Pamela's Reviews > The Shipping News

The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
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's review
Apr 16, 2012

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Read in April, 2012

Okay, I'm fudging here. I didn't finish this. Saw the movie, then took the book out. What drove me to put the book down, I think, was not the story, the characters, anything typical like that--the story, setting, and plot are just fine. Indeed, the setting--Newfoundland--is superb.

No, I wearied of Proulx's prose. The endless incomplete sentences. (And the effect of that is meant to be...what? That it puts the reader more 'inside the mind' of the character? Didn't work that way for me, just created distraction.) The strained and oft hyperbolic imagery, metaphor, simile, the quirky and daft qualifiers. Yes, occasionally, I loved her use of an unusual modifier, descriptive term or phrase, startling metaphor. But, again, most of the time, I found that for me the effect of all this verbal spatter-paint to be distraction, an uneasy sense of the writer's hand moving across each page. And, it seemed contrived.

So, for me, there goes Proulx again. I have tried to read her before, and never seem to get past page 100 or so.

Next time!
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