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The Shipping News [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Annie Proulx , Robert Joy
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Feb 2002
The tie-in edition of the long-awaited film of this contemporary classic starring Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore and Dame Judi Dench. A vigorous, darkly comic and at times magical portrait of the contemporary family. At thrity-six, Quoyle, a thrid-ratejournalist, is wrenched violently from his everyday life when his two-timing wife meets her just deserts. 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 build 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

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (18 Feb 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743501284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743501286
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 10.8 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,646,985 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


‘A very impressive achievement. So funny, so full of delights.’ Guardian

‘As stark and ruggedly beautiful as the storm-battered coast of Newfoundland itself.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Ambitious and accomplished…The characterisation is rich, the dialogue both original and convincing.’ Alan Massie, Scotsman

'A stunning novel.' Observer

'To read “The Shipping News” is to yearn to be sitting in The Flying Squid Lunchstop, eating Seal Fin Curry, watching the icebergs clink together in the bay.' The Times

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Limited edition (1 of 2000) cover design by Caragh Thuring.

Caragh Thuring was born in 1972 and lives and works in London. Her oil paintings have been exhibited at many galleries including the Saatchi Gallery in London. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Other reviews swing wildy between perfect 5 and damning 1. I'll settle for a contented 4. Only because it took a while to get into the book. Believe me: it's worth it.

Agree that it's hard to sympathise with Quoyle (our, um, hero) in the early chapters. Not the heroic type at all... wounded by his father's totally undisguised favouritism towards his spiteful brother. Overweight and ugly. Lacking self confidence, self control... Nor the clichéd anti-establishment anti-hero. In fact dull, dull, dull......

But hang on. Isn't this every man? Who among us is perfect in mind and body? Fat and unsure of ourselves. Tall, gangly and introspective. Tough on the outside, vulnerable and drawn towards self-destructive behaviour on the quiet.

That's how the book draws you slowly in. Characters may have improbably names, but they're more real than most perfect size 8, gym-toned fiction you'll ever read.

The small kids are drawn so well. Such a rarity in an adult novel.

The island and the sea are characters in themselves. Newfoundland, its inlets and offshore islands, abandoned settlements, pragmatic architecture. Punished by - and yet so dependent on - the sea, like the cruel parents that seem to crop up all too often in the book. Buffeted even more by wavering subsidy from remote government that really cannot see through the fog to get a proper picture of life on the the Rock. By the vagiaries of globalisation....

Sounds depressing. But ultimately a redemptive, quiet, gorgeously imperfect celebration of community and finding the inner strength to accept yourself, for all your flaws and the stuff you found it hard to deal with. I'll read it again and again.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars poetry in prose.....just wonderful 8 Aug 2001
By "rutta"
I can't believe it has taken me so long to discover 'The Shipping News'. Not just a soul enhancing story but a beautiful and refreshing narrative style. I have never come across a writer like Proulx, her mastery of prose and particulary description is unforgettable. From the first page I knew I was delving into something remarkable.
Reading this I was absoultely transported to life in Newfoundland. The cold, the ice, the wind and the danger all penetrated my imagination and I was frozen stiff reading most of it!
A tragedy with a loveable oaf as a hero, the unforgettable stalwart aunt with her grief and her memories, children with a hope for the future away from modern times. Escape into a harsh world which demands courage and resolution, but the rewards and the education the Quoyle family receive is touching and satisfying.
A tale of loss, history, roots, grief and new beginnings. Never does Proulx weave her plot through rose tinted spectacles and soft nostalgia, rendering this novel as among the best I have ever read.
There is a very naked truth in this novel and it will grind you hard. I'd call it catharsis.
Read this. It's an exploration.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book - a definite re-reader! 31 Jan 2001
By A Customer
I have just about finished reading this book for the 2nd time. I read it about a year ago and it has stayed in my memory so much I had to read it again. The book transports you to the cold and icy Newfoundland where Quoyle finds himself after leaving the tragedy of his 'other' life behind, and doesn't let you forget it even after the final word has been read. And whilst the book is not full of laughs or semtimentality, still through the bleakness and the melancholy is a feeling of hope, of identifying with Quoyle and to some extent with the other characters like the Aunt, Wavey Prowse and even Bunny and Sunshine Quoyle. I found putting the book down extremely difficult, thinking 'just another page'. Proulx drew me into the knot of Quoyle's life and emotions, and I felt more that I was watching events rather than reading about them. I would recommend this truly amazing, touching and thought-provoking book to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and Mundane 28 Oct 2012
Annie Proulx's writing style is unusual. She uses many sentence fragments to make small comments. I found these snatches to be sometimes revealing and sometimes annoying. The book observes the details of modest man returning to Newfoundland. It meanders through different but mundane situations in a gentle fashion. I know that many rate this book highly but I could not work up any enthusiasm for it. I found the story heavy going and the characters uninspiring.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Light Novel with a Dark One Trying to Get Out 21 July 2011
The central character of "The Shipping News" is Quoyle- we never learn his Christian name-, a thirty-something journalist with a local newspaper in upstate New York. Quoyle is physically unattractive- we are repeatedly told about his big chin-, does not enjoy his work, and his private life is a mess. His parents have committed suicide, and his cold, unloving wife Petal is repeatedly unfaithful to him. When Petal is killed in a car accident along with one of her lovers, Quoyle decides to escape to Newfoundland, where his family originally comes from. Together with his aunt, Agnis, and his two young daughters, Bunny and Sunshine, Quoyle moves into the old family home near the Newfoundland town of Killick-Claw, and finds a job on the local paper, "The Gammy Bird". (The name is a local dialect term for the eider duck). The book's title derives from the fact that, as part of his duties, Quoyle is expected to report on the movement of ships in and out of the town's harbour.

The central theme of the book is what can be described as Quoyle's emotional healing during his time in Newfoundland. When we first meet him he is traumatised by his experiences with Petal and haunted by the feeling that his life has been a failure. Gradually, however, he is accepted into the community of Killick-Claw, enjoys greater success in his job and begins a romance with Wavey Prowse, a young widow with a handicapped child.

This is a book which appears to divide opinion. Critically it was a success and won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, but a number of reviewers on this site have criticised it severely. Annie Proulx's prose style seems to be particularly controversial.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
entirely satisfied thank you
Published 4 days ago by lynne clements
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Boring boring boring
Published 1 month ago by patricia tutssel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A wonderful novel from one of my favourite writers. It's involving, moving and very funny
Published 2 months ago by Helena Newton
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep going it really is worth it.
Nearly everyone I know, including me, found the first part of this book hard work, but were so glad to have persevered with it because it turns into a masterful epic. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Phillipa
5.0 out of 5 stars American genius.
The word brilliant becomes hackneyed when describing the work of Annie Proulx . No rules. No grammar. No form . Just thick with meaning. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. P. J. Laidlaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
I really enjoyed this book. I chose it based on my love of landscape/seaside descriptions and this book does not disappoint in that department. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Wren
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting read from beginning to end.
This story packs in action with humour, sadness and hope. Against all the odds Quoyle makes the journey towards a brighter future.
Published 8 months ago by Mrs Isa Sutton
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story
Great to read this again. Very different to the film and more gritty.
Loved the characters and the description of the environment.
Published 8 months ago by Mr Philip R Rossiter
3.0 out of 5 stars "One more thing. I'm not no joke, Quoyle...
And I don't never want to hear jokes about Newfoundland or Newfoundlanders. Keep it in mind. I hates a Newfie joke. Read more
Published 9 months ago by John P. Jones III
5.0 out of 5 stars read this book.
The writing isn't for everyone becuase she has a poetic style that's more fragmented than typical prose. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Poppygoodwill
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