Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Shell Collector: Stories Paperback – January 4, 2011
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
The whorls, chambers, and ribs of the seashell are an elegance unto themselves, but if man-made beauty can come anywhere close to this, Anthony Doerr's short stories would be perfect candidates. His debut collection, The Shell Collector, sets such high standards, sentence to sentence, that it is more like the private architecture of shells than like the random borrowings, sexual details, and flashes of insight that make up the bulk of contemporary fiction. The title story is about a blind man of 58, a scholar of shells (malacology), who retires to an isolated beach-side hut in Kenya, but then accidentally discovers a cure for a major illness in the often-deadly stings of the cone snail. "The Hunter's Wife," a second small masterpiece, describes the marriage of a Montana hunter and his much younger, psychically gifted wife. There are more conventional pieces here; well-written, resonating stories that do not attempt the sweep or descriptive wealth of "The Shell Collector," although they are still at the level of the best realistic fiction that is being published now in America. --Regina Marler --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.
From Publishers Weekly
HThe natural world exerts a powerful, brooding presence in this first collection; it's almost as much a main character as any of the individuals the 26-year-old Doerr records. Nature, in these eight stories, is mysterious and deadly, a wonder of design and of nearly overwhelming power. This delicate balance is evidenced by the title story, about a blind man who spends his days collecting rare and beautiful shell specimens. Self-exiled to the coast of Kenya, he discovers that a certain poisonous snail has the power both to kill and to effect a rapid recovery from malaria. This discovery brings him much attention but little joy, disturbing the carefully ordered universe that he has constructed to manage both his blindness and his temperament. A naturalist's perspective also informs the other stories. In "The Hunter's Wife," Doerr catalogues winter in Montana as "a thousand ladybugs hibernating in an orange ball in a riverbank hollow; a pair of dormant frogs buried in frozen mud." But Doerr can play it funny, too: in "July Fourth," a group of American fishermen endure a hilarious litany of woes in a fishing contest across Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Their troubles include much drinking, few fish and losing their shirts (and all their tackle) to a Belorussian basketball team. The title story could well appear in the next Best American or O. Henry anthologies, and the others make a fine supporting cast. Agent, Wendy Weil. (Jan. 14)Forecast: With blurbs from the likes of Rick Bass, this debut collection should do better than most, especially if reviewers take note.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
And there is such a variety of protagonists to hear from. The characters come from all walks of life, live in different times, different places, but they all share in the mysterious nature of life. Doerr captures that mysteriousness, the glow of life, in his stories, painting a world I'd like very much to live in.
—Sorry, I was moved by the moment and started getting all prose-ish—
But, that's what Doerr's writing does to a gal. It lights up the part of my brain that feels like my heart, and it transports me to all sorts of places, where I meet all kinds of people, and see their worlds as clearly as a voyeur standing beside them, perhaps even holding their hands. Doerr's stories may be a bit fantastical or inaccurate in some of the fine details, but despite the lack of true-ness in the fine points, there is always truth in his finest points.