Joseph Conrad, ‘The Duel and Other Stories’

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Much as I love Conrad, he can be a bit hard-going and I’d held off going back to him after struggling through ‘Chance,’ which is a great story suffocated by way too much of Marlow’s ponderous opinions.

By contrast this volume of tales shows off Conrad at his best: strange stories of people buffeted by fates as impersonal and uncaring as the sea and made prisoners by injustice, personality flaws, conventions or simply random mistakes.

If that sound bleak, well yes it often is. But pushed into these corners, Conrad’s heroes find some sort of release and even strength to assert themselves as individuals.

Also you can’t beat a good anarchist story and there are two in this collection!

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