That Old Ace in the Hole
A brilliant novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning Annie Proulx, author of 'The Shipping News' and 'Brokeback Mountain'. 'That Old Ace in the Hole' is a richly textured story of one man's struggle to make good in the inhospitable ranch country of the Texas panhandle, told with razor-sharp wit and a masterly sense of place. Some folks in the Texas panhandle do not like hog farms. But Bob Dollar, the newly hired hog site scout for Global Pork Rind, intends to do his job. Bob must contend with tough men and women like ancient Freda Beautyrooms, who controls a ranch he covets, and Ace Crouch, the windmiller who defies the hog farms. As Bob settles in at La Von Fronk's bunkhouse and lends a hand at Cy Frease's Old Dog Cafe, he is forced to question everything.
Annie Proulx is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Shipping News".
'Sometimes the laughs are prompted by joyously well-jointed plot devices, or by Proulx's small, absurd observations. As often as not, the humour comes from the unmistakable edginess and quirkiness of Proulx's prose. It is hard to think of any living writer who deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Dickens, with the exception of Proulx.' A N Wilson, New Statesman'The travels and travails of Bob Dollar, and his habit of asking garrlous locals to tell stories about the old days, allow her to build up a rich and many-layered portrait of the region. The reader gets to pluck the fruits of all that research and through the magic of her prose become engrossed in subjects like windmill repairs and the history of barbed wire.' Richard Grant, Telegraph Magazine'There's any amount of Texas panhandle lore between these covers, lovingly passed on. It's fascinating stuff...Proulx has a first class eye and ear.' Adam Mars-Jones, Observer'That Old Ace in the Hole opens up a wealth of material on the Panhandles and America at large, some of it distasteful. But its spirit is questioning, cherishing of individuality and egalitarian. Proulx is a novelist of serious ideas, but she does not allow her ideas to impose on her subject matter; and she never forgets that those who visit her novels come above all for their stories.' Ruth Scurr, TLS'Proulx is a great American writer, none better.' Elaine Showalter, Literary Review'A great portrait of a rich, raw place that Proulx brings to vivid life. She finds the wonder in the minutae of the Panhandle existence and transforms the dust bowl into a mesmerising spectacle. Saddle up. You're going to enjoy the ride.' Big Issue 'A host of eccentric and engaging characters. Proulx's profile has never been higher. ' Bookseller'This eagerly awaited sucessor [to The Shipping News] has the same richly textured quality as all the author's finest work. The beleagured Bob is one of the author's finest creations, and the use of idiomatic dialogue here is perfectly judged.' Publishing News
Annie Proulx published her first novel 'Postcards' in 1991 at the age of 56. 'The Shipping News' won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award and the Irish Times International Prize. Her third novel, 'Accordion Crimes', was published in 1996. She is also the author of three short-story collections, 'Heart Songs' (1994), 'Close Range' (1999) and 'Bad Dirt' (2004). 'Brokeback Mountain' was made into an Oscar-winning film in 2005. 'Fine Just the Way It Is', her third collection of Wyoming short stories, is published in 2008.