Why this book?
Ships and boats are good settings for conflict; physical, sociological, and psychological.
No wind to drive the ship, a sick crew, and a mentally unstable first mate beleaguered by the ghost of the previous captain are trials the young captain must deal with. As in all of Conrad's fiction, there is plenty of insight into the human condition revealed through the characters and felt in the subtext. I classify it as a coming-of-age at sea story, drawn from Conrad's own experiences. "Coming-of-age" does not mean "young adult" in my life dictionary. It may continue well beyond the teen years.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
A new captain must lead his crew to safety and face his own internal struggles as he works to overcome disrespect, insanity, and coming-of-age all while sailing on an unforgiving sea.
There is an invisible line that divides life into a before and after-adolescence and adulthood. The unnamed narrator of The Shadow Line is painfully aware of this, but is unsure where the line lies in his life. He recalls a number of rash decisions he has made, some more recent than others. Soon after he impulsively quits his comfortable job as a shipmate, the narrator meets two men who…