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The End of the Tether

Joseph Conrad

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Marine department—in its Marine department he repeated twice, and after a heavy snort began to relate how the other day her Majesty's Consul-General in French Cochin-China had cabled to him—in his official capacity—asking for a qualified man to be sent over to take charge of a Glasgow ship whose master had died in Saigon.

"I sent word of it to the officers' quarters in the Sailors' Home," he continued, while the limp in his gait seemed to grow more accentuated with the increasing irritation of his voice. "Place's full of them. Twice as many men as there are berths going in the local trade. All hungry for an easy job. Twice as many—and—What d'you think, Whalley? . . ."

He stopped short; his hands clenched and thrust deeply downwards, seemed ready to burst the pockets of his jacket. A slight sigh escaped Captain Whalley.

"Hey? You would think they would be falling over each other. Not a bit of it. Frightened t. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad demonstrates again his mastery of prose fiction forms. In this case Conrad has written a novella about a sea captain named Whalley who has had a financial disaster at the end of a distinguished career. All he wants is to leave his only daughter some money to he

Reading The End of the Tether, Joseph Conrad’s somber, mature and beautifully crafted novella published in 1902 reminds me of what a great debt English literature owes to this Polish gentleman, particularly the Lost Generation expatriate writers.

Ford Madox Ford collaborated with Conrad on three pub

fantastic short novel and so melancholy. we know the old , brave, famous, intrepid, widowed ship captain, now reduced to running a tramp steamer on a 1600 mile milk run in the straights of Malacca area is destined for a bad, sad, end. an so it is true. but in this ship shape and tidy craft conrad ma

Novela marinera.

"Two generations of seamen born since his first day at sea stood between him and all these ships at the anchorage. His own was sold, and he had been asking himself, What next?"

This is a typically terse and moving Conrad novel, something he excelled at, bringing pathos to what was essentially the opp

A work of genius. Never has being a sailor seemed so incredibly romantic and yet so hopelessly depressing.
As is his wont, Conrad sometimes fuses sentences together with such a litany of semicolons that you need a machete to hack through the twisted jungle of his lengthier paragraphs. However, whate

SPOILERS ahead, but this is Joseph Conrad we're talking about. His style is the star. His work is essentially spoiler-proof.
This novella (which, by today's standards, would be termed a short novel) shows Conrad's gift of sympathy. Captain Whalley, twenty-five years after losing his wife, prepares fo

”Captain Whalley was not dwarfed by the solitude of the grandly planned street. He had too fine a presence for that. He was only a lonely figure walking purposefully […].”

The End of the Tether was originally published in conjunction with two other novellas by Conrad, namely Youth and Heart of Darkne

A sea captain's final journey
28 March 2015

I would say that this is just another story about a sea journey, but then again it was written by Joseph Conrad, and despite the three stories that I have read being about ships and journeys, I simply cannot describe it using the words 'just another'. The b

The Pole Joseph Conrad is the Poet Laureate of the real England not the one to be found south of Scotland on the Island but the England that dominated the Seven Seas. He wrote great novels about the courageous English marine who spent most of their lives on ships far away from the comforts of Albion

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