The Shipping News Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Shipping News

This novel is the story of protagonist Quoyle, a cuckold who loses his wife, and together with his 6-year old daughter and elderly Aunt Agnis, sets out to Newfoundland, their ancestral home. Quoyle lands a job in a small newspaper office in Newfoundland writing a column about the comings and goings of yachts -- The Shipping News. Both the beauty and harshness of Newfoundland are wonderfully portrayed. Along the way Quoyle learns things about his family he didn't even have an idea about. As an additional interesting device, the author presents details about one nautical knot in each chapter, and the characteristics of the knot unfold in the chapter. This engrossing story of loss and recovery and newfound renewal was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1993. -- R Prasad
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The review of this Book prepared by R Prasad

E. Annie Proulx's book "The Shipping News" is both a deeply disturbing and wonderfully challenging reading experience. She takes us to the strange climes of Newfoundland, Canada, where the cruel forces of nature provide a chilling backdrop to a sometimes bizarre, sometimes sweet tale of a honest, gentle man named Quoyle, his two bratty daughters and his eccentric aunt. Quoyle moves to Newfoundland after his wife abandons him and the children. He starts writing a column in the local paper, and slowly patches together a history of his unsavory family. Truly a riveting story.
The review of this Book prepared by Katy O'Grady

Chapter Analysis of The Shipping News

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Life of a profession:    -   writer Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast The Americas (not US):    -   Yes The Americas:    -   Canada Ice Caps/Sea?    -   Yes Where?    -   Ocean Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee    -   very gullible, like Gomer Pyle

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   little dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Shipping News

E. Annie Proulx Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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