By Simon J. Hall

Simon Hall’s moment publication is decided within the mid-1970s in the course of the ultimate years of the golden age of British transport, whilst shipment carriage at sea observed radical switch and the romance of being at sea in old-style shipment ships got here to an finish. Hall’s account is of 5 years within which he labored as a junior officer within the a long way East and South Pacific. this can be no traditional memoir; the prose is vividly expressed, usually stunning, occasionally elegiac as evidenced via his description of an evening watch within the Indian Ocean: on my own at the bridge wing within the hot tropical evening, I heard the wind sing during the remains as an Aeolian harp and that i felt anointed by means of my luck. On loading rubber and bushes in Sarawak he writes: the complete velocity of existence slowed, it felt as lethargic because the idle Rajang river itself and all of us slowed with it. every little thing was once so nonetheless, so unmoving, as though the full international had lain down and long gone to sleep. His descriptions of jaunts in forgotten elements of the realm are strikingly expressed and there's additional poignancy, from the charting of Hall’s fight opposed to decline into alcohol abuse, expressed in a fashion that's in flip either unhappy and surprising: I ordered one other chilly beer and lit one other cigarette, then sat with the ghost of my earlier desires whereas the afternoon died round us and we surveyed the wreckage of all my hopes. this is often an immense paintings that captures an age now vanished, written in a mode too not often encountered.

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