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The Shell Collector: Stories (2002)

by Anthony Doerr

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7532422,836 (3.98)35
The exquisitely crafted stories in Anthony Doerr's acclaimed debut collection take readers from the African coast to the pine forests of Montana to the damp moors of Lapland, charting a vast physical and emotional landscape. Doerr explores the human condition in all its varieties-metamorphosis, grief, fractured relationships, and slowly mending hearts-and conjures nature in both its beautiful abundance and crushing power. Some of his characters contend with tremendous hardship; some discover unique gifts; all are united by their ultimate deference to the mysteries of the universe outside themselves.… (more)
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English (23)  Danish (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
A book of short stories, although all reasonably long short stories (if that makes any sense!). All quite different in setting and location, but all seem to revolve around a lack or a disappointment. They are, as a set, slightly mournful in tone. There is, in some of them, a sense of an acceptance of the situaiton that brings some comfort, rather than actual satisfaction to the protagnist. It is all well constructed and there are some images created in text that are really memorable. ( )
  Helenliz | Jun 27, 2020 |
Anthony Doerr's collection of his short stories, The Shell Collector, brings together eight of his stories.
As with any collection, some will have more appel to a reader than will others. My personal favorite was "So Many Chances," but I found something to like in each and every one of them. What impressed me the most about this collection is the wide range of writing skill Mr. Doerr displays. Each story is presented through a different narrative style, some really unique and innovative. These styles seem uniquely suited to the the stories they tell.
I was a little troubled, however, by the ending of a couple of stories which seemed to just stop rather than to resolve or conclude. I appreciate the open ending idea where the reader may fill in the missing conclusion as he sees fit, but in at least one instance, I didn't feel as if the story had played itself out enough to be stopped. Of course, maybe I just missed the point.
Mr. Doerr went on to write one of my favorite reads of this year, the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning All the Light We Cannot See, which is the first work of his I had read and which caused me to pick up "The Shell Collector."
I look forward to finding and reading more gems from this gifted writer. ( )
  Paul-the-well-read | Apr 18, 2020 |
Doerr is such a good short story writer. Not many authors can fully develop multiple characters AND provide a complex plot in under 50 pages. Doerr does that routinely in each of his short stories. ( )
  TSBresser | Dec 29, 2019 |
I originally bought this because I had read "The Caretaker" in another collection. All of the stories are worth your time, but I'd still say that "Caretaker" is my favorite. ( )
  dfwftw | Dec 27, 2019 |
First three stories, especially "The Hunter's Wife" were excellent. Crisp writing. ( )
  kvschnitzer | Dec 8, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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The shell collector was scrubbing limpets at his sink when he heard the water taxi come scraping over the reef.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The exquisitely crafted stories in Anthony Doerr's acclaimed debut collection take readers from the African coast to the pine forests of Montana to the damp moors of Lapland, charting a vast physical and emotional landscape. Doerr explores the human condition in all its varieties-metamorphosis, grief, fractured relationships, and slowly mending hearts-and conjures nature in both its beautiful abundance and crushing power. Some of his characters contend with tremendous hardship; some discover unique gifts; all are united by their ultimate deference to the mysteries of the universe outside themselves.

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Contents:
  • The Shell Collector
  • The Hunter’s Wife
  • So Many Chances
  • For a Long Time: This Was Griselda’s Story
  • July Fourth
  • The Caretaker
  • A Tangle by the Rapid River
  • Mkondo
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