Hot Best Seller

Brokeback Mountain

Availability: Ready to download

Author: Annie Proulx

Published: December 2nd 2005 by Scribner (first published October 13th 1997)

Format: Paperback , 55 pages

Isbn: 9780743271325

Language: English


Compare

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. Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they're working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent 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. Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they're working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent, the attraction is casual, inevitable, but something deeper catches them that summer. Both men work hard, marry, and have kids because that's what cowboys do. But over the course of many years and frequent separations this relationship becomes the most important thing in their lives, and they do anything they can to preserve it. The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for Fiction for its publication of "Brokeback Mountain," and the story was included in Prize Stories 1998: The O. Henry Awards. In gorgeous and haunting prose, Proulx limns the difficult, dangerous affair between two cowboys that survives everything but the world's violent intolerance.

30 review for Brokeback Mountain

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cristina Monica

    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, 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, they feel alienated, like outcasts and have absolutely no more strength inside of them, all I want to do is curl up in a corner and cry, cry, cry because it’s unfair, unfair, unfair. But crying won't help. Everyone should have the right to love freely and be loved back without being pointed at and tyrannized for showing such a beautiful emotion. We live in an ugly world. But Jack and Ennis, they live in an uglier one. What if they hadn’t met? Would my heart still be intact today? But that’s impossible. Fate would have brought them together, if not at Brokeback Mountain, someplace else – some other time, some other day. They would still have felt that indescribable connection and denied their attraction to one another. Neither of them knows how to ‘‘deal’’ with what’s happening between them, but Jack is determined to get his happy ever after. He wants to settle down with Ennis and start their flawed live together. Ennis… Ennis is lost. He’s afraid, mostly. When he was young, his father made sure he saw the body of the rancher who was tortured to death for being gay. He never forgot. Even a fully-grown man can be scared out of his mind and prefer giving up on the most beautiful life he could have with his loved one, for guaranteed security. Therefore, Jack and Ennis don’t agree on the subject of moving in together. Especially now that Ennis has a wife and children – he can’t leave them, so he says. As much as I wanted to shake Ennis, I understood his reasons for preferring to steer clear of anything that could make him end up like the dead rancher. Sometimes, love isn’t enough. Sometimes, sacrifices have to be done to survive. What a cruel world. PS. I didn't mean to end on such a pessimistic note, but this is not a happy story. BD | Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  2. 4 out of 5

    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! update 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, b 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! update 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, but I definitely felt the feels because Jake and Heath perfectly portrayed the leading men. GOOD STUFF.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    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. For 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. For those of you who know me, you know I can get very outspoken about my leading men, and Heath has always made my heart beat faster. Before anyone could say “Ledger,” I was making Mmmm, Mmmm yummy sounds and saying things like “Mama like, oh, Mama like.” My friend slid deeper into her seat and was like, “Rein it in, sister.” But then Jake Gyllenhaal appeared on the screen and I had never seen him before and I was like, “What's up, Mr. Dimples? Mr. Sparkles? Why don't you come on over here with those shiny eyes?” I swear I was worse than a 1940s sailor freshly docked at bay. And just as my eyes were happily feasting on all of that eye candy in Levi's, the weirdest thing happened. . . the Heath character violently grabs the Jake character and they start to have a man-on-man fuck fest. Ain't no other way to describe it, folks. I remember. . . my hands went numb and I was like. . . WTF? Why are those two hot, hetero guys up there doing that, instead of down here in this row, asking me if I'd like a drink? What is this? I thought we were having a good time, up on that mountain together. (Well, they were, I wasn't). I was surly after that. Whenever someone asked me if I'd seen the movie, I'd respond with, “Yeah, I've seen the damn movie.” While other people were getting themselves worked up and quoting scripture. . . I was like, “Why couldn't they have picked less attractive actors?” I didn't have a problem with them being gay, or whatever they were, I had a problem with not being able to imagine them with me. Let's face it, people, you go to a romantic movie, and part of the appeal is imagining yourself in that situation. I wish I had been AWARE of what was going to happen in the movie. I felt. . . taken unawares. I also wish I had been one of the readers who had known the rather obscure short story when it came out in 1997. I wasn't an Annie Proulx reader yet, but I would become one, in 2013, and fall deeply in love with The Shipping News, too. If I had read the story, before the movie, it would have been a completely different experience. Well, anyway, now I have. I spent last night discovering it, and I can't believe it, but it's one of the best stories I've ever encountered. The writing is stunning, just stunning, and Ennis and Jack's love story pulls you in immediately. Please, do not mistake me. . . it is NOT a subtle story. The nearly violent interactions between the men in the movie have their basis here, in the original story. . . neither man is a shrinking violet when it comes to his love for the other. But, oh, it is a love story. It startled me, stunned me, aroused me, and saddened me. It is truly one of the best works of short fiction I've ever encountered. And this line: if you can't fix it, you've got to stand it. To me, this story isn't about being gay; it's about being in love with someone you can't have.

  4. 4 out of 5

    TK421

    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 on 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 only ever loved one woman my entire life--I duped her into marrying me later--and, therefore, have never had my heart broken. Put away your preconceived ideas and give this story a chance. If anything, it will only take you a few hours to read. But if you like it, I am sure you will leave this story with a greater insight to what it means to be in love with someone. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    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 Yorker 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 Yorker. A controversial story of forbidden love, the writing did not disappoint. Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist were both twenty and looking to embark on their ranching careers. Each came from a distinct background from opposite ends of the state of Wyoming yet wound up on the same summer sheep drive up on Brokeback Mountain near the Montana border. Both young men were classic macho cowboys who could hold his own on the range. Ennis was engaged to be married to a local sweetheart the following December. Yet, one cold night while sharing a sleeping bag, the two men engaged in a forbidden act of love that is all but taboo in the cowboy community. This one event commenced Jack and Ennis' relationship for the next twenty years, one that would hold disastrous for them and their families. At only fifty five pages in length, Proulx weaved a tragic story of forbidden love. It is a subject matter that I often stay away from yet the writing was so compelling that I read the entire story in mere minutes. Proulx is originally from the eastern United States, but her prose describing rural Wyoming is captivating, and one could see how from this short story, that the scenery could easily transfer to the big screen. It is because of the writing that I stuck with the story. I felt for Ennis' wife who had to hide her husband's secret for years, working to support their two daughters while he pined for Jack. Proulx set the story up so that the majority of readers would sympathize with the cowboys, but I was lead to feel for the supporting cast of characters who were all effected by these two men's decision of continuing a forbidden, clandestine, taboo relationship. Not only were the characters well fleshed out, but Proulx weaved in multiple story lines in this short tale, making the writing engaging from start to finish. After reading the tragic Brokeback Mountain, I am left uncertain whether I will read Proulx's Pulitzer winning novel. I have heard that her full length books are slow moving albeit attentive to detail and emphasizing character development rather than plot. It is obvious that from this short tale that Proulx can write and I am intrigued to fit her novels into my ongoing Pulitzer challenge. For now, I am left with a bittersweet taste in my mouth after engaging in this short story. 4.5 stars writing 2.75 stars story

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    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 wan 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 want to crack open a bottle of whiskey and roll a joint.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    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, a 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 hard, Jack’s big teeth bringing blood, his hat falling to the floor, stubble rasping, wet saliva welling, and the door opening and Alma looking out for a few seconds at Ennis’s straining shoulders and shutting the door again and still they clinched, pressing chest and groin and thigh and leg together, treading on each other’s toes until they pulled apart to breathe and Ennis, not big on endearments, said what he said to his horses and his daughters, little darlin.” Who’d have known this special movie was based on a short story? Obviously I am late to the party, a common theme with me, but I had no idea. I watched the movie years ago and loved it, and only just realised my work library held the audio CD. I grabbed it quick smart. Excellent and quality narration by Campbell Scott, this is a love story that is never fully realised by our two leading men. Meeting in summertime, 1960’s, Ennis and Jack meet as ranch hands, their physical attraction immediate. Something catches these two men and summer after summer they try to grab back what they felt that first time. Both marry, and carry on with lives that lack lustre when apart, both joining again for snatches of time in the years to come. Brutally honest writing as seen in the above excerpt, it is such succinct writing where ridiculous amount of depth is packed into something so small in volume, but so large in everything else. I loved the scene where two work shirts joined together, unwashed sitting inside each other is a metaphor for a forever love, joined together, never to be parted. "If you can't fix it, you have to stand it". I loved it, can you tell?

  8. 5 out of 5

    JV (semi-hiatus)

    Reread: "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 s Reread: "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 separate and difficult lives. Nothing marred it, even the knowledge that Ennis would not then embrace him face to face because he did not want to see nor feel that it was Jack he held. And maybe, he thought, they'd never got much farther than that. Let be, let be." ==================================================== Original review and rating: 4 stars I saw the film years ago and recently, thought of reading the book. It brought back the same distant yet melancholic memories. "One thing never changed: the brilliant charge of their infrequent couplings was darkened by the sense of time flying, never enough time, never enough." This is a tale about two young cowboys, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, who both develop an intimate relationship in the summer of 1963 in Brokeback Mountain. It chronicles their lives as lovers — each of them navigating through the inhospitable yet alluring terrain of marriage, wistful yearning, and their sporadic affair that spanned over twenty years until that fateful day. "I got a say this to you one time, Jack, and I ain't foolin. What I don't know," said Ennis, "all them things I don't know could get you killed if I should come to know them." "Try this one," said Jack, "and I'll say it just one time. Tell you what, we could a had a good life together, a fuckin real good life. You wouldn't do it, Ennis, so what we got now is Brokeback Mountain. Everthing built on that. It's all we got, boy, fuckin all, so I hope you know that if you don't never know the rest." Annie Proulx brings to the table two complex characters seemingly exploring their sexuality in an unforgiving time. Although challenged by fate and the intricacies of marriage, they traverse the landscape and find themselves in the never-ending pull of passion and love — proving that mountains can, indeed, be moved. Brokeback Mountain also depicts the characters' lingering fear, their longing for social acceptance, unfulfilled dreams, and lives that could or might have been — had things turn out differently for them. (view spoiler)[Although the book has already weaved its tragic end, (hide spoiler)] it constantly reminds us to love honestly, deeply, and truly — of having a life worth living. "You got no fuckin idea how bad it gets. I'm not you. I can't make it on a couple a high-altitude fucks once or twice a year. You're too much for me, Ennis, you son of a whoreson bitch. I wish I knew how to quit you."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dem

    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 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 seasonal grazing range on the fictional Brokeback mountain in Wyoming where they form a relationship that emotionally attaches them for the rest of their lives. Terrific storytelling in so few pages and the emotion I felt while reading it really did surprise me. The author's writing and understanding of the characters really makes this story what it is, strong and sympathic characters make for great stories and I really found a lot of emotion in this little novel. A timeless story that that made me think, great character development and writing. The one thing I did realise when finishing the novel is I DONT want to see the movie as I think the book works very well and while the movie may be great I dont want it to spoil my first impressions on reading this novel as even the actors playing the books characters are way too cute for the characters described in the book. I really think a book group would get a great discussion from this one.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rosalinda *KRASNORADA*

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

  11. 4 out of 5

    Puck

    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 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 themselves? That emotional struggle makes this book so heart-wrenching, because both men know their love for each other is real. It just can’t happen. And that tears them apart. [Jack:] “You have no fuckin idea how bad it gets. I’m not you. I can’t make it on a couple a high-altitude fucks once or twice a year. You’re too much for Ennis, you son of a whoreson bitch. I wish I knew how to quit you.” Maybe this story hits so much harder because the books I read earlier featured happy LGBT-characters. Where young transgender Stella gets the full support of her mother (The Sunlight Pilgrims) and Simon’s coming out is met with positive reactions (Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda), Jack and Ennis’s (love) life is anything but happy and easy. They were two masculine men living in prejudice Wyoming during the sixties, a place where young Ennis saw an old rancher being tortured to death for being gay. This was not uncommon back then, and times haven’t really changed for the better. Because although the world is slowly getting more accepting of gay love, still so many LGBT-people are getting harassed, kicked out, or physically and/or emotionally abused because of who they love. Don’t get blinded by the Pride Parades or the legalisation of same-sex marriage in America: the world is still a cruel place for many. This is why I think Brokeback Mountain is a must read for fans of LGBT-books, to get that reality check. To other readers I’d also recommend this book, because for a book with only 60 pages, this short story packs a powerful punch. The prose is concise and the writing style rough, but it suits the characters and their story. 5 stars for this heart-breaking little book, which I won’t forget soon.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meags

    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 tr 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 tragic love still knocked the wind out of me, much like it did the very first time I experienced their story on screen. The good news is the film is practically a scene for scene depiction of what is written here, which is such a rare occurrence where adaptations are concerned. There is just something so sad about this one; it always makes me ache for what Ennis and Jack could have had. Although tragic in nature, I still adored this story and I definitely understand the praise and accolades this award-winning tale has received over the years. I’m just so glad I finally sat down and read it for myself.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    ***NO SPOILERS*** “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 ***NO SPOILERS*** “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 Brokeback Mountain is the frightening reality facing these two, that they would be in danger if together, not just frowned upon and harassed:Jack, I don’t want a be like them guys you see around sometimes. And I don’t want a be dead. There was these two old guys ranched together down home, Earl and Rich--Dad would pass a remark when he seen them. They was a joke even though they was pretty tough old birds. I was what, nine years old and they found Earl dead in a irrigation ditch. They’d took a tire iron to him, spurred him up, drug him around by his dick until it pulled off, just bloody pulp. What the tire iron done looked like pieces a burned tomatoes all over him, nose tore down from skiddin on gravel.Proulx bravely addressed a taboo topic head-on but refrained from pushing an agenda or manipulating emotions. Brokeback Mountain is a story she constructed around a reality; there’s a sincerity to what happens in these pages. A surprise toward the end takes the story in a direction the reader won’t predict, and it’s perfect, true to the overall serious, introspective tone but also reinforcing Proulx’s message well. Final verdict: A superb short story, beautiful in its way, heavily character driven, atmospheric, and most of all, moving.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    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 answe 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 answer as to why it was wrong but I was afraid to question things so I just went with it. When I watched this, I remember that seed of doubt that was already there in my mind being watered a bit. The two cowboys really loved each other, in their own way and I could see nothing wrong with it. Looking back, this film was the first thing to really open my eyes to what it was like to be gay. I've been meaning to read the book for a while now and it definitely lived up to my expectations. It is so short but it packs so many emotions into it; it really is incredible. I'm always impressed when an author can pack so much into a short story without hindering any other element. This story is beautiful, tragic, heart-breaking and heart-warming. It makes you wish that things were different for Ennis & Jack. I really enjoyed it and I would love to read more stories like this one. I was unsure about the writing style at the start but when I got into it, I really liked it. I would definitely recommend this and I would read more by Annie Proulx.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cecily

    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, n 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, never enough time, never enough." But the '60s (and even '70s) weren't as swingin' as we're led to believe, certainly in their communities, so "nothing ended, nothing begun, nothing resolved". In the interim, "What J remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand was... the silent embrace satisfying some shared and sexless hunger." It happens to concern homosexual love between cowboys, starting in the 1960s, but it could just as easily be any taboo relationship. The harsh beauty of the mountains, coupled with love and longing, reminded me a little of Cold Mountain, which I reviewed HERE.

  16. 4 out of 5

    * 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.

  17. 4 out of 5

    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 other "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 other's minds. "One thing never changed: the brilliant charge of their infrequent couplings was darkened by a sense of time flying, never enough time, never enough." "I wish I knew how to quit you." My heart ached for Jack & Ennis. Who has the right to question anyone's love? The end of this book... I felt sadness for a life half lived. The cruelty of having to live a lie. But the reality being that at that time, men in the area even suspected of being gay met their untimely end with the help of a tyre iron. This is definitely a story that will stay in my find for some time. It's just one of those that resonate long after the book has been closed. JV's review caught my eye. Reading it made me wonder why I'd never read the book before (though I'd seen the movie long ago). I figured it would be a good change of pace to the usual bookclub pick. Please have a look at JV's words, they're beautiful, as they come from the heart 💝 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    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 b 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 bet that few places made you feel the burn of that feeling more than Wyoming in the 1960s. Ideas about masculinity, sex and love die hard in places where a living is earned the rough way. It’s also about the impossible weight of such a secret, how it taints other good things. Obviously, this is Jack and Ennis’ story, but my heart also broke for Alma, who simply couldn’t understand and yet kept her husband’s secret; and for Lureen, who probably understood too late. In some ways, it reminded me a lot of “Carol” (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), which tackles a similar subject matter, albeit with less tragic consequences. Be careful reading this: it might rip your heart out. - About the movie: it’s sublime. It would have been sublime even if it hadn’t been Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, but they were so freaking perfect. I’ve watched it at least twelve times and cried at every single viewing.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sidharth Vardhan

    More of a novella than a short story. Can be read here: https://www.google.co.in/amp/www.newy... More of a novella than a short story. Can be read here: https://www.google.co.in/amp/www.newy...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    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 :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    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 .. #neednewovaries 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 .. #neednewovaries

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    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 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 legally maintained, but you should really be looking at where one may be fired, alienated, and killed for same sex marriage. Here is a good start. So long as all that exists, the tire iron is still in force. I'm not even going to talk about countries outside the US, both for reasons of US-centricity and, really, if the biggest imperial force of contemporary times starts putting socioeconomic pressure on the source of those homophobic delegations fucking around on their passports, some good may come of it. The book? Well, for a tip of the iceberg, it doesn't mince around the brutality of living a love that historically and presently is deemed obscene, perverse, unnatural, absurd, corrupting, and above all, other. We're talking a difference of sexuality, indeed only the most popular of many myriads, that the US used in the late 20th century as an excuse for ignoring a pandemic within the boundaries of home territory. The book is wary, self-sufficient, sweet (mind, I wouldn't recommend using it as a guide to safe sex of the sort it contains), and knows that particular future of blood and vice and quarantine is to be expected. One review says, of the two main characters, that "[t]hey know what they're not—not queer, not gay—but they have no idea what they are"; to be labeled with the popularly ostracized is to commit to death. In regards to same sex marriage? I'd like to think that bans lifted in conjunction with legal marital rights (hospital visits, name on the death certificate, adoption) will expand the reality beyond the sensationalized stereotypes and into the mundane of missed deadlines, exasperating paperwork, and side characters in a novel who, thanks to the author's experiences in a broader space of public personal interaction, will be enhanced with real flesh and blood. The problem, you see, is this is all very mental, philosophical, the sort of social structuring that really doesn't mean much to those who are still dying. The problem is whether this story of Brokeback Mountain will have to be told again, and again, and again, as the public refuses to take LGBT in more than a single wave of dosage, that category here, this category there, never mind the intersections of gender, race, religion, others upon others whose denizens will be impacted regardless of the awareness of common sense. I don't know. I really don't. I'll keep reading, though. That much I am capable of.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Moony Eliver

    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.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Petra-X

    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, 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, in fact I played spider solitaire and tetris while I was 'reading' the book. I can only think I would use this format again for a book I had to read but couldn't get through. I find that reading a book, I really concentrate on it, nothing else around me exists, I enter the world of the writer, I might stop and think about what I'm reading once in a while, reread a particularly difficult or beautifully-written paragraph and even enjoy the way book is laid-out, the font, the margins, the spacing, the look of paragraphs on the page, and of course the feel of the paper (I like thick, creamy hardback book pages). Last year I kept a list on a Goodreads thread of a 100-book a year challenge. I could see with audio books, I could easily increase the number of books I've 'read', but it would feel to me the same as including children's books, too easy an option. This is only my experience. Others think of audio books in quite different ways and thoroughly enjoy them. I had hoped I would, but nope, I just wasn't feelin' it at all. I would quite like to 'read' an audio book along with someone who enjoys them, a chapter at a time and see if I could get more from it than I had alone. To move on to a review of the book itself - I found the prose, described by almost everyone to be 'spare' as the opposite, overly descriptive, but this could be the media, perhaps written it reads quite differently. I feel any review of the book is a review of the way the narrator chose to interpret it and not the book itself, so I'm going to end by saying, I enjoyed the book, but not a lot and I enjoyed the media not much at all.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    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 g 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 grateful to Annie Proulx. ♥ My favorite quote: “If you can't fix it you have to stand it.”

  26. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    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 le 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 less than 100 pages is a supreme writer and artist.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tahera

    Raw, intense and heartbreaking.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    May 2020 I reread this short story for my English literature course and my feelings and opinions are pretty much the same as last year. I'm very looking forward to discuss this in class. March 2019 Let me just say that I've never seen the movie and that's why I decided to fix this by reading the book first and then watching the adaptation. This story is basically sadness provoked by the fact that two people, Jack and Ennis, who obviously care for each other, cannot be together. All they have are s May 2020 I reread this short story for my English literature course and my feelings and opinions are pretty much the same as last year. I'm very looking forward to discuss this in class. March 2019 Let me just say that I've never seen the movie and that's why I decided to fix this by reading the book first and then watching the adaptation. This story is basically sadness provoked by the fact that two people, Jack and Ennis, who obviously care for each other, cannot be together. All they have are some moments of solace once or twice a year. It was a good story but I'm giving it three stars because it was really short and I did not have the time to get to know the characters well. Now I'm really eager to watch the movie adaptation.

  29. 5 out of 5

    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 for 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 forced to conform to an arbitrary societal construct is precisely what makes it memorable. And depressing. Proulx's prose is worthy of all the approbation it's received. There's nothing arcane or flowery about it which is befitting Jack and Ennis. Were it any other way it would be disingenuous to their characterizations. She conveys the ephemeral nature of their relationship as it unfolds over their lifespan and that may lead some to discount their connection, but through those furtive liaisons it became the most important thing in each of their lives. Nothing drove that point home more than the plangent sound of Ennis' phone call going unanswered and his steadfast belief that Jack would eventually answer. Campbell Scott delivered a powerful performance worthy of Proulx's writing and these characters. Not a particularly easy read/listen but one that sticks with you.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    Maybe a 3.5? This was just far too rushed to get the emotional impact of the story.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.