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The Lord of the Sea

M. P. Shiel

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Beyond the river one was shot in the leg—a black sailor, who, with two roughs, had undertaken the risk for lucre. The rest escaped.


Soon after this Hogarth was taken with vomitings, his heart retching at Colmoor. His dark cheeks jaundiced; those mobile nostrils of his small bony nose yawned, like an exhausted horse's; his face was all a light of eyes.

Whether or not some suspicion of his complicity with O'Hara had occurred to the authorities, he now found himself transferred to another "graft": from quarrying was set to trenching.

Four things are inexhaustible in the earth: the hope of a gambler; the sea; the lip of a lover; and the capacity of Colmoor to be trenched and quarried.

And in Hogarth's new gang was—Fred Bates.

One day, Hogarth, intent upon his work, heard a sob and, glancing, saw that Bates had dropped his spade and buried his face in his hands.

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Community Reviews

What a confused and confusing tarradiddle this is. If you are going to read it I advise you to forget the plot, don't try to follow the pseudo-science, just wallow in the outpouring of language. There's a political point in there somewhere but he should have put that in a reasoned pamphlet not this

This is one of the most interestingly infuriating books or one of the most infuriatingly interesting. How often along his narrative way was Shiel drunk or drugged? How many plots did he throw into the revolving drum? What was he trying to say, and how much of it was important to him?
What starts out

One of the strangest books I have ever read—part melodrama, part political treatise, part mystical fantasy. The story is of Richard Hogarth, a man of lofty spirit who on discovering a cache of giant diamonds inside a fallen meteor undertakes a bold project to re-shape the human condition on a global

In which a solid diamond meteorite revives the fortunes of the Jewish race.

No, wait, I can't be remembering that correctly...more

I liked this book. It might not have the most credible plot, and the colour of its prose is never far from purple, but the whole is magnificent. The story moves along nicely and the twists (of fate, of evil mindedness) are well executed. The weakest point is, maybe, the very accident that enables th