Monday, 12 September 2011

Fine Just The Way It Is

 Short story collection by Annie Proulx

Due to university studies, it seems I haven't posted in over a month! Thanks university! Although I have been watching some fascinating films in film studies and talking about cyborgs, so I suppose I can forgive it.

I have been reading Fine Just The Way It Is by Annie Proulx, and I have to tell you, that book is harrowing! It is definitely not a book to read if you aren't feeling happy. After reading most of the short stories in the collection, I have been feeling pretty beaten up, it's like the emotional equivalent of going a round with Muhammad Ali.

First of all, let me say that Annie Proulx is a brilliant writer, and I love her! I don't think her stories could strike at the heart so much if she wasn't so brilliant. I really cherish her love of her land, and I really identify with the passion with which she writes about it's rugged, deadly beauty. Nature is a huge inspiration to me, too. She also has a way of describing characters simply, but really letting us get to know them through their actions and thoughts, so that we care about them.

And then... SPOILER ALERT....

… she kills or hurts them terribly. In all of the stories I have read so far, at least one character dies. I understand that America is a wild place, and that awful freak accidents happen, but it is just too much, one story after another, one death after another.

Actually, in the last story I read, the character didn't die at the end, but she was waiting to die, trapped and dying of hunger and thirst, which is probably worse.

Anyway, if you are a fan of great writing about the way humans and the land interact, and the harshness and danger of nature, definitely give this a go, as long as you can handle the emotional impact. Let me reiterate, it's pretty harrowing. The deaths aren't like one of those silly crime shows where you never really know the person, and it's all about the glitz and glamour of crime investigation life, it's about hard, inescapable reality. This is definitetly a book for adults.

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