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Customer Reviews for

The Shipping News

Average Rating 3.5
( 99 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(26)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Real Readers Relish It

I can't imagine anyone not placing this book at the top of their Must Read list. The characters are real - not grand in stature - but so like the rest of us - not pretty, struggling, abandoned, but filled with a great desire to find a life. As a former newspaper woman, ...
I can't imagine anyone not placing this book at the top of their Must Read list. The characters are real - not grand in stature - but so like the rest of us - not pretty, struggling, abandoned, but filled with a great desire to find a life. As a former newspaper woman, I especially like the way our hero narrows everything down to alliterative headlines. How could you not howl when the entire family is confined to a single motel room and the dog is farting up a storm in its sleep: Farts Fell Family of Four. You've got to love it.

posted by Hilton-Head-Reader on April 8, 2011

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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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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    A Literate Person

    To criticize the writing in this excellent novel is to showcase an ignorance of the reality of cadenced and often clipped thoughts each of possess, especially at our more vulnerable moments.

    This perfectly and artistically crafted novel is full of nuanced description, allegorical characters, and a poetic rhythm that makes for a totally unique read.

    Brilliant.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2011

    Real Readers Relish It

    I can't imagine anyone not placing this book at the top of their Must Read list. The characters are real - not grand in stature - but so like the rest of us - not pretty, struggling, abandoned, but filled with a great desire to find a life. As a former newspaper woman, I especially like the way our hero narrows everything down to alliterative headlines. How could you not howl when the entire family is confined to a single motel room and the dog is farting up a storm in its sleep: Farts Fell Family of Four. You've got to love it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2008

    Insanely Good

    Definitely deserving of it's Pulitzer. I read a lot and normally know where a story is going and why, but this is so artfully complex and surprising, without being contrived. So well done!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2008

    best book I've read in years!

    Yes, it is complex, and yes, she does change the rules of grammar, but all to a purpose. Quoyle is symbolic of the aimless, empty lives so many of us live these days. By pure grace is he saved.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2012

    This book depressed me at first, then grew on me, and then haunt

    This book depressed me at first, then grew on me, and then haunted me after I finished it. Quoyle became real to me, a regular guy capable of love. I was rooting for him. I am still rooting for him all these years later.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2007

    Best I've Read In Years!

    Proulx's prose is as cutting and cool as the Newfoundland coast she writes about. The characters are so real, it's as if you could reach out and touch them. Haunting, and truly magical, a book about hope and the things that keep us going.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Perfect

    Always be my favorie book

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  • Posted September 1, 2011

    Loved it!

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2006

    Wonderful

    sI thought that this was one of the best books I have ever read. The way it is written is a little hard to get into, and it isn't an easy read. It took me four days to read it when normally it would have taken two. But it is worth it. It gives you everything. Sorrow. Love. Hate. Saddness. Hope. Wonder. It really was wonderful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2005

    Truly Outstanding

    Interesting and quite moving. This is definitely one of the best books that I have ever read. It is intelligent, intriguing and well researched. Although the clipped style of writing is a bit unusual (standard grammar will not be found within the pages), once I got into the rhythm of the book I could not put it down. It is a fascinating story that follows a man and his family as they search to find a bit of peace and contentment in their unusually dysfunctional lives by going back to their ancestral home in Newfoundland. The plot nicely ties together by the end of the book and the reader is enriched with the knowledge that we can all find our right place in this world if we have the courage to seek it. A bonus is the fascinating descriptions of life in Newfoundland.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2004

    Powerful!

    This book was riveting. It drew you in at the first chapter and kept drawing you farther and farther into it. What a great read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2004

    Intense and moving

    Whilst it is a fair comment that the plot does not include dozens of huge events this book is in no way slow. The characterisation is excellent, and because of this it is easy to become very involved in the life of the protagonist, and quite gripped with the book. It manages a rare feat in giving the reader a real journey from darkness into light without ever seeming twee or predictable. A bit like Beethoven's ninth. I liked it alot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2003

    brilliant and unorthodox

    The wonderfully inventive prose successfully accompanies a refreshingly unheroic protagonist - Quoyle. The descriptions are vivid and imaginative, and the characters are warm and interesting. An excellent book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2002

    Superb narration by Robert Joy

    The Shipping News has come to me only via the voice of Robert Joy, in an intriguing, skillful, captivating reading on an audiotape, purchased in a Wisconsin truckstop. I haven't seen the movie or read the book, though I will do both. Joy's accents and insights made miles of a long drive virtually disappear into crashing seas and mauve seascapes of the story. It is worth much to have a real actor and real man of Canada read this story. I was enormously impressed with his talents and the way the prose and dialogue came alive. The other lukewarm reviews make me think that perhaps some books are made to be not only read, but read aloud.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2002

    Loved it!

    This book was great. The choppy style of writing was annoying in the begining but as I read more I figured it was written that way to match the main character. Quoyle's personality was choppy and disruptive, and I felt that I could relate to him and his problems. I loved everything about this book and highly recomend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2002

    English Teacher Loves Shipping News

    As an English teacher, I was taken aback by the sentence structure or lack thereof. I had to ask myself what kind of a grade I would give a student who made such an offering as a writing assignment. Alas, it would have to be an A+++, as the story kept me reading and I was very sorry to part with Quoyle, his friends and family, and Newfoundland. The story and style overrides the concerns of this English teacher. It was a lovely journey; I am sorry it is over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2002

    This one you'll remember !!!!!

    Knowing that E. Annie Proulx got both a Pulitzer price AND and National Book Award makes you wonder, is it really that good? Well it is even better !!! An absolute must-read !!! Great eloquence, a story-line that keeps you always wanting to read-on, a perfect mirror to human behaviour, almost live pictures of nature and forces of nature and last but not least some great humor (brought in the most subtle and eloquent manner). Well I put this book on my shelf of favourites where it 'shoulders' with Joyce's 'Ulysses' and Nabokov's 'Lolita'. Definitively get this book !!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2001

    Well Worth My Time....

    This Pultizer Prize winner was well worth my time, and will be worth yours too. Proulx throws proper grammar out the window and writes a beautiful tale. Not all writers could manage this feat, but Proulx certainly has. I was touched by the love and devotion Quoyle showed to his daughters, and found the various Newfoundland characters to be oddly amusing and almost endearing...almost.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2001

    Deserves it's Pulitzer Prize

    This is one of the best books I've read in many years, a borderline classic in my opinion. The humor, characters, and plot made this book a pleasure to read and enjoy. It just goes to show that it's feasible to be happy with a little if you realize how much you've got. A spectacular book.

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