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Joseph Conrad
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The Secret Sharer and Other Great Stories

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  798 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
This is a collection of gripping tales of crime, crisis or disaster, in which ordinary people find themselves tested in extraordinary circumstances.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 1st 1969 by Signet (first published 1909)
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Steve
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually read short stories, but then again, this is three in the space of 270 pages, so they're long enough to fit my allowed reading spans. Conrad is somebody I was taught to admire in college, but it's only been the last couple years that I was old enough to really appreciate his mastery of the English language, and his ability to dig deep into the humanity of his main characters, while keeping the others at a nicely symbolic level. The Secret Sharer is a nifty morality tale about a s ...more
Lyle
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lyle by: Mrs. Smith
This is another one of those books I read for class that I was most likely only one who felt an affinity towards. Another short read and not too action-packed. It's hard to review this without giving too much away, but there's a lot of dual personality references in here.
Idiosyncratic
Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm surprised at how provocative (and evocative)I found this story to be - especially when I realized, upon re-reading it after many years - that "the secret sharer" was a murderer. (So much for my cozy, romantic preconception.)
William Stobb
May 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: President and Laura Bush
"The Secret Sharer" is one of my favorite stories. It takes place on a ship on the ocean, but it's also as if it takes place in the subconscious mind. It's dreamy. I loved it.
John
Jun 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joseph Conrad is my favorite "high school book" author and "The Secret Sharer" is one of my favorites. Also a big fan of "An Outpost of Progress."
Kate Sanders
The Secret Sharer is very mysterious because some would argue whether there is an actually person that the captain is hiding or if it’s just a figment of his imagination because he’s lonely. This is a great story filled with details.
Manoel Elpidio
If there’s a trait I have come to truly admire in Conrad is his sheer talent for drawing intense narratives from personal experiences or from stories he had heard in his days as a sailor. By the time I had finished "The Duel", which closes this collection, I realised what precisely amuses me about 19th-century literature that modern works will never be able to strike: simplicity, along with that personal touch.

There might be a small preconceived bias towards it when we tend to think of the depic
...more
James
Nov 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his essay, "The Condition of Art", Joseph Conrad says of the artist:

He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives; to our sense of pity, and beauty, and pain; to the latent feeling of fellowship with all creation--to the subtle but invincible conviction of solidarity that knits together the loneliness of innumerable hearts, to the solidarity in dreams, in joy, in sorrow, in aspirations, in illusions, in hope, in fear, which binds men to each o
...more
Julie Bozza
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning: This review feels a little spoilerish, but then I think Conrad's style is to be quite upfront about his themes and meanings, which is also what I'm doing here.

I chose this to read because BBC 'Merlin' had an episode called 'The Secret Sharer', and I was interested by the unusual title. (I suppose there are more random reasons to read a book!) It was intriguing to consider the parallels while I was reading that story! :-)

These three substantially-sized stories are all worth reading, and
...more
Deb
Sep 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, fiction, seafaring
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Henrietta Fudakowski
Joseph Conrad is not a particularly easy author to read. He wrote in his third language English, but you can still feel the traces of his native Polish and his first learnt language French. So the sentences are dense, but they are also rich. If however you want somewhere to start reading Joseph Conrad's works Secret Sharer is a good place to start. Hearth of Darkness is better known, and is the basis for the film Apocalypse Now

Secret Sharer was first published a century ago, but the issues that
...more
Stephan
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This old edition contained the stories, "Youth", "The Secret Sharer", and "The Shadow Line". The stories all deal with the same themes of youth, being in first in command and tests against values and experience. They're all written from a first-person narrator, in a very conversational tone (especially for the time period) and often the story unfolds between dialog.

I guess "The Secret Sharer", about a captain who hides a murderer in his cabin and finds his own likeness in him, is the more popula
...more
John
YOUTH: A NARRATIVE — Normally, a title like that would be indicative of an absolute snoozefest, but this ended up being my favorite Conrad piece EVER. The story is that of a doomed ocean voyage, with Conrad taking a certain masochistic delight in inflicting as much damage upon the poor seagoing vessel as his fevered mind can dream up. It’s like torture porn for ships. Apart from that, Conrad also explores the relationship between courage and foolhardiness. Wonderfully written, with such on-the-n ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
I love the short story form--fell in love with a lot listed here have been favorites since they were assigned in high school: Lawrence's "The Rocking Horse Winner," O'Connor's "Everything That Rises Must Converge," Cather's "Paul's Case," Chekhov's "The Bet," Benet's "By the Waters of Babylon" (a science fiction story no less), Crane's "The Open Boat," Welty's "The Worn Path," Broun's "The Fifty-First Dragon," Saki's "The Interlopers," and the work that forms part of the title, Conrad's novella, ...more
Sasha (whispersofthesilentwind)
2.5

Note:#1 required reading
Note:#2 I only read The Secret Sharer

I'm not a fan of Joseph Conrad, having read Heart of Darkness by him. I found The Secret Sharer to be better than Heart of Darkness but still lacking something. The Secret Sharer was pretty bland & dry with a hint of something to keep me interested until the end.
Nick Barth
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy dread and the sea.
Charlie Shafer
The "Secret Sharer" and "Youth: A Narrative" were both great, captivating reads. You can finish reading both stories within an hour. His writing has always been so poetic and he showcases this writing style in both Youth and the Secret Sharer. Youth contained some of the most existential and beautiful writing I've ever encountered. The second story in the collection didn't grip me and I never finished it.
Scott Cox
I found this to be one of the more haunting Joseph Conrad stories; one that I can remember decades after my first reading. The story involves a sea captain who discovers a mysterious swimmer clinging to the side of the boat. Later we learn more about the swimmer's secret: the "brand of Cain" that he must bear. The swimmer becomes, in some way, the captain's double. A captivating story!
Humphrey
"Youth" is distinctly the best story here - very good stuff. I thought "The Secret Sharer" was about as well executed as it could have been, but wasn't all that impressive. "Typhoon" is a bit problematic: the length that allows Conrad to make it a great descriptive story, but cuts against the epiphany aspect of the form.
GM
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Subtle and elegant short story. It is yet another spin to one of
Conrad's favourite themes: the hardship that one sometimes
faces in the process of doing the "right" thing, of taking the right stand,
sorrounded by an environment where so many people are blinded
by their greed, material interest, lack of understanding of the world.
Top notch, as almost everything from Conrad.
Angie
There's something vaguely magical about Conrad's ships. The Secret Sharer is definitely the best, but Youth: A Narrative is pretty decent. Typhoon was a tad boring, though. The Captain wasn't dynamic or interesting and some of the ship descriptions were perhaps too technical for modern readers.
A
Aug 12, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this book good but not extraordinary. I find a great book one that I can remember after I have read it and has impacted me for better or worse. After reading selected passages it reminded me of "Moby Dick" in subject only slightly more like Hemingway in style.
Rebecca
Nov 19, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-classics
Conrad and I simply never clicked. I never really like his over use of description and attempts at suspense. This book is one of the few with the doppelganger motif and he leaves things rather vague in this respect, and put bluntly, it seemed rather a story about nothing much.
Heather
Aug 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
AP English (@ MV)
Patrick\
Apr 14, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
One of the best.
dead letter office
i think conrad is weirder and more complicated than i give him credit for. i need to read more of his stuff, because i think it might be an acquired taste.
Sheffy
Nov 30, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Why did I give this 2 stars in high school, since I found it "short but boring"
Jim
Oct 12, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I may be incorrectly attacking this edition, but the one I read, which I cannot recall now, was poorly edited. But the story was very good.
Ryan
Mar 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masterful and captivating. A great read
Tom
May 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
FYI: This rating is just for The Secret Sharer, which I have in a really slim paperback edition.
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Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski ) was a Polish-born English novelist who today is most famous for Heart of Darkness, his fictionalized account of Colonial Africa.

Conrad left his native Poland in his middle teens to avoid conscription into the Russian Army. He joined the French Merchant Marine and briefly employed himself as a wartime gunrunner. He then began to work aboard Br
...more
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“Let them think what they liked, but I didn't mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank -- but that's not the same thing.” 901 likes
“And suddenly I rejoiced in the great security of the sea as compared with the unrest of the land, in my choice of that untempted life presenting no disquieting problems, invested with an elementary moral beauty by the absolute straightforwardness of its appeal and by the singleness of its purpose.” 7 likes
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