Chasing Conrad

Chasing Conrad

A tale of the sea and a glimpse into the abyss

Simon J. Hall

  • A vivid picture of the decline of old style cargo ships 40 years ago
  • A memorable canvas of an era now vanished
  • A travelogue of the Far East and South Pacific
£7.99Click to Etailers >>
Print edition: £16.99
240 × 170mm
192 pages
illutrated with b/w photos

Simon Hall’s second book is set in the mid-1970s during the closing years of the golden age of British shipping, when cargo carriage at sea saw radical change and the romance of being at sea in old-style cargo ships came to an end. Hall’s account is of five years during which he worked as a junior officer in the Far East and South Pacific.

This is no ordinary memoir; the prose is vividly expressed, often shocking, sometimes elegiac as evidenced by his description of a night watch in the Indian Ocean: alone on the bridge wing in the warm tropical night, I heard the wind sing through the stays as an Aeolian harp and I felt anointed by my good fortune. On loading rubber and timber in Sarawak he writes: The whole pace of life slowed, it felt as torpid as the idle Rajang river itself and we all slowed with it. Everything was so still, so unmoving, as if the whole world had lain down and gone to sleep.

His descriptions of jaunts in forgotten parts of the world are strikingly expressed and there is added poignancyfrom the charting of Hall’s struggle against decline into alcohol abuse, expressed in a way that is in turn both sad and shocking: I ordered another cold beer and lit another cigarette, then sat with the ghost of my past dreams while the afternoon died around us and we surveyed the wreckage of all my hopes.

This is an important work that captures an age now vanished, written in a style too rarely encountered.

Related Items

Author News

Scroll down our home page to see our author news.

Payment & Delivery

In the UK P&P is £3.50 for the first book, plus £1.00 for each additional one.

Customer Comments arrived safely today in pristine condition thanks to the excellent packaging.
John, UK
...many thanks for a great service.
Sue, UK
It is always a delight to deal with you and I have no hesitation in recommending you.
Chris, UK
Dunbeath, Caithness, Scotland KW6 6EG, UK T: +44(0)1593 731 333 E:

Sitemap | Copyright © 2024 Whittles Publishing | Site by Plexus