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The Ebb-Tide: A Trio and Quartette

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  232 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Three men down on their luck in Tahiti agree to ship out on a vessel whose officers have died of smallpox. Their desperate venture inspires them to a further idea: they will steal the schooner and its cargo of champagne, sell them, and live a plentiful life. The thought is intoxicating... and so is the cargo, which they sample. Inattention nearly brings them to grief in a ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published November 3rd 2006 by Hard Press (first published 1894)
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Owlseyes
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


(Stevenson's home at Vailima,Samoa)

For those who know a bit of his biography...Stevenson the Scotsman writer had been for his lifetime a world drifter; he'd been in America too (in San Francisco!),... ...before settling in Samoa,for the rest of his life; so, this novel apparently has biographical lines, enmeshed into it. He knew what it meant "new horizons".



Three miserable-looking-and-feeling outcasts gather in one of the Pacific isles of Tahiti. They’re Robert Herrick, American Captain Dav
...more
Jim
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Some writers are all too easy to underestimate. I read this book on the recommendation of Jorge Luis Borges, and I was not disappointed. It is one of those stories which, while they progress naturally from scene to scene, cannot in any sense be foreseen.

The Ebb-Tide: A Trio and Quartette by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyde Osbourne is set in the South Seas. There are three layabouts lying on the shore in Papeete, Tahiti: Herrick, Captain Davis, and Huish. Somehow Davis manages to get a new ship
...more
Roger Brunyate
His Bedevilled and Dishonoured Soul
In all this there was no thought of Robert Herrick. He has complied with the ebb-tide in man's affairs, and the tide had carried him away; he heard already the roaring of the maelstrom that must hurry him under. And in his bedevilled and dishonoured soul there was no thought of self.
The Ebb-Tide, written with his stepson Lloyd Osbourne and published in 1894, was Robert Louis Stevenson's last completed novel. By this time, he had settled in Samoa, and although
...more
Laura
Jun 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: professor
Shelves: victorian
"For it is the destiny of those grave, restrained, and classic writers, with whom we make enforced and often painful acquaintanceship at school, to pass into the blood and become native in the memory; so that a phrase of Virgil speaks not so much of Mantua or Augustus, but of English places and the student's own irrevocable youth." (193-194)

"He tortured himself to find analogies. The isle was like the rim of a great vessel sunken in the waters; it was like the embankement of an annular railway g
...more
Guido
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mare, regno-unito
Romanzo d'avventura che ha per protagonisti tre autentici falliti abbandonati su una spiaggia di Tahiti, tre individui sgradevoli, disonesti e disperati, ai quali viene offerta una possibilità di riscatto - il trasporto di un carico di champagne a Sydney - che dovrebbe essere, per loro, l'inizio di una nuova vita: interverranno, naturalmente, altre complicazioni, e il loro destino sarà diverso. Qui Stevenson riflette sul suo rapporto amaro e disincantanto col cristianesimo; la narrazione risente ...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 Drama:
The second of two dramatisations of Robert Louis Stevenson's gripping novellas set in Samoa and written while he lived there. Starring David Tennant.

Three destitute men steal a schooner. They drink the cargo of champagne and try to steal a treasure trove of pearls from a local slave-owning trader.

At the height of his powers, Stevenson tackled the most pressing theme on the islands - the vicious effects of colonialism including slavery, racism, sexual exploitation and the c
...more
Sam
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection holds the Ebb Tide and the Island Nights Entertainments (or the South Sea Tales if you prefer). The Ebb Tide follows three men who having found themselves on the island of Tahiti are employed by the US Consul to ship a cargo of champagne to Sydney after the original crew come down with small pox. However during their journey they find that all is not quite what it seems and are forced to take alternative action. Island Nights' includes three tales, the Beach of Falesá, the Bottle ...more
Sylvester
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classic
I'm at a loss for words, really. Not what I expected from RLS. Odd story of which I somehow missed the point. My disappointment tempted me to give it only one star, but it wasn't horrible. I blame the co-author, whoever he was.
Phil Clymer
Nov 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Almost a pirate tale. Lacks the punch of his other works, more like a long short story. Even at that it is worth the time invested.
The Fat
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stevenson's prose is excellent here, but the allegorical elements can be a little too on the nose at times.
Sarah Sammis
Sep 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the Ebb-Tide for the Classics Challenge. Stevenson and his stepson, Lloyd Osbourne tell a modern (contemporary for when it was written) tale of pirates in the South Pacific. These are not the "pieces of eight" pirates of their most famous collaboration, Treasure Island. Instead these are more akin with modern smugglers.

The book follows three men down on their luck, stuck on Tahiti for a variety of reasons. They are all recovering from influenza which had been brought to the island on one
...more
Sarah Sammis
Oct 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pc
I read the Ebb-Tide for the Classics Challenge. Stevenson and his stepson, Lloyd Osbourne tell a modern (contemporary for when it was written) tale of pirates in the South Pacific. These are not the "pieces of eight" pirates of their most famous collaboration, Treasure Island. Instead these are more akin with modern smugglers.

The book follows three men down on their luck, stuck on Tahiti for a variety of reasons. They are all recovering from influenza which had been brought to the island on one
...more
Michael
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
Okay. So I read it in twenty-four hours for class, so perhaps, I'm not the most qualified to give a review, but I will anyway.

What I liked about this novella was the characters' relationship with nature. Stevenson provides a semi-unique view for his time. Unlike his contemporaries' narrators (Ishmael, etc) his narrator doesn't look at nature with a romantic lens. Rather, the narrator holds a removed view. One girl in my class explained that nature was actually punishing the characters for not go
...more
Mark
Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a dark comedy with three ‘anti-heros’ as the main characters. A fascinating moral character study. The first quarter or so of the book is a bit slow but stick with it, it becomes fast-paced with plenty of action after that.
incipit mania
Incipit

Sparsi lungo tutta la miriade delle isole del Pacifico...
Il reflusso della marea incipitmania.com
Neil
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A lovely wee tale from a master of his craft. This one tells the tale of a schooner of stolen champagne that ends up coming to shore at a small island en route. The crew side against each other depending on the direction their moral compass points and then hi jinks ensue.
Geraud
Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
un roman tragi-comique sur l'échec, plein de mélancolie et de désenchantement. j'ai eu un mal fou à le lire malgré sa petite taille. Je n'ai pourtant rien à lui reprocher sinon, de l'avoir lu au mauvais moment.
Neil
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too short, characters appeared quite thin.
Adrian Buck
May 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Frustrating not to find out what the effect of this adventure was on the main character!
Kirsty Potter
Oct 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: uni
Should be subtitled, 'Men are sinners or idiots.'
alissa
Loved the book. Stevenson has such wonderful turns of phrase to capture the nuances of human morality.
Kelli Glazebrook
Reading this for background on Penny Dreadful.
Edward Wakefield
rated it really liked it
Apr 29, 2012
Leia
rated it it was ok
Jul 23, 2016
Rudj
rated it it was amazing
Nov 06, 2010
Laura Campbell
rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2015
Chase Insteadman Mountbatten
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Aug 03, 2017
Nithin Bekal
rated it it was ok
Nov 01, 2013
Samuel Frogley
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Feb 04, 2016
Pedro Góis
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Jul 01, 2013
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Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of English literature. He was greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling and Vladimir Nabokov.

Most modernist writers dismissed him, however, because he was popular and did not write within their narrow definition of literature. It is onl
...more
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