That Old Ace in the Hole

That Old Ace in the Hole In That Old Ace in the Hole Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Annie Proulx has written an exhilarating story brimming with language history landscape music and love The novel Proulx

  • Title: That Old Ace in the Hole
  • Author: Annie Proulx
  • ISBN: 9780743241472
  • Page: 324
  • Format: Paperback
  • In That Old Ace in the Hole, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Annie Proulx has written an exhilarating story brimming with language, history, landscape, music, and love The novel, Proulx s fourth, 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, and he takes a job with GlobaIn That Old Ace in the Hole, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Annie Proulx has written an exhilarating story brimming with language, history, landscape, music, and love The novel, Proulx s fourth, 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, and 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.Dollar settles into LaVon Fronk s old bunkhouse for fifty dollars 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 on to 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 and in Bob Dollar, Proulx has created one of the most irresistible characters in contemporary fiction.

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      Published :2018-09-06T12:07:29+00:00

    1 thought on “That Old Ace in the Hole”

    1. Based on having read this book and The Shipping News, it is clear to me that Annie Proulx is an author as concerned with place as with plot. Both books are as much, or perhaps even more, about the settings in which they take place, as the characters who inhabit them. Proulx has a fondness for remote areas - rough, bleak and harsh and it perhaps the special bonds of community that form in such places that draws her interest so. That Old Ace in the Hole takes place in the Texas panhandle and for a [...]

    2. Before reading That Old Ace in the Hole, one should read the first sentence. “In late March Bob Dollar, a young, curly-headed man of twenty-five with the broad face of a cat, pale innocent eyes fringed with sooty lashes, drove east along Texas State Highway 15 in the panhandle, down from Denver the day before, over the Raton Pass and through the dead volcano country of northeast New Mexico to the Oklahoma pistol barrel, then a wrong turn north and wasted hours before he regained the way,” it [...]

    3. I am not a stranger to Annie Proulx’s fiction; back in 1996 I read The Shipping News, her 1993 novel that won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1994 (back when she was E. Annie Proulx). Deep into this book, I had the feeling that in some ways the plot of this book was in many ways the same as that of The Shipping News, , which is not a bad thing at all, except this book is set in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle country instead of in Newfoundland. And this is a book that I very much enjoyed re [...]

    4. I am new to '' but thought that I would contribute by adding the books that I have read over the past year. It's a bit difficult to write a review months later. I remember enough about all of these books. They were 'good reads' or 'worthwhile reads' in my humble opinion. I am attempting to discuss what stood out for me.As a school teacher, I came across a wonderful donation option. A book for a dollar - any book, so I filled up a box for my students. For some odd reason, I held onto 'That Old Ac [...]

    5. At first, this book feels so slight and inconsequential, the language aloof and noncommittal about its own plot and setting and characters, that it's physically hard to keep reading. You pick it up, a few hundred well-crafted words about places and people wash over you, not unpleasantly, and then you put it down and forget about it immediately. The characters have bizarre, colorful names (one of my least favorite elements of this novel; the name choices are over the top to the point of distracti [...]

    6. I resent myself a little for not liking Annie Proulx more than I do. I WANT to like her. I read the descriptions of her books and I want to read them. I buy her books. I start reading. And that's it.I just can't get into them.Her use of language is brilliant, her ideas interest me - and yet, I'm unable to relate emotionally to anything she writes. This is the third of her books that felt like that to me. I found myself enjoying her short stories quite a lot, but her novels just can't hold my int [...]

    7. There's plenty that's low-down & dirty here, but the sheer lack of misanthropy surprised me. Is Proulx getting soft? I LIKE it. There's some clunky backstory & stilted exposition, esp at the beginning, but I never much cared because it all engaged me.I picked up this book just after flying over some unusual buildings in the middle of nowhere & found her descriptions of industrial hog farms matched what I'd seen exactly. A nice young man gets hired to scout for hog farms in the Oklaho [...]

    8. I can just picture Annie Proulx writing this stuff in her place in Wyoming, and sort of smiling to herself, thinking "wait 'til they get a load of this one" Her characters and the towns in the Texas panhandle where this novel is set have the most bizarre/weird/interesting names. The main character, Bob Dollar probably has the most "normal " name of anyone. He is trying to find property to buy for a hog farm. People don't want hog farms near them, or at least they do not want to be downwind of on [...]

    9. Annie Proulx is a patient writer. the plot set up may be Bob Dollar's quest to seek out suitable land for a huge hog-raising corporation but once this purpose is established, we are well into the novel before Proulx settles down to fulfill this quest. the two-thirds of the book have little to do with the job Bob has been hired to do. she's not in a rush, but takes her time, asking us to savour this literary visit to the Texan town of Woolybucket.Annie Proulx is a generous writer. every character [...]

    10. I would be in heaven if every book was at least as good as this one. This story of a young man with no direction who takes the odious job of seeking out properties to buy for an international pig farm corporation is so full of compelling characters that you wish some of them could have been borrowed by less interesting books to perk them up. This book is rich in its sense of place despite the fact that the place is as flat, colorless and seemingly uninteresting as the Texas/Oklahoma panhandles. [...]

    11. Even when I don't love the story she is telling, Proulx's writing is so familiar and true that I love to read it. It nver fails that I will read a phrase, pause, read it over and over and be amazed that she has stumbled on a such a simply worded truth. Proulx is a writer I will always read. No matter what the story, her words are compelling.

    12. Rich and detailed, beautifully peopled with fantastic characters. I preferred The Shipping News, but this is a great read. Proulx is a master.

    13. “You know how far Texas stretches here… ain’t nothing but yonder.”I loved this rambling book of panhandle history and panhandle characters.Although the tale is set in Woolybucket in the Texas panhandle, some of this saga meanders into the Oklahoma panhandle. I am sure that Texans (and some Okies) would disagree, but both geographic areas look alike to me.My mother grew up in the Oklahoma panhandle (well, almost—it was the county due east of the actual handle–Harper County, to be exac [...]

    14. I want to move to Woolybucket and have Brother Mesquite teach me how to ride. Woolybucket doesn't really exist in the Texas panhandle. But in the book, a woman living there 16 years is still considered a new-comer. Residents know each other's business and tragediest like here in Brooklyn where I don't know the names of my neighbors after living here 10 years.I keep wondering what Cy might be serving today at the Old Dog. Something with pineapple? Twice baked potatoes? Onion pie? "Plenty a onion [...]

    15. 4.5/5 starsDisclaimer: I listened to this with an audiobook, so my spellings of some names may be incorrect (I do not feel like looking them up). As a Texas panhandle girl, I was - tentatively - recommended this book by my high school English teacher. Proulx's "The Shipping News" was (and is) my favorite book, and after being stricken by the deep intensity with which she delved into little-explored Newfoundland in "News," I was eagerly curious about her take on the idiosyncratic Texas panhandle. [...]

    16. I didn't know much about this author or this book going in. I certainly wasn't grabbed by the title. But when I saw in the blurb that That Old Ace in the Hole was about hog farms, I thought it was going to do damage to the pork industryd that did get my attention. The clincher was that Annie Peroulx won the Pulitzer once, and so I bought the Audible edition.I was wrong in one way. This book is not about hog farms. I doubt its publication back in 2002 did any damage. But Peroulx writes like I wou [...]

    17. Well, I finished it! Mostly out of respect for the person who sent it to me, who usually recommends good books. So some people like this book, maybe it was just poor timing for me Anyway, it is about the Texas/Oklahoma panhandle country. I think I would have preferred to read non-fiction about the panhandle. The characters were characatures, treated with a kind of distain. Even the main character was 2-dimensional, there was not much empathy for any of the characters. The plot was weak, although [...]

    18. I didn't expect to like this, but I quickly fell in love with the characters and the story. The book had the feel of an oral history, everyone having a different take on events, contradicting one another. I thought the book was going to end of a cheesy yay Old Town America kick, but I don't think it did. It can be interpreted that way, and was, but I think there was a definite feel of idealism and whether that is good or not, do you believe in something and have hope, or do you lose all hope and [...]

    19. I've read most of her books and I liked this better than The Shipping News, which is a favorite re-read and says a lot. Her writing, research and historical skills are at their peak, and the subject matters are vastly interesting to me. The random threads she weaves into the story (mid-century modern design, 1970's phone phreaking, etc.) are so detailed and factually accurate it's almost painful (in a good way.) Few other authors compare.Addendum: Proulx's writing is not for everyone and I don't [...]

    20. Reading Proulx's books is like watching a Cohen brothers movie, which is to say utterly unique. As another reviewer commented, the setting of the story is as important and vivid as the characters. The characters themselves are strange yet familiar, larger than life yet homey. As in "The Shipping News", we are treated to numerous vignettes from the past which gradually intertwine with present events in a disarming way. It's fine writing. The Cohen-esque quirkiness may be offputting at first, but [...]

    21. Read before 2005 and sometime after it came out in paperback.Harder to penetrate than her perfect The Shipping News and requires persistence, but worthwhile, and there are some unforgettable aspects.

    22. Annie Proulx's writing is always beautiful, but her stories are often bleak. Ace in the Hole is anything but bleak. Fascinating, quirky characters rip through the rollicking history of the rural Texas and Oklahoma panhandle country. Laugh out loud funny at times, this story wrestles with bleak issues, but the characters rise above them. My favorite from Annie Proulx so far.

    23. Check out the audio version. A great road-trip book from which, years later, both my husband and I still quote.

    24. beautifully written, witty, and charming— an engaging story. you absolutely will fall in love with the characters and the panhandle.

    25. I may bump this up to five stars once I see how well it sticks with me a couple weeks from now. Annie Proulx is just . . . a master. How did I just read a book about all the things I find least interesting in the world—cowboys, Texas in general, the panhandle specifically, tiny old-fashioned towns and the generally prejudiced people who live in them—and love every page of it? I have driven through those places, and it was not enjoyable. But reading about them, the way she writes about them, [...]

    26. Proulx, Annie. THAT OLD ACE IN THE HOLE. (2002). ***. A young man, Bob Dollar, is just out from college, but still doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life – other than the fact that he doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps and work as a watchmaker. After taking a series of dull jobs, Bob decides that he wants a job with opportunities; one that will give him a chance to grab the brass ring, even if it starts him out at some lowly position. With risk-taking now as an opti [...]

    27. 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 life, and perhaps this is why I was slighly underwhelmed by this novel.That Old Ace in the Hole starts off with an engaging premise and character, but for me the first half of the novel lacked landmarks and focus. I had trouble telling the characters apart, and the dips back and forward in time were [...]

    28. "That Old Ace in the Hole" centers mostly around the character of Bob Dollar, a young site scout who moves to the Texas panhandle in search of places to build hog farms. Even more than that, it centers around the fictional town of Woolybucket.Bob is not very passionate about his job. He's much more interested in learning about Woolybucket's history and hearing stories from the townspeople than he is trying to seal deals for the hog farm company. The descriptions of Woolybucket are so vibrant and [...]

    29. 4.5 starsI am sorely tempted to give this five stars as it was such a joy to read but sometimes the details of life in panhandle got me bogged down. The writing is the type you want to wallow in and her characterisation is superb. Yes, there are some ludicrous names but with so many of the characters the names are often the most straightforward thing about them. The central character Bob is an all round decent guy who you root for the entire way through the book and as the book closes are still [...]

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