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Life as it is
on 7 October 2005
Furst doesn't write thrillers in the conventional use of the term. He writes stories about people coping wih living in extraordinary circumstances -- no plans or grand schemes just the buffetings of Fate which require making constant adjustments and compromises. So the stories, like episodes in life, sometimes have a distinct beginning and an end but often just peter out without any fixed resolution. Either you like that or perhaps you find his books unsatisfying since you might think the stories get nowhere. I like it.
Dark Voyage is a novel in this mould with a strong narrative but a wandering story. It has echoes of Greene and Conrad as another reviewer has suggested and a similarly poignant ending like many of Greene's stories.
And like many of Greene's "entertainments" it is to be viewed on its merits -- it does not set out to self-importantly weigh the human condition. It does seek to entertain -- and it succeeds in doing that very well. Intelligent writing that does not stoop to sensation or artifices of plot to achieve its effect .