That Old Ace in the Hole (Google eBook)

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Simon and Schuster, Dec 1, 2007 - Fiction - 384 pages
18 Reviews
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 tryingto 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 panahandles 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 first hand 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 fifty dollars a month, helps out at Cy Frease's Old Dog Café, targets Ace and Tater Crouch's ranch for Global Pork, and learns the hard way how vigorously the old owners will hold on to their land, even though their children want no part of it.
Robust, often bawdy, strikingly original and intimate, The Old Ace in the Hole tracks the vast waves of change that have shaped the American landscape and the character over the past century. In Bob Dollar, Proulx has created one of the most irresistible characters in contemporary fiction.
  

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We benefit painlessly from Proulx's thorough research. - Goodreads
It even has a feel-good, plausible ending. - Goodreads
Annie Proulx is a generous writer. - Goodreads
Annie Proulx is a poetic writer. - Goodreads
Annie Proulx is a patient writer. - Goodreads

Review: That Old Ace In The Hole

User Review  - Sarah Goodwin - Goodreads

Comparisons with The Shipping News are inevitable, as it is the only other Proulx novel that I've read. I also really enjoyed it, especially the use of language and the community that she brought to ... Read full review

Review: That Old Ace In The Hole

User Review  - Courtney H. - Goodreads

This was a disappointing and slow-going read for me. I usually love Proulx, but this just didn't grab me. I began to like it more when I began to read it more as an ethnographic study of a town in the ... Read full review

Contents

Global Pork Rind
1
Art Plastic
13
On the Road Again
23
The Evil Fat Boy
31
No Room in Cowboy Rose
43
Sheriff Hugh Dough
49
The Rural Compendium
61
Pioneer Fronk
73
The Sheriffs Office
203
Everythings O K So Far
209
Triple Cross
223
Ribeye Writes
237
Rich Orlando
243
Violets Night on the Town
253
Top Sales
261
Brother Mesquite
273

The Busted Star
85
Old Dog
105
Tater Crouch
119
Rope Butt
137
Habakuks Luck
151
The Young Couple
161
Abel and Cain
171
Curiosity Killed the Cat
189
The Devils Hatband
191
Just a Few Questions
197
Trip to Denver
281
Used but Not Abused
295
Ribeye Clukes Office
299
Quick Change
305
Mrs Betty Doak
319
Ace in the Hole
327
Failure
337
Barbwire
343
Copyright

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Page 5 - ... faded out of sight. There appeared, far ahead, on the other side of the road, a wambling black dot that resolved into a bicyclist. A trick of the heated air magnified the bicycle, which appeared thirty feet high and shivered as though constructed of aspic. He passed another hawk on a telephone pole. The great prairie dog cities of the short-grass plains which once covered hundreds of square miles were gone, but some old-fashioned redtails continued to hunt as their ancestors, in flat-shouldered...
Page 4 - And he passed scores of anonymous, low, grey buildings with enormous fans at their ends set back from the road and surrounded by chain-link fence. From the air these guarded hog farms resembled strange grand pianos with six or ten white keys, the trapezoid shape of the body the effluent lagoon in the rear.

About the author (2007)

Annie Proulx is the author of eight books, including the novel The Shipping News and the story collection Close Range. Her many honors include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and a PEN/Faulkner award. Her story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Her most recent book is Fine Just the Way It Is. She lives in Wyoming.

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