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The Rescue: A Romance of the Shallows (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0140180343 ISBN-10: 0140180346

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (December 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140180346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140180343
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,907,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The great Conrad's 1920 novel was one of the last to be published before his death four years later. The plot follows the mislaid plans of protagonist Captain Tom Lingard, who, on his way to help a native friend regain his land, falls in love with a married woman whose yacht he saves from floundering.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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12 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Took too long to introduce the characters.
nynative
I tried really hard to finish this book, but I just couldn't--it moved too slowly for my taste.
Peggy
It is very descriptive and I love the storyline of this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Sylvia Weiser Wendel on June 7, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Critics sniff at this book and consider it a failure. I don't. The first hundred pages or so are pure magic. Also, the woman who is at the heart of the story is Conrad's best realized female character. It's free online, so why not read it and make up your own mind? Characterizations and details, as usual, are flawless. The unexpected denouement will live in your memory for a long time.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Doug Anderson VINE VOICE on November 11, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The familiar Conrad hero Captain Tom Lingard(Outcast of the Islands) comes to the rescue of an English pleasure yacht that has foundered in the shallows just as war is about to break out between Malay tribes. Tom has war supplies including gunpowder stored in his own boat that has been turned into a fort and Tom's decisions will greatly effect the outcome of the war. Meanwhile though there is the English problem which Tom sees as being just that until he spies on board a lovely woman. Thats enough to distract our hero from his more pressing war time duties. Romantic Tom recalls Lord Jim and is in fact Jims brother, but he is not as complex or as troubled as Jim was so this is more a tale of pure adventure. External events take precedence over internal conflicts and so the adventure can be enjoyed for just that. Not one of Conrads most important works but still it exerts a lot of appeal. Anything by the best writer ever of sea and island tales is worth my time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Zendicant Pangolin on November 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Conrad is one of those authors whose books I read years apart in order to make his oeuvre last the course of my lifetime, and because they are emotionally disturbing. This book is one that I would put in the same category as his book titled 'The Rover.' Although the themes of the two books are dissimilar, they pull upon the same heartstrings in their treatment of love, loyalty and duty.
'The Rescue' expands these themes beyond the merely personal and places them within the context of the clash of cultures; social, historical, and political.
Enough of pretentiousness. What happens is that a magnificent specimen of a man gets caught up in native intrigue in the Indonesian Archipelago as he seeks to make good on a promise made years ago to a native prince intent upon restoring his claim to the throne. Problems arise when the personal yacht of a British diplomat enroute from Manila to Singapore runs aground at precisely the spot where our hero's promise is to be kept.
Suffice it to say that the yacht and its contents become the objects of desire to all the parties involved for various conflicting reasons.
Resolution of these conflicts invariably ends in tragedy, as Conrad himself predicts numerous times in the course of his narration.
Anyone who has been smitten by love at first sight will find this story especially engaging and sad and wonderful.
I take especial pleasure in Conrad's wonderfully improbable sentence structure and eccentric word play. His are the only sentences that I can take pleasure from reading repeatedly to myself in order to fully appreciate or comprehend the thought being conveyed.
I call this novel prescient because it appears obvious to me that F. Scott Fitzgerald borrowed heavily from this book when writing 'The Great Gatsby,' as the underlying themes of the two books are too similar and non-universal for there not to be a connection. Read them both and see if you don't agree.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Haig on June 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I tried to give this no stars but, alas, kindle won't go below one star. The novel starts well with Conrad's wonted power and incisiveness but degenerates about half-way through into the badness of which Conrad is also capable. It tells the story of the rescue of a British yacht stranded in the shallows by the hero of the novel, Captain Lingard, whom we might know from the earlier novel An Outcast of the Islands. The owner of the British yacht, Mr. Travers, intends studying the Dutch colonial system in the region, but the fate of Mr. Travers and the other people in the yacht lies in the hands of Captain Lingard, an adventurer, the only person capable of delivering the party out the hands of the warlords living on the coast. Mr. Travers objects to Captain Lingard but his wife, Edith, falls in love with him. What occurs is a kind of platonic dalliance between Captain Lingard and Mrs. Travers, at the expense of Mrs. Travers' husband. Mr Travers is a person we have grown used to disliking--race-conscious, class-conscious, patronizing towards women--but one would think he might properly object to the shenanigans conducted by Captain Lingard and his wife, notwithstanding the fact that he has, Conrad is quick to point out, a bald spot in the middle of his hair. In pursuance of this tawdry affair Conrad's writing becomes melodramatically awful. The novel rests on the account of the affair between Captain Lingard and Mrs. Travers and so must fail. The other characters--d'Alcacer, Jorgenson, Carter, Shaw--do not have sufficient interest (d'Alcacer is world-weary; Jorgenson represents death) to do anything for this novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert James Munn on May 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you require "action-packed" novels, don't even open Conrad. His stories develop very slowly, but they are (1) incredibly beautiful prose, and (2) often some real insight into the human psyche.
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By gd on July 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting if stylistically and thematically confused. Conrad does have an engaging literary style, but in this novel I felt that he got lost in a jumble of his own making, the threads of his narrative going backwards and forwards and jarring to sudden stops, too often for any kind of flow. His insistence on the use of vast tracts of conversation was fatiguing, especially as he didn't have the skill to carry it off, the flow being rather artificial, if not at times turgidly boring. Also, a point perhaps a little harsh, but I did feel that any message he was trying to get across, (and this being Conrad he was after some meaningful conclusion) was too hazy to make out, which left one with a distinctly unsatisfied feeling.
However, it was engaging, interesting and kept me reading to the end. The characters were strong and well crafted. Each individual had a significant role to play in the plot and their behavior was always true to form. The story was written with a certain skill and a vividness of imagery bringing the world Conrad describes to life. There was a constant sense of urgency, carrying through the story thread to its culmination and the ending was not too dreadfully depressing.
All in all an enjoyable read which did not inspire me with the urgent urge to look up another one of his books.
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