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Download That Old Ace in the Hole Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample That Old Ace in the Hole Audiobook, 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 (2,505 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Annie Proulx Narrator: Tom Stechschulte Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781442342613
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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 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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A good story steeped in atmosphere.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Proulx succeeds admirably.” 

    Amazon.com, editorial review

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elana | 2/19/2014

    " What a pleasure this book, about life in the Texas panhandle, was to read. It's a keeper. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 lisa jahnel | 2/15/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book, even though there were some flaws in the conclusion of the story. I think the main reason I loved this story is set in the area where I grew up and many of the descriptions of the area are quite accurate. Though I disagree with how some of the characters were depicted, she did an accurate job of showing an area struggling to keep corporate farming out and save their small farms and their water source. One thing I enjoyed was the story of the dysfunctional family of Francis Scott Keister...mainly because it so mirrors a family in my home town that you know it was based on them. Her portrayal of Global Pork Rind also fits how many view corporate farming and what they are doing to small farms. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is a great portrayal of tough issues in my home region such as water rights, mineral right and the oglalla aquifer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marla Glenn | 2/12/2014

    " I really enjoyed the characters in this book. There were several laugh-out-loud moments. Funny book, like a spoof of a western. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alexis | 2/9/2014

    " Boring! And I love the Texas Panhandle! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lela | 2/9/2014

    " Being from N. Texas, I could totally see the landscape, mannerisms and hear the accent in Annie's writing. I caught myself laughing out loud several times. Especially when I learned that what my great-aunts had been doing for decades was called "Crop Art". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frances | 2/5/2014

    " A story of the Texas Panhandle. Global Pork Rind is the villain in attempting to buy up ranches for hog farming. Evocative to hear it read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki | 1/25/2014

    " I have a British copy of this book in paperback, and the blurb on the front reads "'An absolute corker of a novel' -- The Daily Telegraph". I have no idea what the eff that's supposed to mean, but I had limited access to books in English when I got hold of it, and wasn't sure what to expect at all, but I have to say, I really enjoyed myself. This book creates such a complete and funny world, all in a fictional town in the Texas panhandle. There's an uncle obsessed with Bakelite jewelry, bitter locals, sweet locals, a rodeo riding monk, and a searching and likeable young man as the main character. It's a delight. Probably a book about manners as much as it is anything else. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eli Brown | 1/23/2014

    " Alas, nothing compared with Shipping News. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 William | 1/18/2014

    " Characters of the Texas panhandle, commercial hog farms, and windmills, surveyed by a bland and aimless character. Annie has written better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zavi | 1/9/2014

    " Amazing read- Proulx's creativity in naming her characters stood out to me. Maybe too many of them though as they became difficult to remember. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison | 1/8/2014

    " Loved this. Such beautiful writing! Gives a great feel for this part of the US. Wonderful characters "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Todd | 12/25/2013

    " My fave female writer. This book makes you question eating meat, taking advantage of your neighbors, and a whole slew of other things, without really trying. Awesome characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marlowe | 12/14/2013

    " Very descriptive writing, but the plot just never caught my interest. I really struggled to finish this one. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Linda | 12/11/2013

    " Actually, I didn't finish the book which seemed to be a series of vignettes which were difficult to link to the main story. Too bad, since I really liked "The Shipping News." Maybe I was just too busy to give it time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth Oliver | 12/11/2013

    " It took a while to get into this book - but about 1/4 of the way in, the storytelling kicked in for me. It rolled into a sweet spot, and I couldn't put it down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tracey | 7/28/2013

    " Somewhat amusing. I did laugh out loud a few times but mostly uninteresting for me. I did like the main character a bit and the supporting characters were...characters! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 5/1/2013

    " Well-written, good character portrayals and subtle humour, but truth to tell, I found it a little dull- certainly not as good as "the Shipping News". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 5/23/2012

    " A story of old versus new in Texas panhandle country with Proulx's usual stunning characters and perceptions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bettina | 5/3/2012

    " what a great way to go on a historic road trip without leaving your hammock. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristi | 3/1/2012

    " She's such a great writer but I just wasn't into the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 annelies | 2/16/2012

    " Very different, and very worth reading. Totally unexpected for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly Lynn Thomas | 12/14/2011

    " Read for my ecofeminist lit class. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shari | 7/10/2011

    " Bob Dollar works for the Global Pork Rind company and set out for the Texas Panhandle to scout sites for stinky hog farms. There he settles in Woolybucket and becomes caught up in the town and its colorful history, inhabitants and future. The characters are great and you get swept in to the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J B Mills | 7/6/2011

    " Kinda slow in the middle, but worth it. Great character development. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessie | 6/27/2011

    " Liking her writing more and more "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fran | 6/5/2011

    " This was a good read. The characters were interesting, but some not developed very much. I liked the environmental messages. The book discussed industrial hog farms, and prairie restoration. These topics are very close to my life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Su | 6/2/2011

    " I sat down to read this book expecting a joyous experience, but instead I found myself laboriously reading page after page after page that literally wore me out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard | 4/17/2011

    " It was mildly enjoyable. I did like learning about the Texas panhandle region and I did enjoy learning about the various characters and their quirky personality traits. I did not find the main character, Bob Dollar, very compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela | 3/29/2011

    " I couldn't put it down....perfect cliff hanger at the end to lead a reader to believe a sequel is possible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 3/24/2011

    " I especially liked all the Denver references but I have to say all of Annie Proulx's male protagonist are always so wishy washy. What's the deal? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cath | 3/21/2011

    " Same problem as with Shipping News - a saggy middle section. Proulx's real strength is the short story, where the demands of pacing aren't so heavy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natasha | 1/30/2011

    " If you find yourself stuck in Northern Texas, this would be a great book to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 1/12/2011

    " Took me a minute to get into this one, but the main character, Bob Dollar, is quite endearing in his own understated way. Many fascinating characters and glimpse into Texas culture (in a good way, ha)... "

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About the Author

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 short story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in the New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award–winning film starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Proulx currently lives in Wyoming.

About the Narrator

Tom Stechschulte has narrated well over a hundred audiobooks and has won fifteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. He won the prestigious Audie Award in 2009 and has been a finalist for the Audie in 2005 and 2011. As an actor, he has been seen in eleven Broadway shows as well as numerous television and film shows, including the remake of The Manchurian Candidate.