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The Shipping News [Paperback]

Annie Proulx
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (376 customer reviews)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
HERE is an account of a few years in the life of Quoyle, born in Brooklyn and raised in a shuffle of dreary upstate towns. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars shipping news Nov. 9 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Read this book . The movie has nothing on it . There is real drama and feelings from the heart
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5.0 out of 5 stars You either love it or you don't June 26 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. The prose reflected the subject being described. When the setting is being described, it's beautiful, flowing, free. When you start getting into the characters, you find that the dialogue and description are less flowing, and this fits the awkward, dysfunctional qualities that each of the characters had. The triumph is that despite their rather sizeable quirks, there's still hope, joy and incredible bravery in the end. I felt like I was drawn into another place amongst people who, while a bit weird, were all the more real. I was not just caught up in the main character's woes, but into the day to day life of the rest of the inhabitants. I highly recommend this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quoyle, the Everyman April 27 2000
Format:Paperback
I anticipated a fast-paced book, but found a slow, meandering story. This is good, however, because it is similar to the character of Quoyle. This man is probably one of the most original male characters in contemporary literature. It is probably because he represents the non-Brad Pitt and Clint Eastwoods out there. His quiet dignity as well as his insecurity creates a more realistic portrait of an everyman. I found myself rooting for a better life for Quoyle. I smiled when he found the love and respect everyone deserves. I became proud when he slowly realizes his worth, and when he is able to speak up for himself. All in all, the quiet dignity of this book hooked me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missed the boat! May 17 2004
Format:Paperback
I was looking forward to this novel with great anticipation. I felt like I saw the lives of the characters only in glimpses... controlled by an author who did not develop them fully. Disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and immersing Sept. 29 2010
By D. Bray
Format:Paperback
One of my favourite stories. A real feel-good book. Even without seeing the film you can almost taste the salt in the air. The characters are rich and diverse, the scenery is vivid and the situations just strange enough to be believable. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Arr - A Fine Book Jan. 23 2007
Format:Paperback
First published in 1993, "The Shipping News" is Anne Proulx's second novel. It went on to win a list of prizes, including the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Quoyle isn't exactly the typical hero : although a good, kind-hearted man, he has little faith in himself and his self-confidence is non-existent. Physically, he's a large, red-haired man, with pale eyes, an over-sized chin and no neck. He has little in common with his family : his father is a genuinely obnoxious, self-obsessed bully with no obvious redeeming qualities while his brother is a self-centred, poisonous rat. After stumbling from one trade to another, Quoyle more or less settles on journalism as a career - starting out with the Mockingburg Reporter. He later meets and marries Petal Bear. (Despite his somewhat unorthodox appearance, Quoyle is as prodigious downstairs as he is in the chin department). Initially, things go well : their first month together is genuinely happy, but the following six years bring Quoyle two daughters and plenty of misery. Although Petal has a great interest in sex, she tends to pursue that interest with people who aren't her husband...

Things change dramatically for Quoyle in his mid-thirties. Following the death of his parents in a suicide pact, he meets an aged aunt (Agnis Hamm) for the first time. Although unable to attend the funeral, she arranges to come down and collect his father's ashes. However, by the time she arrives, Quoyle is also a widower : Petal dies in a car accident that also takes the life of one of her many boyfriends. Shortly before running off, Petal had also sold their daughters to a very dodgy photographer for $[...]...fortunately, the police managed to arrive at the photographer's apartment before anything to questionable had happened.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult at first, but good News after all June 13 2004
Format:Paperback
E. Annie Proulx's "The Shipping News" is a great novel. However, it is not recommended to everybody. It sounds like a paradox, but it is true. To begin with, it is not an easy read. It takes time and patience, but it is worthwhile. The action is very slow and interior, besides much happens outside the characters, the main action is with their feelings and what goes inside their minds and hearts. Thus this is not the kind of novel that appeals to those used to fast and easy books. Moreover, this is a very intellectual material and requires a lot of references and thinking from the reader.
Quoyle is a thirty-six years old who has devoted his life to his wife and children. He hasn't accomplished much, but he's fine with what they have. However his wife is not happy with this life. She sells their daughters and while is running away she dies. This is falls like a bomb in Quoyle's life --disturbing his peaceful routine.
In order to restore the peace, he moves to his ancestors' house in an isolated and cold town. There, along with his aunt, he intends to bring his life back to place. With a new job and meeting an interesting widow, Quoyle realizes that life is good, but he still has some ghosts from the past haunting him.
"The Shipping News" is a novel fulfilled with metaphors. Everything has more than its first meaning. Quoyle is not only the name of the protagonist, but also something related to ships --and it will be through the shipping news that our protagonist will find his place in the world.
Another thing is a special touch in the novel is the quotes from "The Ashley Book of Knots', written by Clifford W. Ashley, or from "The Mariner's Dictionary".
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars small font book
I didn't expect the book to be in a small book format with tiny fonts....it was published in England and apparently it was common to have smaller book format there!! Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2009 by Baldwin W. Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch the movie / DVD !!!
Annie Proulx, she has a very much endowed vein for fine-intimately spoken humor. Her novel SHIPPING NEWS won the Pulitzer Prize. Read more
Published on July 29 2005 by FrizzText
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful writing, but misses the mark....
The first thirty pages of the story are engrossing with lots of things happening and lots of great character development, but unfortunately the story then stalls to a turtle's... Read more
Published on July 8 2004 by Melanie
4.0 out of 5 stars The Shipping News-More Similar To Us Than We Think
Quoyle, a father of two sets forward to Newfoundland where he finds a new life. Full of bumps and twists, this book is a book for anyone who enjoys reading about adventures. Read more
Published on May 27 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Newfoundland stole the show
E. Annie Proulx's intimate descriptions of Newfoundland made it a character in The Shipping News as much as Quoyle and the rest. Read more
Published on May 18 2004 by Kristin W.
2.0 out of 5 stars The Shipping News
One of the more average Pulitzer prize winners I have encountered. What I feel the book lacked was depth of character, the characters are touched upon but not fully explored, even... Read more
Published on May 8 2004 by Andy Fulton
5.0 out of 5 stars The Shipping News
GREAT BOOK! Most of the negative reviews are by people who have trouble comprehending the book, which is NOT all that difficult to follow. Read more
Published on March 12 2004
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