The title character, James Wait, is a West Indian black sailor on board the merchant ship Narcissus sailing from Bombay to London. Wait falls ill with tuberculosis 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. Captain Alistoun and the old sailor Singleton, on the other hand, remain concerned primarily with their duties as sailors and are indifferent to Wait's condition.
Customer ReviewsSee All
As usual, Conrad's uncanny brevity is displayed in this splendid if meandering tale of the Seamans' life. Solidarity amongst the colorful fabric of sea-goers young, old, venerable, and odious weaves this tale together with the thread of an enigmatic man named James Wait.
The language alone qualifies this as among Conrad's greatest works, but if what you're after is an enthralling plot, steer clear of this one and try Nostromo or Lord Jim.