The real strength of the book is in the chapters where Ms Proulx observes and comments on the comings and goings of the avian population around Bird Cloud. When you read the book, you embark on a journey and get to see the ins and outs of a place the author calls home. By using tiny details, the author gets her message of hard work and dedication across. No argument there. ― Annie Proulx, Bird Cloud. Reviewed in the United States on August 16, 2017. There's a problem loading this menu right now. I didn't feel connected to the portions of the book where the author discusses construction mistakes and costly delays. Their art and talent can stay ensconced on the big screen, their real life personae can stay forever cloaked behind their Beverly Hills mansions or Aspen megalithic chalets. I wanted to read this book because I thought it might give me a sense of the land in that part of the country. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Recommended for readers of the past and present American western states, this memoir is more freewheeling than conventional biography, lengthily covering subjects she had studied and experienced during the first decade of the twenty-first century, quickly covering her ancestors, and entirely missing her fabulous literary career, though she mentions cataloguing her vast library, storing her heaps of manuscripts, and still writing (truly having the scenic solitude to do so once the worrisome attention to building was finished). On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. “Walking on the land or digging in the fine soil I am intensely aware that time quivers slightly, changes occurring in imperceptible and minute ways, accumulating so subtly that they seem not to exist. Most of this book, in which Proulx describes the construction of the house, the landscape around it, the nearby wildlife, and the extreme weather, I enjoyed a lot, but there were one or two sections that just didn’t flow like the rest. By the end, when she admits that Bird Cloud is in fact not the house of her dreams, I didn't really care. She describes things from both the perspective of a scientist and a storyteller, so when you read the book, you get an affirmation that you know what's going on; therefore, there is no area where you can have an unclear view. Not impressed. Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2011. Proulx may be a Pulitzer-prize winning fiction writer, but this autobiographical work won't win any prizes from me. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. Besides, I enjoyed it more than that. Even the chapter about the birds was less interesting than it could have been, feeling more a list of "... and then this bird did this and that bird did that..." But what made the book most disappointing for me is that Proulx tells very little about herself. The best part of the book is near the end when she describes the birds and wildlife, their comings and goings. To discover what an arrogant know-it-all she is, and to try to sympathize with her struggles in building a lavish dream home, is horribly difficult. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published Described as a memoir of place but also some biography and architecture criticism thrown in. A Memoir. May have overpaid. The larvae hatch hungry and feed on the cambium layer, a tree’s most vital part, the annual layer of cells that makes up a growth ring. The greatest problem is that Bird Cloud tells no story, or it starts a story and never weaves it into something larger. 'Bird Cloud' is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and 400 foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. Occasionally the same information is returned to from a different direction, so to speak. “Bird Cloud” is a strange, idiosyncratic and, ultimately, unsatisfying book--part memoir, part history, part natural history, and, mostly, an account of Proulx’s building an ill-advised house (Bird Cloud) in an inaccessible and inhospitable part of south-central Wyoming. I should have connected the date published (2011) with the fact that only 72 people purchased this book on Kindle. ‘Bird Cloud’ is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and 400 foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. Mixed feelings about this book, which is NOT a memoir, but a chronicle of Proulx's quest for what she hoped would be her dream home in the Wyoming backcountry, named Bird Cloud. In reviewing Annie Proulx’s BIRD CLOUD, I couldn’t decide whether to give it three stars, or four; it wasn’t a five-star read – that, I’ve reserved for BAD DIRT, her collection of fine short stories – but three stars seemed stingy and rude. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. Says Annie Proulx. Start by marking “Bird Cloud” as Want to Read: Error rating book. We’d love your help. By her own admission in Bird Cloud, Proulx is “bossy, impatient, reclusively shy, short-tempered and single-minded”. “Bird Cloud” is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and four-hundred-foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. I perhaps should be heartened that such a careful writer can be human when it comes to building a dream house. But this isn't fiction. But for Annie Proulx, the idea was irresistible — and so was the prospect of capturing the experience in Bird Cloud, a kind of memoir that shares its name with the property. Autobiographical non-fiction, describing the author's attempt to build her dream home on a Section (600+ acres) in Wyoming. ‘Bird Cloud’ is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and 400 foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. Even if I could see the view from her window, her soaking tub, or the debacle that was her floor in the kitchen, I couldn't see her. On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx and read by Joan Allen comes very close to being all things to all people. However, I couldn't help but think that it was just about someone building an extravagant house in an area where nature should be left to itself. Didn't happen. There are moments when you feel a little suspense, that something is about to happen, but the something is parochial in nature, of more interest to the writer than reader. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Admirable but not my favourite Proulx book, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 10, 2015. I really liked this book. The project was agonizing. Afterwards a writer may more easily get to the real thoughts and the creativity. “Bird Cloud” is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and four-hundred-foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. Not only was the property on the North Platte River but the river ran through it, taking an east-west turn for a few miles in its course. You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition. The second star in this rating is out of respect for Proulx. The birds provide some continuity, but no real depth. The first few are cute but, after that, it becomes all about the one showing the pictures. Heart Songs. Proulx comes across as headstrong, opinionated, privileged, a bit arrogant, and not particularly sympathetic. Then she launches into the natural settings of her swamp area home with a textbook-like analysis of the lodgepole pines. In which a wealthy woman complains about imperfections in her luxury home on the Wyoming range. Place, in literature, is often the most complex of characters, boasting variable backdrops with tones and textures of every mood imaginable—windswept cliffs, checkered floors, twisted roads and rivers, cobwebbed attics, portentous slants of light and so on down the centuries. Cold, bothersome, irritating. “Bird Cloud” is an almost-memoir, a partial memoir, a patchwork quilt of a memoir. No matter how carefully we plan to have the right stuff on site at the right time, which mostly we get right, sometimes - not - patience works better than kerfluffle. OF COURSE your stupid expensive Brazilian tile isn't going to be the reddish earth-tone that you want! Could not finish this fast enough. Proulx also saw pelicans, bald eagles, golden eagles, great blue herons, ravens, scores of bluebirds, harriers, kestrels, elk, deer and a dozen antelope. Pro. However, this autobiography is a bit too encyclopaedic for my taste, and I soon became bogged down in her ancestry and the development problems of building Bird Cloud that I put the book aside for another day, I usually really enjoy reading Annie Proulx, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2015. CLR [rating:2.5]. Besides, I enjoyed it more than that. A memoir on a grand scale, Bird Cloud not only serves as a cautionary tale for any who wish to buy and build on Wyoming ranchland, but the book is a partial history of the American West and an environmental love song for the precious flora and fauna of open lands. Sophie Elmhirst is a freelance writer and former New Statesman features editor. We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Ms Proulx is a wonderful writer but I was not as enthralled with this book as I had expected. Deathly boring. "Bird Cloud" is far and away my least favorite book of hers, and it was such an unpleasant read it has tarnished my fine memories of her other excellent works of fiction. Here the writing is compelling. $26 Few contemporary Americans have written about place with as much precision and passion as Annie Proulx. “Bird Cloud” is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and four-hundred-foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. She also uses varied sentence structure to keep the audience engaged. The problems start. Yes, much of this book is a chronology of finding and buying the land, then planning and building the house. On the whole, Bird Cloud isn't smooth, it isn't informative, it isn't engaging, but there are parts which catch the attention. By using tiny details, the author gets her message of hard work and dedication across. One of my favorite writers. Perhaps in the current economy the whinning seems distasteful or selfish. She prides herself on the research she completes for her books, but this one needed about a quarter as many facts and historical accounts, and ten times as much heart. Call your architect in the middle of the night and complain! For a woman so in love with the outdoors and Wyoming wildlife, the fact that her house eventually proved unsuitable for year-round residency suggests Proulx's wisdom about nature — and her place in it — is not as profound as she would have us believe. But to be honest, I was bored on occasion with the discussion of history and archaeology of the region, preferring Proulx’s description of landscape and antics of the birds (she’s an amateur naturalist and an avid and knowledgeable bird watcher). I have loved Proulx's writing, cherished it in fact, for many years. After reading "Bird Cloud", Proulx' "memoir" revolving around her acquisition of 640 acres of land in Wyoming and her experiences in building a house on that land, I can probably add Ms. Proulx to the list of people I'd NEVER want to meet in person. Lots of terms I did not understand for architectural features, materials and processes. The best part of the book is near the end when she describes the birds and wildlife, their comings and goings. Somehow I couldn't feel the author's connection to the actual home. Her house and her book are called Bird Cloud. I was hoping for a modern, beautifully written, positive variation on Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. An enormous amount of money must have been spent for all that special luxury material sent out into the middle of nowhere. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2012. Add these likes with my passion for HGTV and this book seemed like a natural fit for me. I really liked this memoir. But WTF is this? I never thought I would be bored by Annie Proulx, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 26, 2016. Architecture intrigues me, but there wasn't much there. Other people’s main gripe seems to be that Proulx built this house and realised she couldn’t live in it and that that typifies the writer flash with cash from novel sales. As you read the book, descriptive and vivid imagery helps create a mental image of Bird Cloud. Part memoir, part nature journal, part history, and part construction journal. On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. She continues to do wonderful things with words and with Wyoming, but in this case I was never sure why. a fast read, autobiographical in essence of some author Proulx's more than 20 residences growing up in New England joined with her living in Wyoming and deciding to buy a section of land (from the Nature Conservancy on the north Platte river) and building her own home. Bird Cloud, By Annie Proulx. The author writes from her own experiences, which helps build her ethos as a credible author. If it's by Annie Proulx, it's a sure fire great read. But how can a very wealthy woman and world traveler with several homes complain about her empty checkbook and moan because she doesn't know how she'll pay for fancy flooring, custom cabinets, fencing, satellite communications, and other Bird Cloud expenses? In Proulx’s novels the landscape is a supporting character, in this book it is the main character. In reviewing Annie Proulx’s BIRD CLOUD, I couldn’t decide whether to give it three stars, or four; it wasn’t a five-star read – that, I’ve reserved for BAD DIRT, her collection of fine short stories – but three stars seemed stingy and rude. There were parts that bored the. She does best with the details of Wyoming's geographical, archeological, meteorological, societal history--the past's traces still evident on the slowly changing land should one trek/ski/ride to discover artifacts and bones. It was a good mix of the trials and tribulations of building a house in rural Wyoming, history, nature and some fun characters. Using the experience of building a house in Wyoming, Bird Cloud reads not much differently than a high school textbook--part family lineage, part geological survey, part Native American history, and part a dissertation on the characters that hunted, farmed, and stripped Wyoming of its natural attributes. Edna Ann Proulx (/ ˈ p r uː /; born August 22, 1935) is an American novelist, short story writer, and journalist.She has written most frequently as Annie Proulx but has also used the names E. Annie Proulx and E.A. So readers are regaled with a house building, way out in the wilds of Wyoming, complete with architect, master builders, incompetent sub-contractors, aides helping her unpack LOTS of books, her taking walks and bird watching. I never thought I would be bored by Annie Proulx, I have read & reread all her books with great pleasure but reading Bird Cloud was like leafing through a Builders Merchant catalogue. Proulx is a master of prose, and her descriptions of Wyoming nature are lyrical. 234 pp. Other people’s main gripe seems to be that Proulx built this house and realised she couldn’t live in it and that that typifies the writer flash with cash from novel sales. On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. Michael McCarthy @mjpmccarthy; Friday 4 March 2011 01:00 {{^moreThanTen}} ... Bird Cloud (the name she gave to the 640-acre estate) is … But the whole work is a bit cloudy. American author Annie Proulx is best known for her 1993 novel, I love Annie Proulx's writing and I also love books about the West and meditative works on the natural world. I have read some of the reviews of this book. But how can a very wealthy woman and world traveler with several homes complain about her empty checkbook and moan because she doesn't know how she'll pay for fancy flooring, custom ca. After reading this, I don't know if she's married or single, gay or straight, or has any family members. Proulx is a master of prose, and her descriptions of Wyoming nature are lyrical. Please try again. Chapter 8 was quite good; chapter 9 was pretty good. You don't like to criticize one of the few very smart people in a state with a lot of ignorant cowboys (a bit redundant) and a whole lot of ignorant republicans (another redundancy), but Ms. Proulx should stick with her great fiction and leave non-fiction alone. Trevor Herriot reviews Bird Cloud, by Annie Proulx. There are two ways to describe Annie Proulx’s memoir, “Bird Cloud,” an account of her Sisyphean struggle to build her dream house on a remote and striking 640-acre stretch of … It's the story of building a house in Wyoming. This distance between her and the reader takes most of the enjoyment out of this book. Scribner; 1St Edition (September 27, 2011), Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2016. On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. "Well do I know my own character negatives," she writes, "bossy, impatient, reclusively shy, short-tempered, single-minded." I thought I was had, by putting in all this time and energy to learn about this house being built to find out she only used it occasionally, but I remember back to earlier in the book that she just had to leave there during the winter. But as noted by other readers, Proulx fails to flesh out the people in her story, especially the brothers who built the home and allowed her survive in a land that would otherwise have overwhelmed her limited practical skills. She takes us through her journey of building a home. Autobiographies, of course, use the first person a lot, but Proulx writes as if every detail is precious. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. She fell in love with the land, then owned by the Nature Conservancy, and she knew what she wanted to build on it a house in harmony with her work, her appetites and her character, a library surrounded by bedrooms and a kitchen. Somewhere in the middle of those first seven chapters, I went from annoyed to smug, as I found … Proulx also saw pelicans, bald eagles, golden eagles, great blue herons, ravens, scores of bluebirds, harriers, kestrels, elk, deer a. Bird Cloud is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and four-hundred-foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. “Bird Cloud” is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and 400-foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. There are some professional actors whose work I totally admire, yet I'd care not a whit to spend two minutes together with them in "the real world" to get to know them. Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free. The Bird Cloud of the title is a beautiful home in a beautiful location, but the book investigates the whole concept of home and home-building, starting with the many places the author has lived and ending, nicely, with the many migratory homes of birds. Close Range. Proulx makes it clear that she hoped to live in the house through the year and makes a good stab at it, only resigning herself to leaving when the prospect of being snowed in becomes too real. Like “The mountain pine beetle is a tiny creature that chews through a lodgepole’s bark, gouges out a hollow in the wood and lays its eggs. But to be honest, I was bored on occasion with the discussion of history and archaeology of the region, preferring Proulx’s description of landscape and antics of the birds (she’s an amateur naturalist and an avid and kno. On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. By Annie Proulx (Scribner; 234 pages; $26) I could say that Annie Proulx's "Bird Cloud" is a fascinating book written in razor-sharp … On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. Cry me a fucking river! Some nice pluses are her fast but informative chapters on Indians, ranchers, railroads, rich aristo-hunters, archeologists, oil industry etc etc.. Definitely not a comprehensive autobio, but beautiful descriptions of the environment and animals around her, and between the lines, her mind as a fictionalist. Nov 24, 2018 - Explore Nita Strong's board "Bird Cloud, Annie Proulx house" on Pinterest. 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