At christmas, the stand out film for me was "The Shipping News". So I bought the book. Immediately after this, I mentioned the film to a friend; his response was "don’t bother with the book.
Actually, I quite enjoyed it; there is less Hollywood-ism (i.e. the lead characters arn’t good looking); the book has more time to meander than the film, which it benefits from. I find it a little overly stuffed with metaphor and similie, which at time jarred a little; othertimes, it was highly effective ("the sky was bruise grey"). Combined with her tendency to use verbless sentances ("The smell of sea damp and paint") gives the book a slightly breathless feel.
Generally recommended. Particularly, as it has lots of short chapters, which makes it good for reading in the bath.
Originally published on my old blog site.