That Old Ace in the Hole
by Annie Proulx

I think that this is a truly terrible book. Here’s why.

A year or so ago I interviewed a woman for an article in the Santa Cruz Symphony HighNotes newsletter that would talk about her long relationship with the orchestra, and the one hour meeting lasted three and one half hours followed by a photo session that went on for another 3 hours and during those times she told the story of her life how she was born and raised in the outskirts of Watsonville on a ranch, well actually the ranch was in Monterey, and had been acquired by her grandfather’s great uncle after the Civil War when he played poker in a tavern somewhere around what is now called Carmel, but anyway he lost some money at first, but then went back gain a year later with the stake he had made herding sheep in the foothills around San Luis Obispo and was dealt a hand with a zero percent chance of existing in a poker game, and he bet his whole stake, and won a 17 thousand acre ranch that actually included another 5 thousand acres on the other side of the Carmel river where he could raise hogs if he’d wanted to but he didn’t like that so he planted an orange grove which failed, so he changed it to apples and when that also failed he gave up entirely and made it into a golf course, but nobody came to play because it was too far away and there wasn’t a clubhouse, so he built a club house, but it was still too far away and it was failing until he opened a bar but it still didn’t make money so he went to West Texas and hired some of the loose women there and put them to work in the rooms on the second floor of the clubhouse, but nobody ever played golf there, so he planted strawberries, and that seemed to work while on the other 17 thousand acres he . . . etc.

It took me the better part of a day to unscramble her story and write a 500-word article for the newsletter.

The writing style and content of Proulx’s That Old Ace in the Hole reminded me of that interview and when the Kindle progress meter ticked over 30%, I gave up on the book. I tried again until the meter hit 35%, but closed it again because it wasn’t just boring, it was stupid and didn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Did I really spend $13.99 for this? Jeezuz.

PS – I’ve made enough bad recommendations to the club that I have to forgive whoever recommended this book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.