Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx

The Shipping News (original 1993; edition 1994)

by E. Annie Proulx, Mary Bess Engel (Cover designer), David Blackwood (Cover artist)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,904206259 (3.86)513
  1. 00
    Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald (rieja)
  2. 00
    We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen (Jannes)
    Jannes: Proulx focuses on one particular and personal fate, Jensen writes about a whole town in the voice of a vague, collective "we". The former places her story in modern-day Newfoundland, the later in 19th and early 20th century Denmark. What they have in common is the ever-present sea, its influence and demands, and how the people that relies on if for sustenance has learned to accept its whims and live with the consequences of a life at sea.… (more)
  3. 00
    The Custodian of Paradise by Wayne Johnston (sushidog)
  4. 11
    The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald (rieja)
  5. 00
    The Republic of Nothing by Lesley Choyce (ShelfMonkey)
  6. 01
    Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? by Johan Harstad (Othemts)
  7. 14
    A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby (sombrio)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 513 mentions

English (196)  Dutch (4)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  Hebrew (1)  German (1)  All (204)
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
I think it takes nerve to give your book the title The Shipping News.

The shipping news is that dull stuff in the agate type in the last section of the paper that nobody reads -- right?

LA PALOMA IN FROM HONG KONG - Captain Jacoby, Master

But this The Shipping News is that rarity - prize winning book that deserved all the plated tin people threw at it.

Quoyle is a half baked sort of journalist in upstate New York with two young kids and a wife who runs around. In a heart stopping tragedy, the wife is killed and Quoyle (pronounced like "Coil") is scooped up by a distant relative aunt and they move up to a rough and lonely part of Newfoundland.

And that's when the wind starts whispering in the sails of this graceful little book.

The house they move into is a storm tossed ruin, the people are sometimes soft as a sea-breeze friendly and sometimes cruel and dark and violent as the sea.

And our Quoyle pulls up his sea boots and learns what he's capable of and finds a place in the community and learns his way in the sea. And the girls learn too. Even the aunt has her story to tell.

Wonderful rich complex writing - you will be looking up a lot of words that are local argot or archaic or just the writer telling her tale. Just go with it.

The Newfoundland coast is as much a character as any flesh and body person in the book.

Read for a book group - and I loved it ( )
  magicians_nephew | Feb 4, 2017 |
“The house was heavy around him, the pressure of the past filling the rooms like odourless gas.”

Quoyle, a newspaper reporter from New York state moves to Newfoundland to escape after his promiscuous wife Petal has died in a car accident with his two young daughters an aunt who wants to return to the place of her birth.

Quoyle's gets a newspaper job in with the local paper in Killick-Claw run by four crusty characters, most of them old fishermen and known for its sensational news stories. Quoyle is given the job of covering the shipping news and perhaps cruelly car wreck stories, the latter of which incites terror in Quoyle, reminding him of Petal's fate.

Quoyle, his aunt and daughters start to rebuild their ancestral home, long left abandoned, and lives as the Newfoundland seasons change from fine summers days to violent devastating winter storms all the while Quoyle's family history is slowly being unravelled. Quoyle's ancestors have a nefarious reputation as murderers and pirates. Meanwhile, the modern world seems to be encroaching on Newfoundland. Massive factory ships are replacing small, local fishing operations; oil tankers and oil spills abound, ruining what few natural resources are left.

In many respects this is a story of hope, of rebuilding lives after difficult childhoods and traumatic events as an adult but it is done against a background of a town that over reliant on fishing is slowly dying mainly through the influences from the outside world, either because quotas and lower fish stocks mean making a living out of fishing is virtually impossible or because youngsters are leaving the area for better jobs and life chances elsewhere. This is encapsulated by a young seamstress who despite having a university education is applying to a minimum of 20 jobs every week in any industry just to escape the place. Whilst those who can afford to escape the Newfoundland winters to warmer climes. This is not just a Canadian thing but can be seen in communities across the world where youngsters are deserting the beautiful but at times bleak countryside for the bigger cities in search for work and opportunities.

This is beautifully written and is at times very atmospheric in depiction but there are lighter more comical elements as well to break the mood. Overall a very enjoyable read. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Feb 2, 2017 |
reread, listening to Paul Hecht's fine audiobook. It was a treasure the first time, and equally so this time. ( )
  ffortsa | Jan 3, 2017 |
Easy to read tragic comedy. Quoyle patches together the ragged remnants of a loveless life. His aunt and two daughters accompany him to Newfoundland on his feeble, but successful quest. ( )
  LiterarySparks | Nov 14, 2016 |
there are so few good modern writers. when you find one buy everything they write. despite being unable to identify with the characters, locale, or profession, i was hooked with every chapter. not sure why that is, but this is a great book. ( )
  Yazim.Hakim | Nov 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
It has been – astonishingly – fifteen years since I read the novel but its memory is undimmed, its glorious set pieces still vivid before my eyes.
In E. Annie Proulx's vigorous, quirky novel "The Shipping News," set in present-day Newfoundland, there are indeed a lot of drownings. The main characters are plagued by dangerous undercurrents, both in the physical world and in their own minds. But the local color, ribaldry and uncanny sorts of redemption of Ms. Proulx's third book of fiction keep the reader from slipping under, into the murk of loss.

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Proulx, E. Annieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alopaeus, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
"In a knot of eight crossings, which is about the average-size knit. there are 256 different 'over-and-under' arrangements possible. . . Make only one change in this 'over and under' sequence and either an entirely different knot is made or no knot at all may result."

Quoyle: A coil of rope

"A Flemish flake is a spiral coil of one layer only. It is made on deck so that it may be walked on if necessary."

In the old days a love-sick sailor might send the object of his affections a length of fishline loosely tied in a true-lover's knot. If the knot as sent back as it came the relationship was static. If the knot returned home snugly drawn up the passion was reciprocated. But if the knot was capsized - tacit advice to ship out.
"The strangle knot will hold a coil well . . . It is first tied loosely and then worked snug."

"Cast Away, to be forced from a ship by a disaster."

For Jon, Gillis and Morgan
First words
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.
Walking keeps you smart.
fried bologna isn't bad.
Desire reversed to detestation like a rubber glove turned inside out.
We run a car wreck photo every week, whether we have a car wreck or not. That's our golden rule.
In Wyoming they name girls Skye, in Newfoundland it's Wavey.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
From the get-go, Quoyle is a loser. Not only is he physically unattractive with a "great damp loaf of a body," but he is also not too bright. His father despises him, and his brother, constantly taunts him. He drifts from job to job, never able to keep one for more than a few months. He gets married, only to have his wife sell their two daughters to a child pornographer and leave him. The Shipping News describes Quoyle's psychological and spiritual rebirth. Left with two children to raise after he rescues them, and no job, he returns to Newfoundland, the land of his ancestors. A sometime newspaper reporter, he gets a job reporting on shipping news with a local publication, and becomes a minor celebrity. Gradually he is transformed into a loving father and a valued neighbor.

When Quoyle's 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 and family members all play a part in Quoyle's struggle to reclaim his life. As Quoyle confronts his private demons   and the unpredictable forces of nature and society - he begins to see the possibility of love without pain or misery.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671510053, Paperback)

In this touching and atmospheric novel set among the fishermen of Newfoundland, Proulx tells the story of Quoyle. From all outward appearances, Quoyle has gone through his first 36 years on earth as a big schlump of a loser. He's not attractive, he's not brilliant or witty or talented, and he's not the kind of person who typically assumes the central position in a novel. But Proulx creates a simple and compelling tale of Quoyle's psychological and spiritual growth. Along the way, we get to look in on the maritime beauty of what is probably a disappearing way of life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:45 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Quoyle returns to his family's longtime home, a small fishing town in Newfoundland with his young daughter. Though Quoyle has had little success thus far in life, his shipping news column in the local newspaper finds an audience, and his experiences in the town begin to change his life.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
737 avail.
44 wanted
4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.86)
0.5 8
1 68
1.5 16
2 156
2.5 43
3 578
3.5 159
4 1016
4.5 158
5 814

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,237,787 books! | Top bar: Always visible