E. Annie Proulx, the author of the story that turned into Brokeback Mountain, wrote a quiet tale of a nebbishy man returning to his Newfoundland roots after his wife leaves him. The Shipping News is stunningly written. Oddly, what sticks with me most are the detailed illustrations of sailing knots that mark the beginning of each chapter. I thought, “Oh, those are cool” as I began the book, and then I started to notice the relationship between the knots and the plot of the chapter. Unbelievable. I’ve since tried to think of a way illustrations could add so much more to my own writing.
Here’s my very short Goodreads review:
Don’t let the movie dissuade you. Easily one of my favorite books.
I’m surprised I didn’t write more. This review doesn’t do the novel justice.
I wouldn’t say the movie desecrated the book. It’s just so boring. Even with Kevin Spacey and Julianne Moore turning in decent performances. The book does a much better job of establishing the tone and the undercurrents of the situation Quoyle, the main character, finds himself in. I loved the theme of how our genealogy affects who we are today (surprise, surprise). And, again, the knot illustrations.