cover image Fine Just the Way It Is

Fine Just the Way It Is

Annie Proulx, , read by Will Patton. . Simon & Schuster Audio, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7435-7277-4

Will Patten is a fine actor who fits voice and pace to the tone of each story in this collection. He is often a quiet, dreamy narrator, but when stories slowly navigate toward a terrible, heart-in-mouth tension—as Proulx’s so often do—he assumes a breathiness that significantly heightens the drama. As tale-teller, Patten has a slight Western accent; this sounds right, but also enables him to use a range of dialects as appropriate for each character. In a more straightforward manner, he narrates Proulx’s amusing (though less successful) tales of the Devil redesigning Hell. Proulx, best known for Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain , turns out prose as exquisite as ever in her wrenching tales of Wyoming, past and present. A Scribner hardcover (Reviews, May 26). (Sept.)