The Shipping News (Fourth Estate 25th Anniv Edtn) Hardcover – Special Edition, 15 May 2009
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‘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
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
However, I was initially disappointed, as the writing seemed lacking in some way. Characterisation, similarly, appeared shallow. The writing style is also slightly off-putting, as the writer is sparing with the use of adverbs and the definite article. Nevertheless, I ploughed on, as something kept me reading. I'm glad I did, as the characters did indeed come to life, and the prose became beautifully descriptive.
It is difficult to bond with Quoyle at first; you feel pity for the poor man who seems to have been a victim all his life. He acts like a drip where his wife, Petal, is concerned. After the loathsome wife dies, Quoyle comes into his own, helped along the way by his stout-hearted woman - The Aunt.
What follows is a story of new beginnings for Quoyle. The courage he has in facing new challenges is admirable, and the path his life takes becomes an enlightenment and lesson for us all.
The beauty of it is that it is a story that doesn't pretend to be something it isn't. It's not a serious account of life in Newfoundland, merely a representation of a man trying to be a good father and find his place in life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was picked for our book club monthly book sorry! but I could not make anything of it. Just me I guess/Published 13 days ago by Sallypally
Enjoyed the book which is set in an unusual environment making a simple tale very interesting. Quite fascinating.Published 4 months ago by Sandy
Brilliantly written, a very easy read but an unpleasant story about unpleasant charactersPublished 5 months ago by andrew
The author painted such a vivid picture of the location I felt immersed in the landscape. I almost feel as if I have visited Newfoundland. BrilliantPublished 6 months ago by Sam
Very disappointed. When I chose this book, I was influenced by the fact that it had won awards. I found it incredibly dreary and am now cross with myself for persevering with it... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Tessa
Found this a slow going read, got the film and watched that, now I must finish the book as so much was left out of the film!Published 11 months ago by Rasp
This book I found well written but the story and characters were all rather drab and boring. When I reached half way through the book I realised that there wasn't going to be any... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Elizabeth