This edition, published in 2000 by The Folio Society, with an introduction by Paul Theroux and illustrations by Francis Mosley, contains the following novellas:
Falk: A Remembrance
plus The N***er (our asterisks) of the 'Narcissus': A Tale of the Sea
Plot summaries (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Typhoon is a classic sea yarn, possibly based upon Conrad's actual experience of seaman's life, and probably on a real incident aboard of the real steamer John P. Best. It describes how Captain MacWhirr sails the Siamese steamer Nan-Shan into a typhoon—a mature tropical cyclone of the north-western part of the Pacific Ocean. Other characters include the young Jukes - most probably an alter ego of Conrad from the time he had sailed under captain John McWhirr - and Solomon Rout, the chief engineer.
A poor emigrant from Central Europe sailing from Hamburg to America is shipwrecked off the coast of England. The residents of nearby villages, at first unaware of the sinking, and hence of the possibility of survivors, regard him as a dangerous tramp and madman. He speaks no English; his strange foreign language frightens them, and they offer him no assistance.
Eventually "Yanko Goorall" (as rendered in English spelling) is given shelter and employment by an eccentric old local, Mr. Swaffer. Yanko learns a little English. He explains that his given name Yanko means "little John" and that he was a mountaineer (a resident of a mountain area — a Goorall), hence his surname. The story's narrator reveals that Yanko hailed from the Carpathian Mountains.
Tomorrow is a novel by Graham Swift first published in 2007 about the impending disclosure of a family secret. Set in Putney, London on the night of Friday, 16 June 1995, the novel takes the form of an interior monologue by a 49-year-old mother addressed to her sleeping teenage children. It takes her a few hours—from late at night until dawn—to collect her thoughts and rehearse what she and her husband, who is asleep next to her, are going to tell their son and daughter on the following morning, which for the latter will amount to a rewriting of the family history reaching back as far as 1944. The family narrative completed, the novel ends in the early hours of Saturday, 17 June 1995, before anybody has stirred.
The N***er of the Narcissus
The author's preface to the novel, regarded as a manifesto of literary impressionism, is considered one of Conrad's most significant pieces of non-fiction writing. This preface begins with the line, sometimes quoted, "A work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line".
The title character, James Wait, is a dying West Indian black sailor on board the merchant ship Narcissus sailing from Bombay to London. Wait, suffering from tuberculosis, becomes seriously ill during the voyage, and his plight arouses the humanitarian sympathies of many of the crew, five of whom rescue him from his deck cabin during a storm, placing their own lives and the ship at risk. However, the ship's master Captain Alistoun and an old sailor named Singleton remain concerned primarily with their duties to the ship and appear indifferent to Wait's condition.
Falk (courtesy of hubpages.com)
It is a humorous engaging and sometimes horrifying tale of old salts and their salty ways when it comes to business, gossip, romance and misadventure of the high seas. Like one of my favourite authors of all time, Jack London, Conrad writes with a genuineness that can only come from direct, personal experience and that conveys a sense of reality that transcends mere fiction. That some of these characters in his story were real men and women is irrefutable and, in this particular story, we once again acquainted with that notorious gossip, Schomberg and his long suffering wife.