Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2

Bad DirtBad Dirt by Annie Proulx

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bad Dirt is the second volume of Wyoming Stories, and for me it did not reach the same heights. In Bad Dirt there are more departures from realism and more use of the folksy yarn, less of the sharp love for the land, less capturing of character. Three stories stand out for me, each focusing on a different demographic. ‘What kind of furniture would Jesus pick?’ tells of a rancher gradually ground down and reduced to disarray, along with the whole state of Wyoming. ‘Man crawling out of trees’ describes the experience of a middle class couple from the East, and their growing unhappiness, set against the sometimes fairylike beauty of their surroundings. The ‘Wamsutter wolf’ deals with trailer trash.

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