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Download That Old Ace in the Hole Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample That Old Ace in the Hole, by Annie Proulx Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,500 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Annie Proulx Narrator: Arliss Howard Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 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 witnessed first hand tornadoes, dust storms, and the demise of the great cattle ranches. Now it’s feed lots, hog farms, and ever-expanding dry lands.

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[In] That Old Ace in the Hole, Proulx’s hardscrabble wit and wisdom are heightened by the force of her language— her bone-deep feel for its curves and crevices.” 

    Boston Globe

  • “Proulx’s own ace in the hole is her brilliance at evoking place and landscape. She sets about drawing the vast distances and parched flatlands of Texas with almost immeasurable skill.” 

    Guardian  (London)

  • “The travels and travails of Bob Dollar, and his habit of asking garrlous locals to tell stories about the old days, allow [Prouxl] 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.” 

    Telegraph magazine

  • “Proulx is our laureate of landscape, the expansive descriptions of natural phenomena worthy of Barry Lopez or Edward Hoagland. [Her] fiction has become even richer book by book. With this funny and haunting panorama…she has managed to outdo her previous outdoing.” 

    New York Observer

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Don | 2/17/2014

    " This book is lighter than most of what I've read of Ms. Proulx, but she turns about to be fairly adept at McMurtry-esque Texas humor. She does cover some serious themes, but she does so by letting us watch her mold the main character from a tub of moral goo into a right decent person. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Carol Lloyd | 2/12/2014

    " This didn't have a typical plot. Rather, it's about a young guy who meets lots of interesting people as he is trying to fulfill his job obligations. I liked "listening in" to their conversations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jane | 2/12/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed both "the Shipping News" and "Accordion Crimes" so I thought I'd try this one. I gave up on it twice before but finally stuck it out this time. It's not so compelling a read as the others - it tracks a man scouting sites in the panhandle for monster hog farms who meets with lots of local opposition - but it has at least convinced me to make sure I always get my meat from the local farmer's market, particularly pork products. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kristina Hauptfuehrer | 2/12/2014

    " Set in present-day rural Texas, this has plenty of local detail and rich characters. Good for when you want to experience a different place and way of life. "

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