Book Review – Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

Close Range cover

Brokeback Mountain is a short story by Annie Proulx which is featured in her collection Close Range. This review will focus on Brokeback Mountain and not the whole collection.

Brokeback Mountain made me cry. It’s such a short story but it evokes a multitude of emotions and is so well written. It wasn’t what I expected in the slightest. From what I know of the film this should have been a story about gay cowboys but it really isn’t. This short story is so much more than just a queer western story, it is a story about two men who have to repress their true selves because of society, and it is about love, life, and death.

Annie Proulx has admitted that she wishes she never wrote the story because she no longer has control over her characters thanks to the film version (and she never will have control over them again because readers will always interpret stories and characters in different ways. Sorry, Annie Proulx.) The story is absolutely beautiful though and obviously about homophobia. Brokeback Mountain is so much more than the film version so I’d highly recommend reading this short story.


Started: 3rd January 2015
Completed: 3rd January 2015

4 thoughts on “Book Review – Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

  1. I read Proulx’s collection long before the movie came out. All the way through, I was half-repelled, because the life she was describing was pretty grim. Then I hit “Brokeback Mountain,” which was the last story in the book. The impact was magnified by being so steeped in the culture these two boys/men were part of. You really understood why they couldn’t just move to San Francisco and live happily ever after. The homophobia was so internalized. I still remember details and scenes from the short story, which is highly unusual for me. When the movie came out, it took me awhile to realize it was based on the story I’d read years before (I’d forgotten the title). I remember when I saw it, I cried about it for a few days; also really unusual for me. I hadn’t been married long, and I kept thinking about what it would be like to meet the one I love and not even be able to admit to myself how I really felt. So heartbreaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for leaving such a wonderful comment.

      I completely agree with you. Brokeback Mountain is definitely the standout story in the collection. It’s such a wonderful piece of writing and it’s so complex that I felt like the film didn’t do it justice. Proulx packs so much emotion into a tiny amount of writing and the sadness is completely overwhelming.


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