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Publisher's Summary

A vigorous, darkly comic, and at times magical portrait of the contemporary American family, The Shipping News shows why E. Annie Proulx is recognized as one of the most gifted and original writers in America today. When Quoyle, a 36-year-old, third rate newspaperman, learns that his two-timing wife has abandoned him and their two daughters, he returns to his ancestral home on the Newfoundland coast, where amongst locals and three generations of his family, he begins to rebuild his life. Newfoundland is a dreary rock in the north Atlantic beset by lousy weather. Proulx recreates this barren location in her vivid, distinctive prose and populates it with a cast of amusing, richly human characters. The transformation each of the characters undergoes following the move is profound. And Proulx creates a simple and compelling tale of Quoyle's psychological and spiritual growth as he confronts his private demons. Along the way, we catch a glimpse of the maritime beauty of what is probably a fading existence.
©1995 E. Annie Proulx, All Rights Reserved (P)1995 Simon & Schuster Inc., All Rights Reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

Performance, writing, production just brilliant. Annie is an amazing storyteller and The Shipping News is perfect for this format

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 28-05-2007

Find the unabridged version!

Skip the abridged version of this book! I wasn't crazy about it, then decided to give the unabrdged version a chance and I'm SO glad I did. It's a superb book when read in full. I'd rate it 5 stars.



20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra
  • 07-11-2004

The Shipping News

This book is such a great read I couldn't put it down. It stayed in my thoughts when I couldn't read it, and I used any excuse to get back to it. A quirky, humorous and sad story, it is written as vividly as though the author was experiencing everything as she wrote. The characters are almost alive and kind of odd, having lived in a small community for so long. But the great thing is that everyone accepts the quirks of others, at least until the end.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Howard
  • 14-08-2010

A Colossal Bore

All of the Pulitzer Prizes in the world (yes, this book won in 1994) can’t save “The Shipping News” from terminal boredom. Proulx belongs to a segment of the modern school which deemphasizes plot, which might work if the characters and their inner thoughts were fascinating. But this essentially plotless novel is populated by some very dull individuals. It’s one thing to write well, which Proulx does, but it’s another thing to have something to write about. If your want to read a book which celebrates ordinariness, this slight tale might be for you, but don’t be surprised if you, too, end up as bored as I was.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary E. Johnson
  • 10-10-2007

Well Done

My 1st Annie Proulx novel, but certainly not my last. I chose the abridged version because I liked Robert Joy's voice. He seemed more Quoyle-like to me. Read the book, listened to the audio version and watched the movie. Time well spent.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 30-11-2012

Good words, disappointing reader

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The book is excellent

What did you like best about this story?

It is a compelling story of growth and human character

What didn’t you like about Robert Joy’s performance?

His voice is off putting, and detracted from the story.

Could you see The Shipping News being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No

Any additional comments?

no

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Patti
  • 17-01-2011

Less Than Entertaining

The characters didn't interest me. They were sad-sack. The narration was okay. But everything about this story seemed lame. Don't waste your time or credit.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mollie
  • 10-11-2010

The Shipping News

I generally liked the book but thought something was missing. When it ended I found it was an abridged version, I realized a lot must have been left out. Didn't know to pay attention to this -thought audible books were all full versions.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lee
  • 30-07-2010

this is one of my favorite books

I usually hate abridged versions but Robert Joy does an excellent job with these voices.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Samantha
  • 25-01-2010

SO Kevin Spacey!

Awesome read, loved it, the character was made for Mr Spacey! Very enjoyable.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anna
  • 30-07-2006

Anna

From the description I thought this book would be good, but sadly I was disappointed. In the book, the author portrays Newfoundland as an awful, desolate place. The story was dreary, bleak and depressing. I am usually not this critical but felt compelled to leave a comment.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Steve Kirkwood
  • 16-12-2012

Difficult to listen to

I got this on a recommendation from someone who had read the book. Very soon into listening to it I became very frustrated with the readers style, it seemed that the stresses and punctuations were all wrong, that is until I looked at the book. The author’s style is written like a mass of headlines and short sentences thrown together.



I struggled to finish the book and found the ending so unbelievable that it diminished any of the good I could recount. The prose is frustrating in a book that travels at 5 miles per hour on a road going nowhere.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • carolyn
  • 16-07-2014

Perfect

if you like Anne Tyler then you will like this. I love the slow burn of stories about people where something but nothing happens. A man moves to newfoundland with his 2 children and tries to begin again after a tragedy. but there are old family ties that create the story and interweave with his life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DartmoorDiva
  • 01-09-2016

Mesmerising

I almost didn't buy this as there were some downbeat reviews that talked of 'nothing much happening' and the prose being tricky. I couldn't agree less! I thought the characters and stories were wonderful and the writing style was amazing! I was enthralled and found it more like Kate Atkinson's style than Anne Tyler's, as another reviewer had suggested. It has the wonderful mix of the mundane and the surreal. I loved it. I haven't seen the film, but will be buying the DVD.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dan N Smith
  • 17-08-2018

Sad to leave Quoyle & Newfoundland behind

Sad, bleak and beautifully uplifting. Expertly wrought with characters as unpredictable as the weather. Loved it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JB
  • 22-07-2018

Wonderful

Has always been one of my favourite books - the bumbling, dogged but utterly engaging Qouile is sensitively realised, as are the many engaging characters he meets on his difficult but ultimately fulfilling journey. I've always loved this book and got more out of it every time I read it. Listening to it has been a whole new pleasure. While I would have liked the audio version to be unabridged, I have really enjoyed it

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ::m::
  • 06-06-2018

terrible sound quality

Not going to comment on the story, I am sure it is good. However, the quality of the audio recording is terrible so I'm giving this one a miss.