The Shipping News

  • by Annie Proulx
  • Narrated by Paul Hecht
  • 12 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 1994
National Book Award, Fiction, 1994
At 36, Quoyle, a third-rate newspaperman, is wrenched violently out of his workaday life when his two-timing wife gets her just desserts. He retreats with his two daughters to his ancestral home on the starkly beautiful Newfoundland coast, where a rich cast of local characters all play a part in Quoyle's struggle to reclaim his life. As three generations of his family cobble up new lives, Quoyle confronts his private demons - and the unpredictable forces of nature and society - and begins to see the possibility of love without pain or misery.
A vigorous, darkly comic, and at times magical portrait of the contemporary American family, The Shipping News demonstrates why Annie Proulx is recognized as one of the most gifted and original writers in America today.


What the Critics Say

"The Shipping News is that rare creation, a lyric page-turner." (Chicago Tribune)
"The writing is charged with sardonic wit - alive, funny, a little threatening; packed with brilliantly original images... and, now and then, a sentence that simply takes your breath away." (USA Today)
"Annie Proulx's stunning, big-hearted The Shipping News thaws the frozen lives of its characters and warms readers." (San Francisco Examiner)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Can't Explain Why I Love This Book

This book is written in a style I've never come across before. The sentences are short, almost choppy. The characters are equally strange, and the story took me by surprise many times. In reading this book, I felt as though I was on a child's roller coaster; it seemed slow and easy, but suddenly and unexpectedly jerked to the right or left. I felt sure that certain characters had secrets, and so I listened with building interest.

The setting (Newfoundland, Canada) was new to me as well, and wrapped its cold grey arms around me. As I look back, I think the locale may be the main character of this novel. Very powerful.

And, as I say in my title, I am not sure why I loved it, but I did. I recommend this book.
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- Polly

A great companion

Where does The Shipping News rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I really enjoyed reading this book years ago and having grown tired of listing to the radio have taken to exclusively listing to audible books while driving to and from work. I now relish the traffic and find myself sitting in the driveway for a few more momments when i get home to continue to listen. The Shipping news is a favorite of mine and i greatly enjoyed listening to the narration. Paul Hecht did a fantastic job; bringing the characters back to life for me. So far it is my favorite audiobook.

What other book might you compare The Shipping News to and why?

I would compare the Shipping News to anything by John Irving, Anne Tyler, Amy Tan. All favorites. the stories that encompass a lifetime and all its events are the best to me. Full character development, historical references, and characters so rich and deep. They are my companions of the road. A true travel companion that keeps you entertained and removed from the mondane while reminding you that life is more complicated and deeply enriched.

Which character – as performed by Paul Hecht – was your favorite?

Quoyle - Paul has gripped the vulnerability of the character without making him a sap.

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- Kim. Perry

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-28-2011
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio