Close Range is Annie Proulx's anthology of 11 ranch/cowboy themed short stories, including Brokeback Mountain.
I have to say, that there were a lot of good stories in here, not just the last one. I was suprised by the book in a few ways, not least being that I enjoyed every one of them, more than I thought I would. But I was mostly suprised by the dirty gritty realness of the scenes and the writing. I suppose I was expecting a sort of idyllic happy set of cowboy stories (I'm not sure why), but this is totally not it. Don't think even one of them has a happy ending.
The last thing that suprised me was that, all of the of the stories seem to be written in a slightly different way, a different perspective, a twist of stories within stories, or read by a different internal voice; each has something different and special that made me keep checking the front cover to make sure they really were all the same author.
So I'm still not truly a short-story fanatic, and these were not the kind of thing that I would usually choose to read, and I'm still not really excited about cowboys.. and yet I really thought the book was good, really good. So that must say something for Annie Proulx's writing skill.
And what did I think of Brokeback Mountain
in particular? Well I thought it was hands down the best of the bunch, without a doubt. It's like the others, gritty dirty realism, and it's not like I'd usually call a romance, There isn't a lot of space for romance, but there's something there between the lines, that isn't always explicity written, some kind of writer's magic trick. And it did make me cry. I'm certainly going to watch the movie now to see how well they did with it.
So, to sum it up. Not what I'd usually read at all. But the writing was brilliant, and I would reccommend it.