I'm not sure what to think.
I am currently about 50 pages into The Shipping News and I am not really sure what I am thinking.
I was expecting some great things, considering this is a rather new novel (1993) and is already being considered a "classic" on some lists, so why do I feel like I have nothing to say?
Sure, the book is interesting, but I am still waiting to be bowled over with an amazing story.
So far, I have gotten this: Quoyle is a large man who not really bright. He falls in love with a loose woman and has two kids with her. She hates her kids and often abandons them. He works for a newspaper, even though he has no knowledge of writing.
That's about it. And I am feeling like I am missing something. Perhaps I am not far enough into the book to be grabbed yet by the story. I am enjoying the writing. Obviously, I know that a main part of the novel is the fact that Quoyle works for a newspaper. Some of the writing seems written in that short, choppy style that I associate with news articles. So that, in and of itself, is interesting.
I also like the characters...except Quoyle. To me, it seems as if Quoyle is just going through the motions of life and I am finding it hard to like him. I do like his crazy aunt and his daughters, and some of the other minor characters, but I hope he grows on me, because right now I think he's an idiot.
The structure of the novel is also different. Each chapter is titled with a type of nautical knot and a short excerpt from a book of knots always follows. The chapter is always related to the knot and the description, which really adds a lot of depth.
Anyway, I am going to keep plowing through in hopes that Quoyle begins to amaze me.