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~DOWNLOAD PDF ⚓ The Shipping News ♌ 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 A vigorous, darkly comic, and at times magical portrait of the contemporary North American family, The Shipping News shows why Annie Proulx is recognized as one of the most gifted and original writers in America today So far this is a great read, this book is a little gem Had to get used to the language and the different way of storytelling, but this story, I love it so far Finished it today and what a great book to start 2010 with I loved it Loved the story, the characters, the description of the surroundings and the community, the way it is written, loved everything about it It could have gone on forever for me This is a feel good story, at least that s how I felt it It was on my night desk next to th So far this is a great read, this book is a little gem Had to get used to the language and the different way of storytelling, but this story, I love it so far Finished it today and what a great book to start 2010 with I loved it Loved the story, the characters, the description of the surroundings and the community, the way it is written, loved everything about it It could have gone on forever for me This is a feel good story, at least that s how I felt it It was on my night desk next to the bed for some time and every page I read before sleep gave me joy Read the most of the book in London pubs A five star, beautiful gem During the years that I was the manager of a business, I had the wonderful good fortune to have on staff many people originally from Newfoundland One aspect that I found fascinating is the similarities between that relatively small rock and my holiday in southwest England many years ago In England, I noticed that accents and the way certain things were said changed about every five miles The same is true with Newfoundland Definitions and phrases are different depending on where people live During the years that I was the manager of a business, I had the wonderful good fortune to have on staff many people originally from Newfoundland One aspect that I found fascinating is the similarities between that relatively small rock and my holiday in southwest England many years ago In England, I noticed that accents and the way certain things were said changed about every five miles The same is true with Newfoundland Definitions and phrases are different depending on where people lived The most interesting part is that even though they would use different terms for the same things, they could still understand each other Well, it s all English after all.This story follows a family from New York to Newfoundland where Quoyle s family is from originally His Aunt travels with the family and is looking forward to a new start with Quoyle and his two daughters in the place she had left behind nearly 50 years before.The writing is very different and interesting While they are in their small town in New York, the sentences are terse, choppy very few articles and no conjunctions Tight, compressed sentences that reflected their tight, compressed existence.When they arrive at their destination, everything changes the sentences gradually grow and expand There are poetic turns of phrase mingled with the mangled English of the Newfoundlanders Quoyle, a would be journalist starts to turn out interesting articles for the newspaper whose owner still goes out fishing whenever he can.I was enthralled with the people I met while reading and when this family saga ended of loves lost and found of careers begun, stalled, and begun again of friendships and warmth and caring of dark times and sad times and cruel times and joyful times when it all came to an end, I felt I would give anything for a fewlike 10 or 20 chapters, even though the ending is perfect.This novel won several prizes, including both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize It is always a pleasure to me when a book I enjoy so much is given accolades and recognition, and this one is a perfect example Like with almost every other Pulitzer darling, we accompany the protagonist for the entire ride, this one is exceptionally literary in that brave, EveryMan type way This the prototype for the ever ambitious, ever elusive Great semi American Novel in which the elements of clever prose, revamped revisited personal histories, of second chances and redemption, are outstandingly clear and pitched at full blast Many novels read like this, and usually the one in that particular year earns itself Like with almost every other Pulitzer darling, we accompany the protagonist for the entire ride, this one is exceptionally literary in that brave, EveryMan type way This the prototype for the ever ambitious, ever elusive Great semi American Novel in which the elements of clever prose, revamped revisited personal histories, of second chances and redemption, are outstandingly clear and pitched at full blast Many novels read like this, and usually the one in that particular year earns itself magnanimous acclaim Yes, it tries to do everything right But why is this not a contemporary classic ahem, Middlesex Because, after all, as the drama becomeselevated, the protagonist becomes somewhat uninteresting As the atmosphere becomes a desolated desperate return to simplicity, the token characters pile on the thesis being that withpeople around the sadness which is omnipresent is diminished The only way to succeed in life is to partake in it Bottom line.No, this one is not without its problems this is not Graham Greene, it is not Toni Morrison, it is not Geoffrey Eugenides, after all Alas, it suffers from similar ailments shared by other Pulitzer winners it is, at times, a tad too superficial A Visit from the Goon Squad somewhat dull ish, small, insignificantish Breathing Lessons dense American Pastoral or even a little too long, overdone sorry Loneseome Dove it is thoroughly enjoyable, too Which is NEVER a detractor from the overall experience P.S Several surprises await in the last 12 pages those readers who manage to reach the end So GET THERE, people The Shipping News is a wonderful read We are introduced to Quoyle and follow him from his life and failed marriage in Mockingburg , New York through to his move and settling into Newfoundland with his two daughters, Bunny and Sunshine There is a nearly Dostoyevski level of tragedy underpinning the story sexual assault, perversion, violence which litters the road Quoyle travels down There are a few innovative aspects to the text itself, the names and the grammar Annie Proulx comes up w The Shipping News is a wonderful read We are introduced to Quoyle and follow him from his life and failed marriage in Mockingburg , New York through to his move and settling into Newfoundland with his two daughters, Bunny and Sunshine There is a nearly Dostoyevski level of tragedy underpinning the story sexual assault, perversion, violence which litters the road Quoyle travels down There are a few innovative aspects to the text itself, the names and the grammar Annie Proulx comes up with some of the most original names I have ever seen Tert Card Bunny Partridge and this helps make the textmemorable and fun The staccato sentence structure where she often drops the subject is a clever way of dropping us into a pseudo interior dialog inside Quoyle s head These two features give a unique dynamic to Proulx s writing.At the beginning of the story, Quoyle reminded me of Ignatius J Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces, both physically and in terms of his lack of career, but fortunately for Quoyle, he quickly latches onto a friend, Partridge, and a career in journalism despite a rocky start Quoyle didn t recognize news, had no aptitude for detail He was afraid of all but twelve or fifteen verbs Had a fatal flair for the false passive p 8 Like Ignatius or even Augie March The Adventures of Augie March to a degree, Quoyle is desperately trying to move beyond his limitations In a profession that tutored its practitioners in the baseness of human nature, that revealed the corroded nature of civilization, Quoyle constructed a personal illusion of orderly progress In atmospheres of disintegration and smoking jealousy he imagined rational compromise p 10 Fortunately for him, he is able to surmount the early catastrophe with Petal and reconnect with his somewhat damaged, but still maleable kids and becomes a charming father figure Yes, I am skipping some detail here in an effort to avoid spoilers In his migration to the cold, windy north, he brings his aunt herself full of incredible surprises who imparts wisdom in little chunks As you get older you find out the place where you started out pulls at you stronger and strongerProbably some atavistic drive to finish up where you started p 30 She is going back, with great courage, to a place where she personally suffered but where she will build herself up again despite her own setbacks.I wanted to mention that another characteristic of this book that makes it exceptional is the care the author takes to give a credible and poignant backstory to nearly all of the characters None are mere cardboard cutouts of people Even the crazy cousin has a moment of lucidity at the end I found this to really bring me and bind me to the story.There is a lot of comedy in the novel on arriving in Killick Claw, Newfoundland, the scene in the Tickle Motel, Bar Restaurant was particularly hilarious off of Route 999 about as far from anywhere as you can imagine Quoyle was the first to take a shower Discoloured water spouted from a broken tile, seeped under the door and into the carpet The sprinkler system dribbled as long as the cold faucet was open His clothes slipped off the toilet and lay in the flood, for the door hooks were torn away A Bible on a chain near the toilet, loose pages ready to fall It was not until the next evening that he discovered that he had gone about all day with a page from Leviticus stuck to his back p 55 Quoyle goes to work for the local paper, the Gammy Bird and his male colleagues are all adorably bizarre Nutbeem, Tert, and Billy plus his boss Jack all described with care and humor The book gets its title from Quoyle s column, The Shipping News, where he is to gather information on comings and goings from the port and which overtime he truly excels at while he gets used to the natural beauty and unnatural human debris of the area Cleaning up around his house When he came upon a torn plastic bag he filled it with debris Tin cans, baby food jars, a supermarket meat tray, torn paper cajoling the jobless readerplastic line, the unfurled carboard tube from a roll of toilet paper Pink tampon inserts Behind him a profound sigh, the sigh of someone beyond hope or exasperation Quoyle turned A hundred feet away, a glistening back The Minke whale rose, glided under the milky surface He stared at the water Again it appeared, sighed, slipped under Roiling fog arms flew fifty feet above the sea p 110 Her descriptions of nature are occasionally breathtaking like this one.In an important passage, Quoyle s colleague Billy gives him a metaphor for the schema for a man s life Ar, that Let s see Used to say there were four women in every man s heart The Maid in the Meadow, the Demon Lover, the Stouthearted Woman, the Tall and Quiet Woman p 182 While I have a hard time relating that to my own experience, it definitely correlates directly to Quoyle The Tall and Quiet Woman is clearly the wonderful Wavey and the story of she and Quoyle is another wonderful highlight to this charming book Each chapter begins with a quote, most often from a book of knots the rope and knots being metaphors that are used throughout the novel I really liked the last sentence of the story as well which uses this wonderful metaphor Water may be older than light, diamonds crack in hot goat s blood, mountaintops give off cold fire, forests appear in mid ocean, it may happen that a crab is caught with the shadow of a hand on its back, that the wind might be imprisoned in a bit of knotted string And it may be that love sometimes occurs without pain or misery p 355.Overall, this book was absolutely deserving of its Pulitzer Prize and made me want to readwork by this gifted author who, incidentally, was not published until she was in her 50s giving the present reviewer hope as yet And I know I have to still see the movie with Kevin Spacey My initial review of this book was simply Bullllshiiit , but, um, perhapsexplanation is deserved After a handful of people whose taste I respect raved about this book, I was looking forward to it, and got to page 180 or so before finally admitting This feels like a chore and giving it away and I rarely leave books unfinished.What got to me about this book was mainly Proulx s style was tooforced Nothing that occured felt real or believed by the author herself and it s not that My initial review of this book was simply Bullllshiiit , but, um, perhapsexplanation is deserved After a handful of people whose taste I respect raved about this book, I was looking forward to it, and got to page 180 or so before finally admitting This feels like a chore and giving it away and I rarely leave books unfinished.What got to me about this book was mainly Proulx s style was tooforced Nothing that occured felt real or believed by the author herself and it s not that I demand realism One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of my favorites It s that I felt like I could see the mechanisms behind all of her tricks the anecdotes that characters told felt like ideas Proulx kept on a notepad before compiling them together for this novel It read like the final project from a brilliant student finishing a course on creative writing I m not saying Proulx isn t a good writer but I don t see her as a storyteller A love story of a single father, a newspaper reporter, who returns to Newfoundland to live in an ancestral home and meets a local woman Everyone in the present is haunted in some way by the victims in the past claimed by nature, usually by the sea The plot revolves around ordinary characters ordinary, quirky Newfies, that is They are overweight or pock marked or not quite attractive, in that left behind kind of way, and they are all damaged in some way, usually by the loss of loved ones t A love story of a single father, a newspaper reporter, who returns to Newfoundland to live in an ancestral home and meets a local woman Everyone in the present is haunted in some way by the victims in the past claimed by nature, usually by the sea The plot revolves around ordinary characters ordinary, quirky Newfies, that is They are overweight or pock marked or not quite attractive, in that left behind kind of way, and they are all damaged in some way, usually by the loss of loved ones to nature But the characters are small specks against the giant backdrop of rock, sea and storms I ll call this an environmental novel of Newfoundland Man and woman against nature We think of an island as the intersection of land and water two systems but it s really the intersection of three earth systems land, water and atmosphere Here we see Mother Nature in all her glory inflicting herself on the puny inhabitants of this rock coast Wind, rain, waves, snow, storms, ice, seafoam, icebergs are really the main characters Shipping News is the antithesis of the beach book this is one for a good winter read by the fireplace or under the electric blanket You know you re in trouble when you pan a Pulitzer prize winner, but pan I must This book bored me to tears Perpetual motion and its status as currently reading on Goodreads together got me through it I didn t care what happened to whom or how it would end, I just wanted it over Amazing the things that passed for excitement and were given excessive air time in this novel an incredibly detailed rendition of the kids Christmas pageant knitting the uneventful daily commute and various mos You know you re in trouble when you pan a Pulitzer prize winner, but pan I must This book bored me to tears Perpetual motion and its status as currently reading on Goodreads together got me through it I didn t care what happened to whom or how it would end, I just wanted it over Amazing the things that passed for excitement and were given excessive air time in this novel an incredibly detailed rendition of the kids Christmas pageant knitting the uneventful daily commute and various mostly silent car rides Enough to make you want to shout FIRE and see if any of these characters does anything but look around slowly, gather up his belongings carefully and think about that phone call he wasn t now going to get to make about that boat motor Sheesh Then when something interesting was happening, or happened before but was just coming up in conversation, nothing much is made of it It s all brushed under the rug as not being worthy of the words it would have taken to adequately describe I don t give a rat s a about the detailed description of the animal paintings on the children s cocoa mugs, but I would have liked to have heard how, exactly, Mrs Yark managed to rescue them from the total destruction of her house and her entire town And the names nearly every one of them strange, and to me irksome I couldn t decide through the entire book how to pronounce Quoyle with a hard C or with a Kw Wavey reminded me of Wavy Gravy Petal Marty for a girl Beety Last names often used alone were bizarre as well Nutbeem Pretty Quoyle double whammy, first and last Buggit One review called the book atmospheric I ll give it that, if by Atmospheric they meancold pea soup, no crackers than Middle Earth with Orlando Bloom Another this one on the back of the book , a lyric page turner Whaaaa Enough, glad its done it drove me nuts Good thing Proulx s Brokeback Mountain is a short story, because I still do want to read that The Shipping News is E Annie Proulx s second novel, published back in 1993 The book won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award She has a unique voice and her command of language is impressive The strength of this book is her prose and strong sense of place She writes in short staccato sentences, sometimes even using incomplete phrases, but with such inventive and fitting language She seems to have a vast vocabulary but uses rare words sparingly Her unpretentious talent isf The Shipping News is E Annie Proulx s second novel, published back in 1993 The book won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award She has a unique voice and her command of language is impressive The strength of this book is her prose and strong sense of place She writes in short staccato sentences, sometimes even using incomplete phrases, but with such inventive and fitting language She seems to have a vast vocabulary but uses rare words sparingly Her unpretentious talent isfrom finding creative uses of everyday words This talent is fitting for a story that largely takes place in a sparse, inhospitable place, with simple characters and results in real depth underneath these humble characters and locals.The story follows Quoyle, a hulk of a man, who s life begins with dysfunction and tragedy He is a man adrift in upstate New York, deadened from abuse and ill treatment The only positive thing he receives from his early life and broken marriage to an unfaithful and dreadful wife, is two daughters An Aunt, Angis Hamm, convinces Quoyle to return to his ancestral home in Newfoundland where he finds work on the local newspaper This is where the story really finds solid ground with Proulx deftly describing the local culture, language, and harsh climate of Newfoundland If there is a weakness in this book, it s that the striking language, and intriguing side observations tended to distract me from the story line There were moments where I became lost in the story and needing to backtrack or accept that I was lost for a bit, until I found enough clues to navigate back to familiar waters While several key characters were fully formed, many of the secondary characters were one dimensional and never took shape in my mind However, the strength of the prose and the rich setting were enough to keep me engaged throughout the entire story There was just enough struggle and heartbreak to drive the story and we see real change in Quoyle I finished The Shipping News feeling that Proulx is a better writer than character builder and story teller But I still believe she s a talent and this is an important work There is such great connection between her language skills and the setting and people of this book The desolate location, angry ocean, and gritty town feel like the best, most recognizable character in the book, if that makes sense Worthy of its acclaim and awards, I give it four and a half stars, rounded to five An artistic tale of small triumphs and personal growth perched in the richly layered backdrop of a seaside northern town This is my first Proulx, so I didn t know if the unusual writing style is typical, or specially chosen for this particular story I hope it s the latter, as it works very well Update I ve now read the collection, Close Range Brokeback Mountain and Other stories, which I reviewed HERE Those stories use similar language, but somewhat toned down.It covers a couple of years plus some backstory in the life of thirty something Quoyle a big, lonely, awkward and unattractive man, always having or This is my first Proulx, so I didn t know if the unusual writing style is typical, or specially chosen for this particular story I hope it s the latter, as it works very well Update I ve now read the collection, Close Range Brokeback Mountain and Other stories, which I reviewed HERE Those stories use similar language, but somewhat toned down.It covers a couple of years plus some backstory in the life of thirty something Quoyle a big, lonely, awkward and unattractive man, always having or doing the wrong thing He is a not very successful journalist in New York, who ends up moving, with his young daughters Bunny and Sunshine and aunt, to a small, somewhat inbred, community in Newfoundland where the aunt and his late father grew up Somehow Proulx keeps the reader on the fence he isn t especially lovable, and yet he elicitssympathy than mockery in this reader.I think one weakness is that the mother of the girls is too horrible, and the manner of her departure from their lives stretched my credulity somewhat LANGUAGEThe narrative style is the first thing to hit It is very distinctive, continues throughout the book, and could be infuriating, though I didn t find it so It is telegraphic and observational, reflecting Quoyle s job There are staccato sentence fragments, and some overworked analogies, some of which are wonderfully vivid, and a few of which are laughably awful Grammar sticklers may struggle to enjoy this book, but it s their loss context is all, and in this context, I think it works If I were as clever and witty as some of my GR friends you know who you are , I would have written this review in the style of the book.Anyway, some typical examples This is the entire opening paragraph of a chapter The aunt in her woolen coat when Quoyle came into the motel room Tin profile with a glass eye A bundle on the floor under the window Wrapped in a bed sheet, tied with net twine Another whole paragraph Near the window a man listened to a radio His buttery hair swept behind ears Eyes pinched close, a mustache A packet of imported dates on his desk He stood up to shake Quoyle s hand Gangled Plaid bow tie and ratty pullover The British accent strained through his splayed nose Analogies eyes the color of plastic the sullen bay rubbed with thumbs of fog On the horizon icebergs like white prisons The immense blue fabric of the sea, rumpled and creased parenthesis around her mouth set like clamps Impossible to know if she was listening to Nutbeem or flying over the Himalayas In a way he could not explain she seized his attention because she seemed sprung from wet stones, the stench of fish and tide eyes like a thorn bush, stabbing everything at once The ghost of his wife, Petal s essence riding under his skin like an injected vaccine against the plague of love Fingernails like the bowls of souvenir spoons That s the whole sentence THE TOWN AND COMMUNITYAspects of the town and its characters remind me of David Lynch s 1980s TV series Twin Peaks strange characters, often with impairments of mind, body or emotions, slightly strange names, odd superstitions, and dark secrets murder, incest, rape, insurance fraud.The town of Killick Claw isn t prosperous, and the environment is still harsh, but it s better than when the aunt grew up there The forces of fate weakened by unemployment insurance, a flaring hope in offshore oil money The Gammy Bird is the local paper, and it s like no other lots of adverts many of them fake , deliberate typos and Malapropisms, libelous gossip including a regular catalogue of sex abuse cases , shipping news and we run a front page photo of a car wreck every week, whether we have a wreck or not Poor Quoyle is bemused and has the uneasy and familiar feeling of standing on a playground watching others play games whose rules he didn t know THEMESKnots are the most obvious one Each chapter opens with a quotation pertinent to what it contains, and many are from Ashley Book of Knots, which Proulx found second hand, and gave her the inspiration and structure she sought Knots feature in the plot metaphorically in terms of being bound or adrift , in aliteral and superstitious sense Rope can be wound and knotted to make good a wound or separation We also learn that Quoyle s name means coil of rope , and I suppose he is pretty tightly coiled for the first half of the book.Shipping is obvious, too, not just from the title, but because Quoyle ends up writing the eponymous shipping news in the local paper, in a community where everyone needs a boat Most of the introductory quotes that are not from Ashley Book of Knots are from a Mariner s Dictionary I confess there were times when the quantity and level of detail slightly exceeded my interest, but I m glad I stuck with it.The book is riddled with pain, rejection, estrangement and mentions of abusive relationships never graphic many are haunted by ghosts of past events and relationships gone wrong But although it is sometimes bleak, it is rarely depressing, and sometimes it s funny Even close and fond relationships often have an element of awkwardness and distance for instance, Quoyle always refers to the aunt , rather than my aunt Even after living with her for a while, It came to him he knew nearly nothing of the aunt s life And hadn t missed the knowledge Ultimately, it s at least as much about re birth and healing as death and doom One character slowly realises it may be possible to recover from a broken relationship was love then like a bag of assorted sweets passed around from which one might choosethan once OTHER MISCELLANEOUS QUOTATIONS a failure of normal appearance if you can t even achieve that, what hope is there believed in silent suffering, didn t see that it goaded In a shop, the man s fingers dropped cold dimes fog shuddered against their faces the house was garlanded with wind In such a harsh environment, The wood, hardened by time and corroding weather, clenched the nails fast a few torn pieces of early morning cloud the shape and color of salmon fillets I think I d prefer that one without the fish the woman in the perpetual freeze of sorrow, afloat on the rise and fall of tattered billows a babysitter doing overtime in a trance of electronic color and simulated life, smoking cigarettes and not wondering The floor around her strewn with hairless dolls From The Ashley Book of Knots To prevent slipping, a knot depends on friction, and to provide friction there must be pressure of some sort