That Old Ace in the Hole

  • by Annie Proulx
  • Narrated by Arliss Howard
  • 6 hrs and 11 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Annie Proulx's That Old Ace in the Hole is told through the eyes of Bob Dollar, a young Denver man trying to make good in a bad world. Dollar is out of college but aimless, when he takes a job with Global Pork Rind - his task, to locate big spreads of land in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles that can be purchased by the corporation and converted to hog farms.Dollar finds himself in a Texas town called Woolybucket, whose idiosyncratic inhabitants have ridden out all manner of seismic shifts in panhandle country. These are tough men and women who witnessed firsthand tornadoes, dust storms, and the demise of the great cattle ranches. Now it's feed lots, hog farms, and ever-expanding drylands.Dollar settles into LaVon Fronk's old bunkhouse for $50 a month, helps out at Cy Frease's Old Dog Cafe, targets Ace and Tater Crouch's ranch for Global Pork, and learns the hard way how vigorously the old owners will hold onto their land, even though their children want no part of it.Robust, often bawdy, strikingly original and intimate, That Old Ace in the Hole tracks the vast waves of change that have shaped the American landscape and character over the past century. In Bob Dollar, Proulx has created one of the most irresistible characters in contemporary fiction.


What the Critics Say

"Proulx imparts [the story] with such minute accuracy that it's like seeing a painting up close and magnified, with each tiny brush stroke lovingly emphasized." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wonderful characters and a Message, too

Having read the Shipping News, I figured this might be a good read with interesting characters and I was not wrong at all. Annie is a master of the descriptive phrase. She doesn't miss a detail. Narration in this book is excellent, adding greatly to the "feel" of the book. My Dad grew up in the Panhandle, so this made this all the more interesting. And it does speak volumes about big industry and our environment, especially telling in today's political atmosphere, where it seems like we are doing our best to gut our environment in a short-sighted frenzy to make a buck.

If you enjoy a "craftsman" of the written word, then you'll love Annie Proulx.
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- Mark


This book paints a vivid portrait of the Texas Panhandle - the scenery (breathtaking), the weather (unpredictable), and especially the people (strong, eccentric). It tells the story of a young man's journey from Denver to the panhandle to find land for corporate hog farms. He becomes part of the local community and in his search for hog farm sites (and hog farms are highly unpopular among the locals) he begins to get a sense of what he really wants to do with his life. The local characters that inhabit this story are absolutely delightful and the reader does a superb job, giving each character a voice and making you feel that you are right there in the room with them. Fantastic!
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- Ranch Girl

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-06-2002
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio