That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx
A Novel

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Annie Proulx

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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.
 
Published December 1, 2007 by Scribner. 385 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for That Old Ace in the Hole

Kirkus Reviews

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But Bob, a Denver boy, has never been to Texas before, and he doesn’t know the first thing about the ways of folks on the panhandle—where millionaires are likely to live in trailers and building steam locomotives in your garage might count as a normal hobby.

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Publishers Weekly

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Proulx's people are the hardworking poor who live in bleak, derelict, noisome corners of America where they endure substandard housing, eat bad food and know everybody else's business, goin

Oct 14 2002 | Read Full Review of That Old Ace in the Hole : A ...

The Guardian

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That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx Fourth Estate £17.99, pp363 At one point in That Old Ace in the Hole, a truck arrives to deliver equipment to a café soon to open up.

Jan 05 2003 | Read Full Review of That Old Ace in the Hole : A ...

The Guardian

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That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx 361pp, Fourth Estate, £16.99 The latest instalment in Annie Proulx's mission to colonise the forgotten outposts of rural America takes us to the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, those awkward struts of land "stacked like dirty pots in the sink, their handl...

Dec 28 2002 | Read Full Review of That Old Ace in the Hole : A ...

BC Books

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That's Pork with a capital P and that rhymes with T and that stands for Tool of an industrial hog farming company that confines suffering animals, poisons the water supply and fouls the air, while any hopes that the local economy will be helped are shattered as the few minimum-wage jobs are overs...

Dec 29 2005 | Read Full Review of That Old Ace in the Hole : A ...

Book Reporter

Readers slogging through hot, languid Texas days with Bob Dollar are likely to long for a bracing gust of Newfoundland cold.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of That Old Ace in the Hole : A ...

Entertainment Weekly

From Annie Proulx, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ''The Shipping News,'' comes That Old Ace In the Hole, a love letter to the Texas panhandle.

Dec 25 2002 | Read Full Review of That Old Ace in the Hole : A ...

London Review of Books

Although Uncle Tam has always maintained that this ‘wasn’t abandonment’, Bob’s parents have failed to contact him since, and he has grown up certain of little other than that ‘he wasn’t important enough to bring along.’ If you are using the site for the first time please register here If you...

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The Sunday Times

Close Range (1999), her superb second book of stories, journeyed round the awesome landscape — jagged mountains, eroded cliffs, arid plains seared by scorching droughts and howling blizzards — of the state where she now lives, Wyoming.Her latest novel, ThatTo see the full article you need to subs...

Dec 29 2002 | Read Full Review of That Old Ace in the Hole : A ...

Reader Rating for That Old Ace in the Hole
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