The Shadow-Line (Paperback)
A shining example of Conrad's later literary ability, "The Shadow-Line" is his 1915 autobiographical novella of a young man in his first command as a sea captain. A series of crises prove incredibly difficult for his new authority, for the sea is curiously becalmed and the crew is weakened by feverish malaria. When the first mate's fear convinces many that the ship is haunted and cursed by the malevolent spirit of the previous captain, the young man must cope with their superstition as well as the conspicuous absence of much-needed medicine. A suspenseful sea story of a young man in a defining moment of his life, when the indistinct line separating an inexperienced boy from a mature man becomes perfectly clear, "The Shadow-Line" brims with intense existence, straining responsibility, and threatened principles in a probing study of masculinity.