That Old Ace in the Hole

Annie Proulx

‘An absolute corker of a novel which manages the dual feat of being a serious satire on the evils of global capitalism, and a personal comedy of Dickensian dimensions.’ A N Wilson, Daily Telegraph Some folks in the Texas panhandle do not like hog farms. But Bob Dollar, the newly-hired hog site scout for Global Pork Rind, intends to do his job. Bob must contend with tough men and women like ancient Freda Beautyrooms who controls a ranch he covets, and Ace Crouch, the windmiller who defies the hog farms. As Bob settles in at La Von Fronk’s bunkhouse and lends a hand at Cy Frease’s Old Dog Café, he is forced to question everything. ‘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.’ Alex Clark, Guardian ‘Amusing, intriguing and disturbing.’ Mark Sanderson, Independent on Sunday ‘A kind-hearted and intelligent novel.’ Daily Telegraph ‘Proulx has a first class eye and ear.’ Adam Mars-Jones, Observer ‘Brilliantly written.’ Peter Kemp, Sunday Times ‘Funny and heartfelt.’ Scotsman

Reviews of That Old Ace in the Hole

  • ‘Sometimes the laughs are prompted by joyously well-jointed plot devices, or by Proulx’s small, absurd observations. As often as not, the humour comes from the unmistakable edginess and quirkiness of Proulx’s prose. It is hard to think of any living writer who deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Dickens, with the exception of Proulx.’ A N Wilson, New Statesman

    ‘The travels and travails of Bob Dollar, and his habit of asking garrlous locals to tell stories about the old days, allow her 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.’ Richard Grant, Telegraph Magazine