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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
10,557198269 (3.86)466
  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)

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» See also 466 mentions

English (189)  Dutch (4)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  Hebrew (1)  German (1)  All languages (197)
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
Annie Proulx's characterisations bring warmth to the harsh raw landscape of Newfoundland where isolated communities eek out a living in an unforgiving environment. This very isolation engenders a dependency on each other, an acceptance of others quirks and an appreciation of their skills, all necessary for their survival against the elements. I loved this book when I read it 20 years ago and my appreciation of it has not diminished on a second reading. It is excellent. ( )
  HelenBaker | Jun 29, 2016 |
I loved this quirky novel of imperfect people making a place for themselves in an inhospitable place. Full of endearing characters that never really feel inauthentic, the dark humor throughout prevents it from being completely bleak. Quoyle is a wonderfully awkward anti-hero whose love for his children and growing sense of himself and his own possibilities adds a real warmth to the story. ( )
  katiekrug | Jun 25, 2016 |
Wonderful story of the rock and a man from away who finds his roots. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
Review: The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx. The author creates extraordinary diverse characters, descriptive environmental scenery, entailed a few sorted weather patterns, added a bit of comic humor and wrote an interesting unique off the wall story. It was an enjoyable read.

It’s about a family moving back to a small town in Newfoundland where their ancestor’s roots had begun. A energetic aunt, a old fashion plain father, a daughter who has weird nightmares, and another daughter named Sunshine who is just there as Bunny‘s sister…Oh, can’t forget Warren the aunt’s dog later replaced with Warren the Second.

The story is full of rich, down to earth, up in the skies wordy prose full of portents, repetitions, bold metaphors, abrupt dialogues and unexpected strange elements of well written work.

It was a good read. I can say it was one of a kind. I enjoyed the out of date, back woods, sort of feeling when I read the book.
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
The chronicle of an eccentric below-average protagonist beginning his new life and realising his capabilities in the remote, seafaring community of his ancestry, the novel effectively evokes the salty, ongoing-seasprayed Newfoundland seaside - its treacherous rocks and diminishing livelihoods - with its cast of quirky characters and clipped, sparse prose.

The story really only starts about four chapters in, after setting up the unsympathetic Petal for death, her cruelty may have been overdone just so that it can be quickly brushed aside and the extent to which Quoyle is browbeaten in every aspect of his life, by his wife, his colleagues, his children. The necessity of it detracts from the main story but is nevertheless satisfying as we see Quoyle adapt to and succeed - to a certain extent - in a life where sailing to work is faster than driving, where it's imperative to memorise the rock formation beneath the crashing, frothing waters, where losing men to the sea is an everyday occurrence and a part of the island's history - a tradition almost, if you will -, where the weather is ostensibly a character of its own, influential and unrelenting.

Even though their quirkiness prevents a certain attachment to the characters themselves, the economical prose seemingly easily whips up the breadth and scope of the humanity and the volatile elements, eliciting pathos in the hardships and history of the Newfoundland life. The most surprising bit of the book which had me laughing and laughing is probably that of Jack's resurrection which I thought was a relatively new scientific realisation. A feel-good novel in the way of Forrest Gump with beautiful prose, to read on a cold and cloudy day by the seaside.

Aside: are the names of the characters typical of Newfoundland inhabitants? ( )
  kitzyl | Apr 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 189 (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
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"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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

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.
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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

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