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The Nigger Of The "Narcissus" A Tale Of The Forecastle Paperback – November 3, 2006

28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 98 pages
  • Publisher: Hard Press (November 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406921297
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406921298
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,339,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Thomas on January 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
I first read this book many years ago and never forgot Conrad's description of a tremendous gale at sea that lasted for a day and a night, and that put the sailors on board a sailing ship through unbelievable terror and hardship. The fact that it is an autobiographical tale (Conrad was a seaman for twenty years) adds great excitement to the telling. I always wanted to pick the book up again, so, last week, I did and was very glad I did. The reading of that event was as gripping as the first time around. Further, I was more able to appreciate the other qualities of Conrad's writing this time round. I will, however, state at the beginning of this review that, for many modern readers, his late nineteenth century style of prose will probably be far too wordy for them. One example of this will suffice to show what I mean. Here it is. `The feverish and shrill babble of Eastern language struggled against the masterful tones of tipsy seamen, who argued against brazen claims and dishonest hopes by profane shouts'. And that's just on the first page! On the other hand, such wordiness, for a patient modern reader, gives, in my humble opinion, great rewards because he will find himself sucked into the world of isolation, desperation, courage, stoicism, and sheer terror that was life on a sailing ship.

For me, the portrayal of the gale that had the two and a half dozen men strapped to the ship as it lolled in tremendous waves for twenty-four hours on its side, is the highlight of the novel. For Conrad, though, I think he meant it to be the tale of a black seaman who came on board, feigned illness to get out of his duties, and then slowly but surely realized that he really was very sick and was facing his imminent death.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JE on March 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Despite the unfortunate title, this novella presents the unity and harmony that is required for an effective ship's crew (or any team for that matter), and how easy one person can substantially disrupt that harmony. Followers of contemporary American politics, and specifically the eternal debates over legitimate benefits and 'freeloaders,' may also find some of the themes quite familiar.

As an added benefit, the storm scene about halfway through contains some of the most sublime prose ever to illustrate the majesty and horror of a ship caught in a typhoon. Conrad paints with words scenes JMW Turner only imagined...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Smith on January 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is a narrative of a storm at sea that is so well written you'll be exhausted when you've finished it. Despite the politically incorrect title it is not a racist novel. It is simply a novel written over one hundred years ago. It's important to read new and old books to find out where we've come from. Otherwise we begin to think we are the most advanced thinkers ever to have existed. (By the way, that is faulty and dangerous thinking).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Carmel on November 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not the very best of Conrad, but certainly a riveting tale told by one of the masters of English literature and style.
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By george g. finley on April 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
this is one of josef conrad's finest books. he was a great writer...winding a tale around a very unique human condition. this book is the most unusual one i have ever read..in that the white man is required by compassion to aid someone who is not of their "kind" even though the detested the job of caring for him...they did it anyway....very unusual.
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By VoxS on January 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While the title is distinctly non-PC, this old classic provides both a great first-person look at how life was lived in the forecastle only a bit over a century ago -- as well as some timeless views of humanity (and inhumanity). A great read, and the price ($0) was definitely right.
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Not the best place to start reading conrad .if five words can tell you how cold it is conrad will use five pages. Though when you get lost in the pross you find yourself on deck cold hanging on to a rope or railing covered in icey water fighting for your life . You are there.
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Dedicated to the sailing schooner era, an exciting event but a stretch of the imagination is required for this read!! The N word is used several times but never in a derogatory way, only to identify the person being discussed. The prejudiced should not be offended!
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