"Anthony Doerr's prose captivates from the first page. I was at war with myself the whole time I was reading The Shell Collector: I never wanted the book to end, but I also wanted to get through it as soon as possible so that I could read everything else Doerr has ever written. His nature-centric stories are romantic, and devastating, and the imagery so stunningly vivid that you'll have dreams about seashells, and whale hearts, and wolves in the basement. At least, I did. These tales explore the conflicts between nature and civilization, and ask how far we are willing to go for love—and for redemption. They will blow you out of the water."
The exquisitely crafted stories in Anthony Doerr’s debut collection take readers from the African Coast to the pine forests of Montana to the damp moors of Lapland, charting a vast physical and emotional landscape. Doerr explores the human condition in all its varieties—metamorphosis, grief, fractured relationships, and slowly mending hearts—conjuring nature in both its beautiful abundance and crushing power. Some of the characters in these stories contend with hardships; some discover unique gifts; all are united by their ultimate deference to the ravishing universe outside themselves.