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Postcards [Paperback]

Annie Proulx
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

1 Oct 2009

This is story of Loyal Blood, a man who spends a lifetime on the run from a crime so terrible that it renders him forever incapable of touching a woman.

The odyssey begins on a freezing Vermont hillside in 1944 and propels Blood across the American West for forty years. Denied love and unable to settle, he lives a hundred different lives: mining gold, growing beans, hunting fossils, trapping, prospecting for uranium and ranching. His only contact with his past is through a series of postcards he sends home – not realising that in his absence disaster has befallen his family, and their deep-rooted connection with the land has been severed with devastating consequences…

‘Postcards’ was Annie Proulx’s first novel, which received huge acclaim and marked the launch of an outstanding literary career. Her works include short story collections ‘Bad Dirt’, ‘Close Range’ (featuring ‘Brokeback Mountain’) and novels such as ‘The Shipping News’ and ‘Accordion Crimes’.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; New Ed edition (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841155012
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841155012
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Annie Proulx's The Shipping News won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award for Fiction, and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize. She is the author of two other novels: Postcards, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, and Accordion Crimes. She has also written two collections of short stories, Heart Songs and Other Stories and Close Range. In 2001, The Shipping News was made into a major motion picture. Annie Proulx lives in Wyoming and Newfoundland.

Product Description

Review

‘Proulx has come close to writing “the great American novel”.’ New York Times

‘The richness of America is portrayed with memorable effect in this remarkable first novel – Faulkner springs to mind. “Postcards” is written from the heart and – for its raspy dialogue, laconic humour and beautiful description of the natural world – deserves to be widely read.’ Independent on Sunday

‘A sweeping and dramatic tale. Not since Steinbeck has the migrant worker's life been so evocatively rendered.’ Daily Telegraph

‘A remarkable novel; poetic and yet driven by a strong narrative, tragic and yet scored with deep veins of humour. Loyal Blood is one of those rare, haunted characters who continue to live in the mind after you finish the book.’ Literary Review

From the Back Cover

'Postcards' is the story of Loyal Blood, a man who spends a lifetime on the run from a crime so terrible that it renders him forever incapable of touching a woman. The odyssey begins on a freezing Vermont hillside in 1944 and propels Blood across the American West for forty years. Denied love and unable to settle, he lives a hundred different lives: mining gold, growing beans, hunting fossils, trapping, prospecting for uranium and ranching. His only contact with his past is through a series of postcards he sends home – not realising that in his absence disaster has befallen his family, and their deep-rooted connection with the land has been severed with devastating consequences…

"The richness of America is portrayed with memorable effect in this remarkable first novel – Faulkner springs to mind. 'Postcards' is written from the heart and – for its raspy dialogue, laconic humour and beautiful description of the natural world – deserves to be widely read."
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

"'Postcards' is a remarkable novel; poetic and yet driven by a strong narrative, tragic and yet scored with deep veins of humour. Loyal Blood is one of those rare, haunted characters who continue to live in the mind after you finish the book. 'Postcards' is told in a resonant prose that both soars and gets down in the dirt – a debut which should be read by anyone who values fine, honest writing."
LITERARY REVIEW

"'Postcards' is a sweeping and dramatic tale. Proulx's deadpan style encompasses both heartbreak and hilarity, and the fantastic narrative flourishes are balanced with gritty realism. Not since Steinbeck has the migrant worker's life been so evocatively rendered."
DAILY TELEGRAPH

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glorious read. 18 Sep 1999
Format:Paperback
"Postcards" is a darker work than Proulx's better known "The Shipping News" but all the hallmarks are there. The descriptions of nature are breathtaking, the dialogue acute, the control consummate. The author unerringly chooses the right phrase, or positions the right word just so. This is the work of a master water-colourist in prose. Without giving too much away, it is the story of two lost lives. The first occurs on page one but it is the chronicle of the second that forms the rest of the book, poor damaged Loyal sending back his postcards - loyal by nature as well as by name. While brother Dub gets rich and fat in real estate, Loyal battles against everything the elements can throw at him - rockfall, fire, snow - then picks himself up, tries again. The passing of the years and the changing of the times are beautifully and poignantly laid out, and I have to say that so unbearable did I find it at times that I could only manage to read some parts of the novel in short bursts. I haven't been so moved by a book in years as I have been by the story of Loyal Blood. Six stars out of five.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book just stays with me 23 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
About three years ago, I stumbled across Postcards in an airport bookstore, and I couldn't put it down for the 3 days that I was away from home. It is the only book I have ever read by Proulx, but the images from Postcards seem to be etched in my mind. Think of a favorite movie- and the scene or image that will never go away. That's what this book offers: vivid, emotional images. It's a book that I have always wanted to recommend to someone, the kind of book that makes me wish I was reading it for a literature class so that I could talk about it with others, analyze it, and truly appreciate it. It is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching story. As I recall, an observation I had while reading Postcards was that Proulx was noticably sympathetic to her female characters - they seemed to be victims of circumstance - while her male characters were often the cause of their own undoing. This realization actually enhanced my enjoyment of the book, by making me conscious of the author and allowing a certain amount of disconnect from the characters- necessary to keep from getting too emotionally connected to these tragic characters.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I've always found my favourite writers follow the same three edicts: 1) Write the words as though you're driving the brain on a sight-seeing excursion, 2) Take the ordinary and make it extraordinary, and 3) Repeat the above liberally.
I was introduced to E. Annie Proulx rather backwardly: I started with Accordion Crimes, then greedily devoured The Shipping News and finally Postcards. Postcards is a Gothic painting of the Blood family. Aptly named, this family begins the book with a foggy and orgasmic accidental death, which eventually and indirectly brings the Bloods to ruin. The Patriach and Matriach, Mink and Jewell Blood, are anything but luxurious contrary to their monikers. The kids provide their own mix of new despair combined with the old.
Definitely worth a read. Your dysfunctional family will look angelic in comparison.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I haven't read anything like this before in my life. Much like Quoyle from E. Annie Proulx's pulitzer prize winning novel _The Shipping News_, the characters in _Postcards_are all tragically affectionate. Each member of the Blood family has his or her own hopeful view of their world--a world of hard work and conflict in the name of love and freedom--and I'm sure every reader can identify with some or all of their American family values. E. Annie Proulx writes with a style entirely her own that weaves itself inside and out of the lives of these characters and the western, southern, and northeastern settings they live in. In many unsuspecting places, _Postcards_ is laden with irony; for example, the character named Loyal Blood is perhaps the strongest in the novel but accidentally commits murder and spends his life drifting back and forth across the country. This novel spans generations and time zones, and likewise readers of all ages and from all places will love and hate the rich world of poverty and struggle inside _Postcards_.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll never forget the Blood family. 30 Sep 1996
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If the price of a book depended on the richness of the writing, and the complexity of the characters and plot, no library in the world would have been able to afford this book. I have also read _The Shipping News_ by E. Annie Proulx, which won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize. This book won the Pen/Faulkner Award. And no wonder. Both books are extraordinary, but I think I liked this one better.

Here Proulx introduces us to the Blood family, a group of people who are so oddly timeless that they could just as well have lived prehistorically as during the latter part of this century. Their lives are grueling, nearly devoid of love and affection, and they doggedly accept this fate as if nothing else existed in the world. They move through their worlds, leaving no mark, and yet there is a fascination with them, as if they were the movers and shakers of the country. This is entirely due to some of the best writing that has ever been committed to paper. What is even more extraordinary is that this is Proulx's first novel.

All I can say is, read this book--it'll knock your socks off.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Annie Proulx always delivers great stories.
Published 1 month ago by Charlotte Watts
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, shame about the print quality
The story is great - I wanted a copy to replace a lost one.

The print quality in this edition is poor, though. Fuzzy in places, variable in quality.
Published 10 months ago by Lisa Wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Postcards
I love Annie Proulx books, particularly the wide, open spaces genre. I hadn't heard of this book although it was published in 2009 but saw it advertised on Amazon. Read more
Published on 17 April 2012 by moellen
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended debut novel
This stupendous 1992 debut novel won the prestigious 'PEN/Faulkner for Fiction'. It is a dramatic family history starting in 1926, ending in the late 1980's. Read more
Published on 3 April 2012 by P. A. Doornbos
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story - rubbish print quality
This book was recommended by a friend. Because it involved the images of postcards, I bought it in the print version rather than on Kindle. Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2012 by Mr Oliver Wells
4.0 out of 5 stars Words that sizzle 'like meat in a pan'
I've always found it difficult to identify, in fiction, with male characters but 'Postcard's' Loyal Blood has been a character who I have thought about a hundred times since... Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2011 by Ms. Jf Bowers
4.0 out of 5 stars Postcards
As a dedicated Annie Prouix fan I didn't warm to this book right away, in fact I felt slightly off balance all the way through. Read more
Published on 2 April 2011 by P. Cameron
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but imaginative and striking
Some people really do not like this book. Some have given it one star in a review, and others have complained that it does not stand up next to Proulx's much more famous "The... Read more
Published on 28 Oct 2007 by William Burn
4.0 out of 5 stars good, but not worthy from this author
A good book, really a very good book, but still a little disappointing from this author. Another fairly grimy down-to-earth account of Americans' inhumanity to Americans, but the... Read more
Published on 2 Feb 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars AWFUL
If i could give it zero stars i would it was uninteresting from the start I could not keep up with the extreme numbers of new characters introduced every chapter till it reached... Read more
Published on 3 Sep 1999
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