Many chronicles have been written about life at sea, but few, if any, can compare with Joseph Conrad's masterpiece, Typhoon. It can be found on countless lists of the finest literary works of all time, and is one of his major achievements.
It is the story of one unremarkable steamship captain, pitted against a storm of incredible fury.
Captain Macwhirr has a reputation as a resolute man, who "having just enough imagination to carry him through each successive day, and no more" cannot believe any storm would be a match for his powerful ship.
When the barometer and other clues begin to hint at trouble ahead, he is only moderately concerned and unwilling to change course and lose precious time—a decision that may prove more costly than he could ever have imagined.
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. McWhirr is a strange mixture of meticulousness and stupidity, shyness and guts, small-mindedness and fair play.
By the end of the tale, you still think he's very much a fool and quite incompetent to command a sailing vessel. Yet you can't discount his willpower to do exactly what's needed when the time for action arrives.
This is one of Joseph Conrad’s finest novels, and remains as transcendent as ever in this beautifully realized 21st century digital edition; as relevant today as when it was first published more than a century ago.
JOSEPH CONRAD (1857-1924) was a master prose stylist who brought a distinctly tragic sensibility to his modernist literature. He is known to have influenced D.H. Lawrence, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway T.S. Eliot and Philip Roth. Among his most notable works are Heart Of Darkness, Lord Jim, The Secret Agent, Under Western Skies, and Typhoon.