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Many chronicles have been written about life at sea, but few, if any, can compare with Joseph Conrad's masterpiece. It is the story of one unremarkable steamship captain, pitted against a storm of incredible fury. Captain MacWhirr has a reputation as a solid, steadfast man, who "having just enough imagination to carry him through each successive day, and no more" cannot fully believe any storm would be a match for his powerful ship. So, when the barometer and other clues begin to hint at trouble ahead, he is only moderately concerned and unwilling to change course and lose precious time--a decision that may prove more costly than he could ever have imagined.

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