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Brokeback Mountain

(Wyoming Stories)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  27,905 ratings  ·  2,169 reviews
Short story by Annie Proulx published in The New Yorker October 13, 1997.

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.

The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for Fiction for its publication of "Brokeback Mountain," and the story
36 pages
Published October 13th 1997 by The New Yorker
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  27,905 ratings  ·  2,169 reviews

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The shirt seemed heavy until he saw there was another shirt inside it, the sleeves carefully worked down inside Jack’s sleeves. It was his own plaid shirt, lost, he’d thought, long ago in some damn laundry, his dirty shirt, the pocket ripped, buttons missing, stolen by Jack and hidden here inside Jack’s own shirt, the pair like two skins, one inside the other, two in one.

Sometimes, I want to cry.

When I hear of cases of gay adolescents and adults who commit suicide because they are harassed,
Raeleen Lemay
Third book down for the #BookTubeAThon!

I think this would have worked better in longer form, as it felt way too rushed. This was a very character driven story, but I feel like I didn't get to know the characters all that well.

I'm excited to watch the movie tonight!


So I watched the movie, and it was a very good adaptation of the story! Many direct quotes from the story were used, and it followed the exact same plot but fleshed it out a lot more. Not the most exciting movie of all time,
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rarely go to the movies. Truly, the last movie I saw in a theater was Lincoln, in 2012.

But, one day back in 2005, a good friend called and wondered if I'd like to spend that snowy Sunday in a theater with her, watching something called Brokeback Mountain.

Brokeback Mountain? Never heard of it. Sure, I'd go.

Almost no one was in the theater that morning. My friend got popcorn, and I got comfortable. When Heath Ledger appeared on the giant screen, I got sassy, and my friend got uncomfortable.

Apr 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Normally, I would never read something like this. No, I am not homophobic (my older brother is gay); but I do get uncomfortable when reading about two men kissing. So, needless to say, I wasn't expecting much from this very short novella.

Let me be the first to say how utterly wrong I was. This novella is not merely about two men who fall in love; it is about love itself. The love story these men share is intense, stormy, beautiful, and heart-wrenching, and I found myself thankful that I have
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, novella, western
Annie Proulx is one of the foremost American writers today. Her novel The Shipping News won the Pulitzer Prize, and her latest novel Barkskins seems to have been written in the same vain. As I am drawn to Pulitzer winners in my ongoing personal challenge to read them, I decided to sample Proulx's writing before undergoing the reading of one of her full length novels. Brokeback Mountain set high in the Rockies and later made into a movie of the same name was originally published in the New ...more
I picked this up at the library last night because it was a tiny book, perfect for today's lunch time read.

I'm ashamed to say that I attempted to watch the film, but fell asleep about 45 minutes in. Now that I've read this story, I'm going to revisit the film.

This is the first time I've read Annie Proulx. It is amazing how much story she covers in so few pages. Her spare prose, concise style and quiet intensity really worked for me.

An absolutely beautiful, heartbreaking love story! Makes me
Late in the afternoon, thunder growling, that same old green pickup rolled in and he saw Jack get out of the truck, beat up Resistol tilted back. A hot jolt scalded Ennis and he was out on the landing pulling the door closed behind him. Jack took the stairs two and two. They seized each other by the shoulders, hugged mightily, squeezing the breath out of each other, saying, son of a bitch, son of a bitch, then, and easily as the right key turns the lock tumblers, their mouths came together, and ...more
JV (semi-hiatus)
"Below it he drove a nail and on the nail he hung the wire hanger and the two old shirts suspended from it. He stepped back and looked at the ensemble through a few stinging tears."

Bumping up my rating to 5 unforgettable stars!

This novella will always have a place in my heart. I miss these guys so much. Perhaps, in an alternate reality, Jack and Ennis will have their HEA.
"Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Late to the party but I when I did get there I sure as heck enjoyed myself

This book was given to me by a friend who said I cant believe you have never read this or at least seen the movie. Well I hadn't and at 60 pages this short novela has a lot to say and really does pack quite a punch.

Originally published in The New Yorker in 1997 for which it won the National Magazine Award for fiction 1998.

In 1963 two young men Ennis del Mar and Jack Twish are hired for the summer to look after sheep at a
Rosalinda *KRASNORADA*
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: next-up

Review to come.

This is the first time I like the movie more than the book...

That's fine. I didn't need my heart anyway.

This book is like a punch in the gut. I never thought that a short story could have such an impact on me. This isn’t simply a book about two cowboys falling in love: this is the heartbreaking tale of Jack and Ennis who love each other, but deny it not only because they’re afraid of the outside world, but also of their own feelings.
America in the 1960’s wasn’t a safe place for homosexuals after all, and if society can’t accept them, how can they accept
5 Stars

Brokeback Mountain is a beautifully heartbreaking short story about two lonely cowboys falling in love.

Author Annie Proulx is one of the few impressively skilled and deftly capable writers who are able to convey an entire lifetime of joy and sorrow in so few pages. Her prose is lyrical, poignant, and so very precise, with each scarce word used to full effect. Her words moved me, plain and simple.

Regardless of how many times I’ve seen the film adaptation, reading about Ennis and Jack’s
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw Brokeback Mountain when I was quite young (my mom changed channels when a sex scene came on like she always did) and I have to say, it sorta blew my mind. Gay was not a word I heard, unless someone in my class was teasing someone or something. I grew up in the Irish countryside so I was quite sheltered until I was at least 15/16 (hmm, same year we got Wi-Fi). But as a 12 year old, to be "gay" meant something bad and dirty and I never understood why. Nobody could give me an acceptable ...more
* A Reader Obsessed *
4 Stars

If you can't fix it you’ve got to stand it...

Heartbreaking and no less powerful for its 50 sparse pages.
I read this in the collection Close Range: Brokeback Mountain and Other stories, which I reviewed HERE.

I knew this exquisite story well from the film, and the two are very similar.

It is a story of unexpected and irresistible passion, longing and loss - understated and never graphic.

Jack and Ennis meet, lust and love one summer, and meet up over the years, despite starting more conventional families. "The brilliant charge of their infrequent couplings was darkened by the sense of time flying,
Nat K

"I goddamn hate it that you're goin a drive away in the mornin and I'm goin back to work. But if you can't fix it you gotta stand it...."

The story of Jack & Ennis who met and loved on Brokeback Mountain is unutterably raw. Though a quick read coming in at around 55 pages, it certainly packs a punch.

It's a sparse tale. Minimalist. Kind of like their time together. Over in a rush, never enough. Sometimes only seeing each other every few years, each having their own family. But always on each
Sidharth Vardhan
More of a novella than a short story. Can be read here:
Sometimes you read a short story that falls a bit short of expectations. Because it would have been a better, or more complete story if it had been longer. This is not how this short story made me feel. In fact, more than sixty pages of this might have been too much. I only wished I had read it before I watched the amazing movie adaptation.

This story, as Julie so cleverly phrased it, is about being in love with someone you can’t have, and few feelings are as violent as that. And I’m willing to
JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust
This novel is surprisingly short . . . which makes it difficult to rate the book unbiasedly :-/ I found myself replaying the (exceptional) movie in my mind the entire time.

. . .

. . .

. . . . Now please excuse my while I imagine this scene over and over again ..


Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jane by: Jessica
I don't know how I never knew this was just a very short story. I wish I'd read this years ago. The movie was good, but this was even better. It always amazes me how even a very short story can pull so strongly at your emotions. Thanks so much for the suggestion, Jessica :)
Moony Eliver
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masterful storytelling that I never want to read again.

The phonetic dialogue tripped me up at the beginning, but I adjusted. Might have been better if it could have insulated me emotionally. I was sure that a 10K-word short couldn't possibly gut me as badly as the movie did.

I was wrong.
I'm fucking terrified that yesterday will mean a lackadaisicaling of today, wherein a legal, incorporated, minute change of one of many laws interwoven in the Hetereosexual Agenda banishes the rest to the "what more could you need?" closet and the society spectacle incineration. This work has been termed apolitical by some, but seriously, how can you call a history of human sacrifice apolitical? Not even dwelling on the money, status, and human network so often illegally amputated and afterwards ...more

“Gay cowboy love story” may be how it’s often summed up, but that’s flippant. Brokeback Mountain is emotional, resonant, and ultimately gut-wrenching--and quietly so. This is a humble story, tightly focused almost exclusively on young Wyoming cowboys Ennis and Jack as they spend a summer working together on Brokeback Mountain. Before long they’re forced to reconcile their love for each other with their everyday, conventional, socially acceptable lives.

What’s most powerful about
Aug 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is the first audio book I've 'read'. It was much more akin to listening to a radio play than sitting reading a book. There was no effort involved and by the nuancing of the narrator the book was interpreted for me. It was fast-paced, no time to sit and ponder a paragraph, no natural break between chapters just a pause. I can't say I enjoyed it, it felt fake, it felt like cheating, it felt like the dumbed-down version - all the work done for me and no need to particularly concentrate either, ...more
I've been meaning to read this short-story ever since I fell in love with the film years ago. Well, I finally read it 13 years later. The movie incorporated every piece of this story, even the dialogue and noteworthy quotes. Having experienced the film first, I didn't gain anything further from the reading experience. The film actually fleshed out the characters more which was needed in my opinion. However, this beautiful film wouldn't exist if not for this tiny story and for that I am forever ...more
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is every bit as compelling, heart wrenching and beautiful as everyone claims. A true masterpiece of short fiction.

Update 8/10/16

My mind is still reeling with thoughts of Ennis and Jack; the story was simply intimate and heart breaking. It's amazing how much power and weight words can carry with them. Works like Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton and "Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx have taught me that it's about quality, not quantity. Frankly, any author that can move me to tears in
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story
Raw, intense and heartbreaking.
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
Beautiful and heartbreaking.

The thing that strikes me the most about this story is how simple and straightforward it is but underneath that simplicity lies complexity and nuance.

Jack and Ennis are two simple men who came from nothing and in another time, in another place could've had something infinitely more satisfying in its simplicity than the hand they were dealt in this one. Something they deserved. The fact that they had to make due with stolen moments, semi-clandestine trysts and were
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Maybe a 3.5? This was just far too rushed to get the emotional impact of the story.
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I never really had any intention of reading this book. I've never seen the movie either. (Though I might now. I'm curious how they handled it.) Stories about ranchers & cowboys don't exactly draw me in. To be honest, Annie Proulx's stories don't have much appeal to me in general. I can't really put my finger on it, but they just don't scream "Read me!" when I see one.

Anyway, I had to go to the library to stop them from billing me for a book I'd already returned, and while I was there, I
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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

Other books in the series

Wyoming Stories (3 books)
  • Close Range
  • Bad Dirt
  • Fine Just the Way it Is
“I wish I knew how to quit you.” 426 likes
“There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it.” 117 likes
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