Monday, July 27, 2009

The Shipping News

by E. Annie Proulx

It has been a long long time since I have been so happy to finally turn the last page of a book. Reading it was like walking through a quagmire. It was like swimming through molasses. It was like what I'm sure Wesley and Buttercup felt when they were in the lightning sand in "The Princess Bride". I'm sure you get the picture.

Yes, I know it's a Pulitzer Prize winner. It's a good thing I wasn't on the panel that decided that honor. The writing style was so tough to get into. Fragmented sentences made the book so choppy. Boring way to write. Lazy. And hurts readers' eyes. (Yes, I also know I use them, too, but this is casual writing, not a novel...) The characters just would not shut up, either. It seemed as though each chapter had Billy Pretty or Nutbeem or somebody going off on some lecture about something. Who cares?! Shut up! There were times I felt that the writer was so into thinking that she was good that she distracted herself from the story. Even her picture on the back of the jacket showed her with a smug smile on her face.

The story itself was ok; nothing mind-bendingly amazing. Man quits job after two-timing wife dies and moves to ancestral land of Newfoundland. Finds love and lives happily ever after. There, now you don't have to read it. I even included the fragmented sentences for you. If the story had been written by someone else, or if Ms. Proulx had a different writing style, then maybe it could have been good.

If you're suffering from insomnia or you want to take a nap or you just feel like reading a snoozer, definitely pick up this book. Maybe the movie's better...

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