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Publisher's Summary

Rarely has a literary novel so captured the hearts and minds of readers and listeners across America and the world as E. Annie Proulx's The Shipping News, winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Accordion Crimes is another masterpiece of storytelling that spans a century and a continent.
The book opens in 1890 in Sicily as an accordion maker completes his finest instrument and dreams of owning a music store in America. He and his 11-year-old son, carrying little more than the accordion, voyage to the teeming, violent port of New Orleans. Within a year, the accordion maker is murdered by an anti-Italian lynching mob, but his instrument carries Proulx's story as it falls into the hands of various immigrants who carry it from Iowa to Texas, from Maine to Louisiana, looking for a decent life. The music is their last link with the past - voice for their fantasies, sorrows and exuberance - but it, too, is forced to change.
Proulx's prodigious knowledge, heartbreaking characters, and daring storytelling unite the sections of Accordion Crimes - a stunning novel, exhilarating in its scope and originality.
©1996 Annie Proulx (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
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Critic Reviews

"In scale, in vision and in imaginative darling, Accordion Crimes uses all the range and the resources of Proulx's mature prose.... She is a great novelist." (The New Republic)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Annette on 06-14-11

Just too depressing

I LOVED the Shipping News by Annie Proulx, and the premise for this book sounded fascinating. So I bought it as soon as I saw it. The writing is exquisite in its often whimsical detail, but I kept waiting for some kind of story to tie things together, and some kind of silver lining behind the clouds of squalor and human misery. I kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting, slogging through all that misery... but by the second part I gave up because the "tie" or the silver lining never showed up. The narrative was just too depressing.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Charles Earthman on 02-12-17

Ugly tirades

The discretion of how some of the characters felt about others was hard to hear.

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