That Old Ace In the Hole by Annie Proulx – A Book Review

Proulx has once again given us a captivating story about the most mundane and unexceptional set of circumstances imaginable. 

In this story we have Bob Dollar, a young man who has lived much of his life without purpose, suddenly hired by Global Pork Rind to scout out possible hog farm locations in the Texas Panhandle.  Though he doesn’t care one iota about the hog farming industry and he personally thinks that hog farms ruin the quality of life wherever they spring up, he is determined to complete his job because so many people in his past have left things unfinished.  Little did he know that in investigating the lands and people he hopes will sell out, he would build relationships with both not easily set aside.

Though Proulx gives us a story devoid of any major action or catastrophe, she nails every aspect of what it means to be a human with inexplicable emotions and passions, and I can only imagine that if I were to visit the Texas Panhandle, the people from this novel would likely be who I would meet.

Her usual aptitude for ingenuous dialogue, wit, and charm exude from the pages of this work.  Her characters, as easy to imagine as your next-door neighbor, grow on you despite all their quirks and shortcomings (perhaps also like your next-door neighbor).  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and suspect that you will as well.

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