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Typhoon and Other Tales (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Joseph Conrad , Cedric Watts

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Book Description

14 Aug 2008 Oxford World's Classics
TYPHOON * FALK * AMY FOSTER *THE SECRET SHARER

The four tales in this volume share autobiographical origins in Conrad's experience at sea and his exile from Poland, the country of his birth. 'Typhoon' is the story of a steamship and her crew beset by tempest, and of the stolid captain whose dogged courage is tested to the limit. In 'Falk' a taciturn young woman is bizarrely courted by a tug-boat master who is haunted by a terrible secret. 'Amy Foster' tells of an emigrant Pole struggling to overcome isolation and prejudice in England. The final tale, 'The Secret Sharer', is Conrad's most famous short story, a masterpiece of suspense and ambiguity. Giving sanctuary to a fugitive sailor, a young sea-captain risks his ship and his command in order to save him.

This revised edition uses the English first edition texts and has a new chronology and bibliography.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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More About the Author

Joseph Conrad (originally Józef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski) was born in the Ukraine in 1857 and grew up under Tsarist autocracy. His parents, ardent Polish patriots, died when he was a child, following their exile for anti-Russian activities, and he came under the protection of his tradition-conscious uncle, Thaddeus Bobrowski, who watched over him for the next twenty-five years.

In 1874 Bobrowski conceded to his nephew's passionate desire to go to sea, and Conrad travelled to Marseilles, where he served in French merchant vessels before joining a British ship in 1878 as an apprentice.

In 1886 he obtained British nationality and his Master's certificate in the British Merchant Service. Eight years later he left the sea to devote himself to writing, publishing his first novel, Almayer's Folly, in 1895. The following year he married Jessie George and eventually settled in Kent, where he produced within fifteen years such modern classics as Youth, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Typhoon, Nostromo, The Secret Agent and Under Western Eyes.

He continued to write until his death in 1924. Today Conrad is generally regarded as one of the greatest writers of fiction in English - his third language.

Product Description

About the Author

Cedric Watts is an authority on Conrad and the author of numerous books and articles on Conrad including Joseph Conrad: A Literary Life (1989), A Preface to Conrad (2nd edn 1993), and Joseph Conrad (1994). For OWC he has edited Heart of Darkness and Other Tales and other Conrad books for other publishers, most recently Lord Jim for Broadview Press.

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Conrad: for adults only 4 May 2006
By moose/squirrel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Conrad was one of the most psychologically subtle of English novelists, and his century-old portrait of Captain McWhirr in the title story is unforgettable - not so much because of the drama, though there's eventually plenty of that, but because of Conrad's unsurpassed ability to describe complex, perfectly convincing characters you've never read about before. McWhirr is a strange mixture of meticulousness and stupidity, shyness and guts, small-mindedness and fair play. By the end of the story, you still think he's very much a fool and probably incompetent to command a sailing vessel. Yet you can't discount his determination and ability to do exactly what's needed (as well as what's right)when the time for action arrives.

Those whose reading skills are pushed to the limit by celebrity bios won't understand or appreciate this book. Despite the one-star reviews below, there are no "gay" characters here, and no sex at all. So if that's what you want, look elsewhere. But if you're up to a classic of English fiction, written with an enormous sensitivity to language (Conrad, BTW, grew up speaking Polish and only began English in his teens) these stories will stick with you.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a good book if you only look deeper... 20 Jan 2003
By "princessjeanne111" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For the other reviewers, I can't believe that the only things you gathered from the book was that it was about 2 gay men and a typhoon. The book is about how people react in times of crisis, and how sometimes you can't run away from your problems; you have to face them head-on. We have MacWhirr, who is innocent, calm, and quiet, yet unwaivering and unknowingly bold during the time of disaster. Then there's Jukes, who jabbers constantly, passes judgement on people, and during time of crisis he freezes, is mostly pessimistic, and practically daydreams. And finally, there's the second mate, who is an all around sneaky and immoral person, who during bad times often "jumps ship" and declares defeat before it's even begun. MacWhirr says many times throughout the story that you have to face things, and you don't know if somethings really bad unless you have been right in the middle of it. It's a story about a man who's had his normal, peaceful life turned upside-down by an unrelenting and, in the end, revealing storm.
5.0 out of 5 stars Replacing a book I lost in a Flood. 6 Sep 2013
By Tim Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of my Favorite writers, Joseph Conrad excels in this book of shorter works. When it arrived it was in PERFECT condition! Thank you!
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 11 Aug 2013
By Liliane Aubert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I sent this book to my grandson in the States, but I read the copy I had. Conrad is such a good story teller and just grips you.
5.0 out of 5 stars TYPHOON 11 Mar 2013
By J. William Mees - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If anyone is a Conrad devotee, this is probably the first short story to read, if one is interested in his works. Most of his works pit the individual against the forces of nature, man's struggle to overcome overwhelmng odds, or a work focuses on a romantic hero out to make his way in a difficult world, usually against forces beyond his control and usually on the sea. His works are voyage stories, and TYPHOON pits Captain McWhirr and his crew against an enormous storm in the China Sea, and the reader is there; right in the middle of the most terrifying experience one can imagine. I've never read anything like it, and the reader will not forget it. Conrad is not easy reading; his diction is superb, and his references in the reading are extensive. This is a writer whose native language was Polish, along with Russian, French, and German; nevertheless, his prose is beautifully written.
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