Liked It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“Once the story gets to Newfoundland, it's hard to put the book down. Nicely written, the author certainly has a way with words that is a delight to read.”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“This is the only book that pained me to read. I've put this down more times over 10 years than I can count. I finally finished it out of guilt and was still disappointed. A rare statement from me: skip the book, rent the movie.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Proulx is the author of the short story "Brokeback Mountain" which was made into the film of the same name. I read that short story soon after seeing the movie and remember finding it moving. But Proulx might be one of those authors whose extreme styles are more effective (at least for me) at the shorter lengths. I love several short stories by James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway, for instance, but hate the novels by them I've tried.
In the case of Proulx, her style quickly wore on me. I'm truly not a Grammar Nazi; fiction is not meant to be an essay. But she uses sentence fragments so frequently she doesn't flow, and boy she piles on the metaphors in her drawn-out descriptions. But the worse part is the protagonist: Quoyle. This is a paragraph of how he's described early on which should give you an idea of Proulx's characterization and style:
A great damp loaf of a body. At six he weighed eighty pounds. At sixteen he was buried under a casement of flesh. Head shaped like a crenshaw, no neck, reddish hair ruched back. Features as bunched as kissed fingertips. Eyes the color of plastic. The monstrous chin, a freakish shelf jutting from the lower face.
Note the choppy syntax. That could be effective done sparingly but the entire book is written like that. (And er...plastic has a color? Kissed fingertips are bunched? Really?) Quoyle's a lump of a character in every way who has never been able to hold a job long. His wife, Petal Bear, who thankfully is killed off early in the novel, sold their two young girls to a pornographer. (The girls are found before they can be harmed.)
The pace is slooooow and about a third of the way I knew I'd had enough. I struggled to get that far. Painful. If you don't love Proulx's style--and I hated it--there's no reason to stay.”
“10/13: Felt familiar, but if I read it, I don't remember anything but the "feel" of the book. Enjoyed it. It is quite somber, but I read it going home for Dad's funeral, so it worked for me. And, I liked the quietly happy ending.
09/13: Amazon Kindle Daily Deal got me. I think I may have read this one before but can't remember. ”
“After his wife's death, Quoyle retreats with his two daughters to his home on the Newfoundland coast, where local residents and family members help Quoyle in his struggle to reclaim his life. An excellent novel of life and love. Annie Proulx's best novel.”Bev wrote this review Tuesday, August 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Once the story gets to Newfoundland, it's hard to put the book down. Nicely written, the author certainly has a way with words that is a delight to read.”Joe A wrote this review Friday, July 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Definitely one of my top ten books. The kind of novel you can re-read every couple of years and get more out of it. The writing is spare and yet still richly descriptive. who else but E Annie Proulx would describe her protagonist, Quoyle, as having - eyes the color of plastic. The Newfoundland landscape is bleak and beautiful and the cast of characters masterfully sketched. Much, much better than the film. If you haven't read this, you're missing out. Great ending too. ”Paul Newman wrote this review Monday, July 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a very slow-paced book about a man who loses his wife who has to wake up and look after his family. They move to Newfoundland, and though the themes of identity and belonging are strong, is this setting that is the most powerful thing about this novel. You really feel like you are in cold, wet, grey, dreary Newfoundland. You appreciate the hot cups of tea and heated car rides. ”Augusta N wrote this review Friday, June 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Forget Brokeback Mountain - This is the real thing.”Amir wrote this review Thursday, May 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I've tried to read this book several times over the last 10 years or so, and I have never been able to get into the author's style. I've wanted to like it, which is why I kept trying. I have never read enough of it to give it a fair rating, although I suspect it would be 2 out of 5. It's time to finally give up on it and move on; there's plenty of other great books in the world.”Laina A wrote this review Sunday, April 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Een nabrander voor vandaag. Van mevrouw Proulx lees ik alles. Ik heb dit boek inmiddels een keer of vier gelezen en het tenminste even vaak cadeau gedaan. Als ik mij Jonathan Coe taak achter de rug heb (streven naar volledigheid is een kwaal), dan ga ik deze ruim 300 pagina's herlezen. Het is een van die boeken waarin je kunt verdwijnen. De film heeft wat mij betreft weinig met het boek te maken. Dat heeft er vooral mee te maken dat het de door mijzelf opgeroepen sfeer niet weergeeft (en ook overigens vooral wordt gestuurd door anecdotes en incidenten en daardoor het 'grote verhaal', zoals meestal, mist).”G. de Bruin wrote this review Friday, March 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No