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     Volume 5 Issue 84 | March 3, 2006 |

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Novellas and Shortstories

The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour (The Frontier Stories Volume 3)
Louis L'Amour
Bantam Books; October 2005

With more than 120 titles still in print, Louis L'Amour is recognised the world over as one of the most prolific and popular American authors in history. Though he met with phenomenal success in every genre he tried, the form that put him on the map was the short story. Now this great writer (who The Wall Street Journal recently compared with Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson) will receive his due as a great storyteller. This volume kicks off a series that will, when complete, anthologise all of L'Amour's short fiction, volume by handsome volume. Here, in Volume Three, is a treasure-trove of 35 frontier tales for his millions of fans and for those who have yet to discover L'Amour's thrilling prose and his vital role in capturing the spirit of the Old West for generations to come.

Black Rose
Nora Roberts
Penguin Group (USA); May 2005

Bestselling author Nora Roberts explores the promise of second and third chances in Book Two of her In the Garden trilogy. This book belongs to Roz Harper, independent woman and owner of In the Garden, a nursery business in Tennessee. At age 45, Roz has mostly recovered from a short and disastrous second marriage, thanks to support from her sons and her surrogate family of friends and employees, all introduced in Blue Dahlia. Ready to start dating again, she embarks on a relationship with Mitch Carnagie, a man with his own set of issues in the past. He helps her view herself not as the victim of a failed marriage but as a black roselong, exotic, a little haughty, and most certainly, sexy. The progression of this older romance rings true, as do Roz's relationships with the younger women who work for her, and her son's first reaction to his mother's dating. The reappearances of the deceitful second husband and the Harper Bride, the ghost who haunts her historic home, adds to the plot, but the love story between Mitch and Roz is paramount. Readers who are gardeners will also enjoy the day-to-day detail of running a nursery.

Brokeback Mountain
Annie Proulx
Scribner; November 2005

Originally published in The New Yorker and then as part of the collection Close Range, Annie Proulx's short story packs a punch. Cowboys Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar find love or something like it watching over a herd of sheep one summer on Wyoming's Brokeback Mountain. Their lives diverge and intersect again and again as they simultaneously resist and are drawn into a doomed, impossible romance. Campbell Scott's clear reading puts Proulx's beautiful and harsh language front and center. The story is mostly straight narration, but there are a few chances for dialogue, and Scott gives the various characters subtle Western shading, with a gentle drawl for Jack and a gravelly growl for Ennis. It's a timeless story that stands up to repeated reading.




Compiled by: Sanyat Sattar

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