That Old Ace in the Hole

By Annie Proulx
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9780684813073, 384pp.)

Publication Date: December 10, 2002

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Audio Cassette

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Description
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 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. These are tough men and women who survived tornadoes and dust storms, and witnessed firsthand 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 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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