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Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Glad I read it

This is the story of Quoyle.. who is always the foil.. he was treated badly growing up, was severely emotionally abused throughout his marriage to a whorish nymphomaniac, and repeatedly got fired from his dead end job. So when his aunt suggests they move to Newfoundalan...
This is the story of Quoyle.. who is always the foil.. he was treated badly growing up, was severely emotionally abused throughout his marriage to a whorish nymphomaniac, and repeatedly got fired from his dead end job. So when his aunt suggests they move to Newfoundaland he picks up his children .. Bunny & Sunshine (love their names).. and moves.

In Newfoundland he is re-created. He becomes successful at his job. He is respected by others. The town has it's own quirkiness so he & the family fit in well.

I liked the story a lot. To me it really reflects how our roots affect us in ways we don't even realize. I think it's really cool when a character discovers things about themselves through digging into their ancestry. The writing style is quick and easy to read. The dialogue is engaging as the town people speak with their unique accent. I enjoyed reading this story of self-discovery.

posted by kimdep on April 22, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Exhausting

I really disliked this book. It's as though the author deliberately created a pretentious style of writing so that no one would notice how shallow the characters are. And if you're going to name every character with a noun (Al Catalog, Tate Card, Petal Bear), there sh...
I really disliked this book. It's as though the author deliberately created a pretentious style of writing so that no one would notice how shallow the characters are. And if you're going to name every character with a noun (Al Catalog, Tate Card, Petal Bear), there should be some discernable meaning to those choices. I am an avid reader, and this is only the second book I have EVER quit reading before finishing it (the other was the uncut version of Heinlein's 'Stranger in a Strange Land'). I felt no sympathy for the characters, and found the plot unengaging. Sorry.

posted by Anonymous on January 3, 2002

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2002

    Proulx won an award for this?!

    This has to be one of the worst books I have ever read. The writing was choppy and jumpy and what little character development there was didn't matter anyway because the characters weren't even believable. I only got to page 90 before I had to quit reading it and I usually never quit reading books, even when they're bad. This book was a major disappointment.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2002

    Exhausting

    I really disliked this book. It's as though the author deliberately created a pretentious style of writing so that no one would notice how shallow the characters are. And if you're going to name every character with a noun (Al Catalog, Tate Card, Petal Bear), there should be some discernable meaning to those choices. I am an avid reader, and this is only the second book I have EVER quit reading before finishing it (the other was the uncut version of Heinlein's 'Stranger in a Strange Land'). I felt no sympathy for the characters, and found the plot unengaging. Sorry.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2010

    If I had to choose between reading this book again and hanging myself...

    I'd hang myself. I could feel no real connection with any of the characters, and if there was any humor in the writing, it was lost on me. I could not stand the sentence fragments. I really wanted to read this because it was highly recommended by a relative, but I won't be taking her suggestions again. The ocean was way over-described, and the dialogue between the newsmen was void of any meaning or humor whatsoever. Save your $ and read something else (by a different author) that's not a chore to plod through.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2006

    Wake me when its over...

    I love Newfoundland, and I love the sea. ----- I give Proulx credit for capturing the Newfoundland voice and a bit of what life is like in fishing villages, and I appreciate learning many fascinating words... ------ But this book is an embarrassment to the Pulitzers, The PEN/Faulkner, and to the national Book Award. It makes it SO clear that they are little more than navel-gazing clubby Authors and Writing-Teachers giving colleagues Awards, rather than rewarding actual talent or story-telling skills. ------ Every book needs a character you can care about--this book has none. The characters are just empty, cookie-cutter frames for Proulx to hang her flowery language on. ------ The characters are pure stereotypes: The Very Bad Wife, The Gruff Newspaperman, The Wacky Cafe Owner, The Quiet Gentle Redeeming Girl. Ugh. ------ Worse yet, she has one pathetic attempt at livening the book up with a gratuitous and gory murder that, regrettably--has absolutely no relevence to the rest of the book. ------ And if you ask me--this is a sheltered author trying VERY hard to write about loss and pain when she clearly knows little of it, or at least cannot express it well. ------ This could and should be a book of great beauty and depth, but utterly fails because its clear she knows only how to write pretty sentences, but next to nothing about loss and pain.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2006

    Only continued for school

    About as riviting as a smooth nutbolt. I started reading it for school, barely finishing it for it too. I've read others praising the writing style, I disagree strongly. Maybe it's a Canadian thing, but I don't go off making up styles of writing that defy the gramatical laws we have been told to follow. Also, it's so hard to follow what's going on sometimes and is often boring. The storyline has been bad enough really. Quoyle is a grade A loser whom we should show pity for? Hate? Like? I don't like how Quoyle doesn't have a persona. What I'm saying is there is no defined Quoyle. His actions are often spuratic and uncharacteristic of what he has done so far. And the rest, I skip many conversatoins of useless characters. Agnis is annoying, she's like the nagging step mom that doesn't disipline out of love, but out of aggravation and distance. The characters aren't really explained much either by thoughts or statements about their character. This book put me to sleep many nights. I would like to know what makes it interesting too. The humor comes about every hundred pages I say. There are rare, I mean rare, parts where you raise a grin, but it's normally off of morbid humor really. I would have to dissuade others from reading it, but you can see for yourselves.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2005

    No reason to root for the main character

    I didn't even bother finishing this book. It was depressing from the start, and I was never given any reason to hope for or cheer for Quoyle. He had absolutely no redeeming qualities, nor was there a thing about him to which I could relate or identify. I didn't think it was worth continuing. I don't understand why this author has so many fans.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2004

    What A Bore

    In her novel Proulx introduces the main character, Quoyle, as a loser, a 36 year-old man who can't get anything right. He is a failure as a newspaper reporter, a failure in love who also has the physical detestable appearance to go with it. When his hippie wife dies in a traffic accident after leaving him for another man, he, his aunt and two young daughters start over by moving to Newfoundland, Canada. While the story starts off fantastic, Proulx¿s descriptions of Quoyle are rather amusing, the story ultimately takes a nose dive after about 60 pages. Targeted for fishing and boating enthusiasts who appreciate and relate to the Canadian sea life, it is not recommended for the general lay reader

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2004

    Very slow, boring, and depressing

    This book would have been good if it weren't so ARTSY. I think the author is trying to sound intelligent and be unique by writing sentence fragments, but I found it took away from the book. The plot is able to be developed into a good book, but the author's style of writing ruined the whole experience.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    Stopped Reading It

    I didn't like this book I actually stopped reading it, which is not something I normally do. Even if it's a book I don't really care for I still finish it. Not this book. I am so surprised that it won a Pulitzer Prize.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    Couldn't get through first 50 pages...

    Just not my cup of tea. Wanted to like it as all my friends rave about it. Sorry.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2003

    very slow

    it was hard to finish reading this book. Good idea, but definately missing some action.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2003

    I must be missing something

    This is undoubtedly one of the slowest moving, least interestin books I have ever read. I wanted to put it down but kept reading, hoping that something - anything - would happen. Unfortunately nothing did ever happen. The characters were uninteresting, the plot was boring and the writing style was not at all enjoyable to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2002

    Terrible and Pretentious

    Particularly disliked the choppy, fragmented style, especially since it was applied to both narration and ALL the dialogue. Give me a break -- we don't all talk the same, right? Really can't understand why this won the Pulitzer...Proulx should stick with literary criticism and stay away from novel-writing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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