Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 1994
National Book Award, Fiction, 1994
At 36, Quoyle, a third-rate newspaperman, is wrenched violently out of his workaday life when his two-timing wife gets her just desserts. He retreats with his two daughters to his ancestral home on the starkly beautiful Newfoundland coast, where a rich cast of local characters all play a part in Quoyle's struggle to reclaim his life. As three generations of his family cobble up new lives, Quoyle confronts his private demons - and the unpredictable forces of nature and society - and begins to see the possibility of love without pain or misery.
A vigorous, darkly comic, and at times magical portrait of the contemporary American family, The Shipping News demonstrates why Annie Proulx is recognized as one of the most gifted and original writers in America today.
©1995 Annie Proulx (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
"The Shipping News is that rare creation, a lyric page-turner." (Chicago Tribune)
"The writing is charged with sardonic wit - alive, funny, a little threatening; packed with brilliantly original images... and, now and then, a sentence that simply takes your breath away." (USA Today)
"Annie Proulx's stunning, big-hearted The Shipping News thaws the frozen lives of its characters and warms readers." (San Francisco Examiner)
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
This book is written in a style I've never come across before. The sentences are short, almost choppy. The characters are equally strange, and the story took me by surprise many times. In reading this book, I felt as though I was on a child's roller coaster; it seemed slow and easy, but suddenly and unexpectedly jerked to the right or left. I felt sure that certain characters had secrets, and so I listened with building interest.
The setting (Newfoundland, Canada) was new to me as well, and wrapped its cold grey arms around me. As I look back, I think the locale may be the main character of this novel. Very powerful.
And, as I say in my title, I am not sure why I loved it, but I did. I recommend this book.
I really enjoyed reading this book years ago and having grown tired of listing to the radio have taken to exclusively listing to audible books while driving to and from work. I now relish the traffic and find myself sitting in the driveway for a few more momments when i get home to continue to listen. The Shipping news is a favorite of mine and i greatly enjoyed listening to the narration. Paul Hecht did a fantastic job; bringing the characters back to life for me. So far it is my favorite audiobook.
I would compare the Shipping News to anything by John Irving, Anne Tyler, Amy Tan. All favorites. the stories that encompass a lifetime and all its events are the best to me. Full character development, historical references, and characters so rich and deep. They are my companions of the road. A true travel companion that keeps you entertained and removed from the mondane while reminding you that life is more complicated and deeply enriched.
Quoyle - Paul has gripped the vulnerability of the character without making him a sap.
I love the atmosphere and the characters.
Billy Priddy - tough old guy who remembers everything
The wonderful voices add so realism much to the the story -- I'd never get that just reading the book.
The book scarcely resembles the terrible movie -- Annie Proulz should sue the screen writer.
I'm a journalist, columnist and slave to a great tale, well told.
Annie Proulx' prose is purposely stilted, and this author does nothing to make it feel more natural. The book is depressing and it's hard to want to keep listening to the disappointments plaguing this unextraordinary protagonist.
I like this story though there were several times the author got a little list happy, to the point I though OMG enough with the lists. I really liked Paul Hecht's voice. It is very pleasing and easy to listen to, however, I didn't like his interpretation of the cadence or flow of the narrative at times. It just seemed a little off and took me most of the book to get used to. I would have given 2 stars for performance his voice hadn't had such a pleasant timbre.
This is one of the best books I've ever read. Annie Proulx doesn't give shallow descriptions of anything or anybody. It is rich and textured. And in the end hopeful. Loved Paul Hecht's narration and good Newfie accents. It comes to life and you can picture all of it. Plus you learn some nautical stuff too.
I would be hard-pressed to say exactly why this novel is so transportive, there doesn't seem, at first glance, to be anything extraordinarily poetic about the writing, but nevertheless it utterly carried me away to another place. Who am I to argue with the Pulitzer committee?
Well worth the read and unexpectedly moving.
I am a literary fiction buff. A great read makes me happy. I love photography and Canon equipment. I write one or two sentence reviews.
Loved this book. The style of writing was mesmerizing. I want these people in my life. Aunt and Quoyle and Wavy. More please.
I really liked the narrator, some male performers can't do female characters well but this narrator didn't bother me for once. I really love the movie of this book so perhaps I am biased, but I enjoyed the story. I felt Quoyle was a very relatable character with all his insecurities and uncertainties about life.
This was very difficult for me to get through.
The style of writing grated on me incessantly, and I had a hard time letting myself get into the story. There were several style issues that niggled at me, but here are the most aggravating.
- So many incomplete sentences. I don't know why this bugged me so much, but I just couldn't get past it.
- Descriptions that left me completely baffled. Eyes the color of plastic. No color at all. And his daughter had the same colorless eyes. What is this supposed to have me imagining? White irises? Grey? I'm flummoxed. There were many more confuddling literary illustrations.
- On a few occasions, lists that went on and on, long past making whatever point was being made.
- After Quoyle moved in with his aunt Agnes, she was continually referred to as "The Aunt". "The aunt walked into the room." The aunt did this, the aunt did that. And Quoyle was "the nephew". Who talks or even thinks like this?
I suppose it's an artistic style that I just couldn't embrace. I did try to enjoy the characters, the setting and the story, but I just didn't find them compelling.
Several friends whom I respect and trust enjoyed it much more than I did, so I'm admitting some shortfall in my own ability to appreciate it.
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