn't see this story as a homosexual one, but simply a doomed love story that happen to be about two men. I don't usually enjoy tragic endings, but to have had any other ending would not have worked.
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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