Alan's Reviews > The Shell Collector: Stories

The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr
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Apr 04, 13

bookshelves: short-stories, read-in-2010
Read from May 19 to June 08, 2010

review will follow - bit hectic at the moment (in a good way)...

still haven't got time to do it justice, and had to take the books (this one and Winter's Bone) back to the library, so I'll try and sum up what I remember feeling about this book.

It is exquisitely written, full of nature - fish,sea, mountains, animals feature heavily. There is some humour but maybe the stories take themselves a little too seriously, and not normally my kind of stuff - a blind shell collector becomes a sought out healer, something miraculous perhaps. A woman feels the inner/past life of animals and humans by touching their dead bodies. Some are more straightforward, a holiday romance for a introverted girl which reminded me a bit of the Simpsons episode where the family are on holiday and Lisa becomes cool. Sometimes I didn't quite believe in the characters - the African refugee one (again that jumpy violent landscape of gangs taking over a war torn country and inflicting death and torture, like Akpan and others I've read recently), where he tries to bury his terrible past in the symbolic burial of the hearts of beached whales. Maybe. Fantastic descriptions of the whales (one bit I remember is the arteries - big enough for a 'housecat' to run through).

So good good writing, a little too heavy on the symbols and the characters are bent too much, now and then, to suit the story. But well worth a go.
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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica So good good writing, a little too heavy on the symbols and the characters are bent too much, now and then, to suit the story. But well worth a go.

I agree much.


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