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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Polly
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 03-06-12

Can't Explain Why I Love This Book

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.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A great companion

Where does The Shipping News rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

What other book might you compare The Shipping News to and why?

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.

Which character – as performed by Paul Hecht – was your favorite?

Quoyle - Paul has gripped the vulnerability of the character without making him a sap.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Judy
  • Roswell, GA, United States
  • 12-11-12

Far better than the movie

What did you love best about The Shipping News?

I love the atmosphere and the characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Billy Priddy - tough old guy who remembers everything

What does Paul Hecht bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The wonderful voices add so realism much to the the story -- I'd never get that just reading the book.

Any additional comments?

The book scarcely resembles the terrible movie -- Annie Proulz should sue the screen writer.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Odd yet compelling story beautifully told

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not bad

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The best

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I didn't want this book to be over.

Loved this book. The style of writing was mesmerizing. I want these people in my life. Aunt and Quoyle and Wavy. More please.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • E Azevedo
  • WALNUT CREEK, CA, United States
  • 04-19-15

Complex and well written

This book was a pleasure to read. Complex and fascinating with the story in Newfoundland. The characters are fascinating and the story really moves along.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Laura H.
  • Calimesa, CA, United States
  • 10-20-11

comsi comsa

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.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Nice story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it is well written, wonderful imagery

What other book might you compare The Shipping News to and why?

Not sure

What does Paul Hecht bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Personality, excellent accents

If you could take any character from The Shipping News out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Petal, so I could give her a piece of my mind

Any additional comments?

nope

2 of 3 people found this review helpful