This is another one where I read the book and watched the movie. Actually I own the movie and at one point I owned the book, but a DVD is far less weight than a book so I got rid of the book. Which should tell you which one is better.
Both book and movie deal with this guy named Bob Quoyle who moves with his kid(s) to Newfoundland and this old house that has to be tied down with ropes because there's no basement or anything. Anyway, he starts working for a little newspaper writing "the shipping news" about boats that have come and gone. And he starts making a life in the crummy little town and with a woman.
The book kind of annoyed me because it has this quirky style where sentences were written really short. It got to be kind of annoying. I never understood why the author wouldn't give the character's first name either. It seemed kind of ridiculous. There are two kids in the book and only one in the movie. But since there's nothing really important for two kids to do, one does just as well.
The movie from about 2001 stars Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, and Judi Dench. Since it doesn't have any weird quirks I think it's better to watch the movie than read the book. It's also a very well-made movie. Incidentally it's directed by Laase Hallstrom, who directed The Cider House Rules. Those Scandinavians really know how to make literary movies.