Short Story Review: Brokeback Mountain

Howdy Bookworms and Bibliophiles,

This evening short story review comes after a long day of mourning for a dear friend of mine that I’ve recently lost. I’d made plans to read this short story before now, but as fate would have it, I didn’t get to it until now.



I always liked the movie Brokeback Mountain, and in my quest to broaden my horizons in reads, I gave this short story a chance. It had great reviews and a story I was familiar with. Some of the themes present I can really relate to as well.

I’m gay, and though times have certainly changed, certain relationships of mine have died due to that fact, some of them with family members, some with friends I thought would support me to the end. 

But before I blab too much about my life, let’s get right into things, yes?


The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for Fiction for its publication of “Brokeback Mountain,” and the story was included in Prize Stories 1998: The O. Henry Awards. In gorgeous and haunting prose, Proulx limns the difficult, dangerous affair between two cowboys that survives everything but the world’s violent intolerance.

The Review



I gave this short story four stars!

Man, this story turned out to impact me more than I thought it would!

In a nutshell, two men find work on Brokeback Mountain and unknowingly start an affair that lasts a generation.

I really loved this story at its core. It’s based in a time where being gay wasn’t okay. You wouldn’t just get yelled at by your family or shamed in public, you could very well get killed for it.

Jack and Ennis never really planned what happened between them, it just happened naturally. There’s a certain beauty in that, and I was hooked from the beginning through the end. I wanted Jack and Ennis to work things out, to have the life that they deserved together.

Being a short story, the relationship was the core part of this story, which I enjoyed. There were bits I recalled from the movie, like Ennis’s wife Alma seeing them embrace rather affectionately, even for guys. Ennis and Jack’s more tender moments. Ennis visiting Jack’s parents after everything happens.

Everything was beautifully written and believable, especially for what time it was set in. I can’t even imagine being gay in those times.

The only con I really had was sometimes the writing got to be a bit too ornate aka purple prose. I’m not a big fan of describing things in too much detail, and sometimes the description of nature or the metaphors would be a bit too much for me. This is more personal preference than anything else.

Ultimately, this was a touching story of love, life, and how we should all take that leap of faith should love come a knocking. I absolutely loved it, and hope that one day I’ll get a chance to take that leap myself.

That’s A Wrap!

Well that’s it for this short story review. I hope you enjoyed it!

Have you read this story? Are there other short stories you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!

Have a great day!

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  1. I didn’t realize it was a short piece of fiction. I thought it was a regular novel. I’m impressed that so much character and relationship development can be crammed into a short story. It sucks that you’ve struggled with some family relationships and friendships because of being gay, but maybe that leaves time and room for more positive and nurturing people in your life.

    • Yeah, I couldnt recall at first, but it’s actually free if you google it and want to give it a chance.

      So true! I’ve made my own family of friends over the years, I just felt like I could relate to the story quite a bit because of the themes it centered on.

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