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Two colonial officers extol the benefits they are bringing to an African village in the form of "quays and warehouses, and barracks-and billiard-rooms". A French republican who has fathered three idiot sons makes his peace with the Church, only to have an idiot daughter. A woman chooses not to leave her husband...but he leaves her.

Such are the ironies of Conrad's earliest short stories, which are not apprentice work but miniature masterpieces in their own right. As astoundingly original in construction as the great novels that were to come, these tales are in many ways more challenging and more disturbing still. A sense of human existence as surprising and often perplexing informs every page of this remarkable collection. Complex, arresting, and unsettling, these are indeed "tales of unrest".

©1898 Charles Scribner's Sons (P)1982 Jimcin Recordings

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  • Charles E. Grant
  • 05-07-10

Very poor sound quality

I had just finished "Within the Tides" and was really looking forward to listening to this book. Unfortunately this seems to be a digital dub from a consumer grade cassette recording. I gave up after five minutes because the sound was so bad, and the reading so flat.

2 people found this helpful