Jim, the well-loved son of an English parson, goes to sea to make a name for himself. Just how he is to become "Tuan Jim" or "Lord Jim," however, remains to be told. With his youthful, romantic aspirations for the sea, he is physically powerful; he has "Ability in the abstract." He roams the Asian south seas as a water-clerk, moving from place to place, always trying to outrun, it seems, a particular fact of his past. The story then cuts to an early incident where Jim lost an opportunity to prove his mettle: he "leapt" too late, missing his chance. Then, after a long injury and hospital stay, instead of deciding to return to England, Jim accepts the position of chief mate of the Patna, an old local steamship carrying 800 Muslim pilgrims to Mecca.
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Nothing like a good read
This is a story told by a man about another man called Marlow telling a story about a third man, called Jim. The story is long and rambling and hard to follow. Reading this book is like sitting in a bar where somebody is telling a long rambling yarn. Occasionally he says something interesting and you listen in. But all too soon you start to think about something else and before you know it you've read another chapter and lost the plot. Not that there is a plot. Jim is an officer on a ship that is damaged at sea. The officers, including Jim, jump ship leaving the passengers to sink. But it only goes and stays afloat doesn't it? There is an investigation and poor old Jim is racked with guilt. But eventually he finds something to do. He goes and lives with some savages, finds a woman but continues to feel guilty until he dies. The end. A tiresome read.