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I just could not ever get into this book and I love Annie Proulx's work, including her short stories and memoir Bird Cloud. But this one just seemed like a creative writing excercise where the author goes through a ton of research into the Panhandle area of Oklahoma and Texas and puts her thoughts on the history, geography, architecture, weather patterns, farming history, and photographic record into the mouths of various extremely oddly named characters. These people serve no function but exposition. They orate the facts Proulx has learned in conducting her extensive research on this region. I would like to look at the old photos her characters describe, and see some of the downtrodden eccentric old towns and settlements, but I just do not want to keep reading this book. Also--I find the narrator's voice and accent ridiculous. He is a huge distraction, something I don't need when the book itself is so hard to latch onto.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I love Annie Proulx's work. This novel is less structured than her famous The Shipping News and more like her great short stories. Her wit and sass always amuse me. The underlying story concerns a young man sent to the Texas Panhandle region as a scout for huge hog operations -- who loves the region and develops a connection to its people. Some of the back-stories concern characters who go back to the days of freight wagons, which preceded the railroads in developing the area. I wish more of Annie Proulx's material was available in audiobook form.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful