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That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx
Annie Proulx (who won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for The Shipping News) delivers her new novel, That Old Ace in the Hole, set in the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. Bob Dollar is a naive, young man sent there by the Global Pork Rind company to purchase large tracts of land for them to be used as hog farms. What he finds there are the eccentric inhabitants who have weathered tornadoes, dust storms, and the collapse of the cattle industry, but who refuse to give up their land even though their children don't want it. Bob Dollar finds himself thrust into the battle between the soulless agribusinesses who will use any means to get what they want, and the hardworking people who always seem to get trampled by them. Most reviewers have some minor quibbles with That Old Ace in the Hole, but Annie Proulx's nuanced prose, endearing characters, and evocation of a time and place the rest of the world has forgotten have garnered many good recommendations for this book.