Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Shipping News

This was another title I wrote down after browsing in a bookstore. The author is Annie Proulx (of Brokeback Mountain fame) and clearly a talented story teller. The title sounded familiar and after talking to my sister, I remembered that they made a movie based on this story. I'll have to rent it to see if it does justice to the wonderful writing.

A colorful book in a very drab setting, Newfoundland, each chapter begins with a title heading and description from Ashley Book of Knots that introduces the subject matter to come. The main characters are unusual, interesting and richly developed. The author varies her writing style depending on what is happening with the book. She writes with choppy and incomplete sentences when she narrates certain characters and with fluid and descriptive prose when creating a landscape. I wouldn't say it's a page turner....I could definitely put it down, but I really cared what happened to Quoyle and his daughters and Wavey and Beety and Dennis. I liked seeing them progress and improve and become closer.

I don't think I'd ever want to live in a small, isolated area. Seems like a lot of freaks and geeks congregate together and weird stuff happens. But that provided some of the quaintness of this book. Very well crafted.

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