The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
Published August 29, 2012
- Author Annie Proulx
I’m in two minds about this one. The story was interesting enough, guided along with an intriguing selection of quotes from a book about knots. I particularly felt for Quoyle, our self-conscious protagonist, his life seemed particularly unpleasant to begin with and it was nice to journey with him as things started to unwind, relax, and get a bit better.
The writing has a unique style, though, in which the sentences are not true sentences. It was more like poetry in the way it was written, words pushed together with no extra links unless absolutely necessary. At first it was different, new and exciting, it felt like reading verse. Gradually, it became a bit frustrating, as my brain was forced to fill in the rest of the sentence and therefore work a bit harder. I don’t have a problem with the mental workout, but it did mean the natural flow soon disappeared.
It’s an odd book, because the carefully constructed style made me feel as though it was going to have an important message, but it felt more like a rambling character study. Each person that appeared had a backstory, and their own monologue of memories - interesting in their own right, but not adding much to the plot. Overall though, I enjoyed the book, I liked the small journey we went on and was happy with the ending.