I’m going to start my review about this one by saying that this book is pretty boring for non-readers (if you know what I mean). We’ll if one’s hoping to find some action and suspense, a page-turner as one might say, I suggest you just look out on bookstores for the month’s bestseller’s lists and pick up a title with your eyes close. But then if you’re the type of reader who loves to lick words off the pages and savor them before turning to the next one, well you’re holding the right one.
The Shipping News is about a middle-aged, unfortunate, widowed (her two timing wife meets her just desserts) gentlemen who retreats with his two daughters to a starkly beautiful coast. As he lived his new life from there on, he starts to confront his inner demons and the ever unpredictable power of nature and society surrounded by a community of quirky characters. In this he begins to see the possibility of a new love (if his first one is considered) and a life without pain and suffering.
While reading this one I am careful not to think of other things in the matter that I’m very sure I’ll miss something important for the novel is somewhat hard to grasp without ones full attention. The prose is a bit of poetic like instead of saying fellatio, Proulx’s narrates it as “a hot mouth on a cold spoon” or something like that.
The novel won the coveted National Book Award, The Pulitzer Prize and The Irish Times National Fiction Prize for fiction. Now that’s a lot for a single novel to be awarded!
If you want to skip this one, may I suggest that you can look up for It’s movie adaptation (with the same title) so you guys can judge it yourself. I haven’t seen the movie but might as well if I came across it. The author is also the mind behind the short story (from her short story collection Close Range) ‘’Brokeback Mountain” which is also turned into a feature film.
All in all, it’s a beautiful, funny tragic novel that is full of human foibles and misfortunes that one can’t help but care for the story. Yeah, it’s a slow read (for me I guess) but it is a rewarding experience once you reach the last page. Especially the last sentences that until now, I am still hoping for.