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Download The Shadow-Line: A Confession Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Shadow-Line: A Confession Audiobook, by Joseph Conrad Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.65 out of 53.65 out of 53.65 out of 53.65 out of 53.65 out of 5 3.65 (23 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph Conrad Narrator: William Sutherland Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455181148
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Written at the start of the Great War, when his son Borys was at the Western Front, The Shadow-Line is Conrad’s supreme effort to open man’s eyes to the meaning of war through the stimulus of art. In many ways an autobiographical narrative, this masterpiece relates the story of a young and inexperienced sea captain whose first command finds him with a ship becalmed in tropical seas and a crew smitten with fever. As he wrestles with his conscience and with the sense of isolation that his position imposes, the captain crosses the “shadow-line” between youth and adulthood.

The qualities needed to confront the ship’s crisis symbolize the very qualities needed by humanity, not only to face evil and destruction, but also to come to terms with life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “About The Shadow-Line there is an extraordinary atmosphere of beauty…It is a beauty deeper than mere words go…There is something complete, something almost sculptural, about it.”

    New York Times

  • “Williams’ mature, gravelly voice carries all the weight of age and experience as surely as if the graying Conrad himself were, years later, telling the tale of his own first command. It is a harrowing but heartwarming story read with the wizened dignity that only an older reader can create.”

    AudioFile

  • “Williams’ narration is almost elegiac in pacing and tone. His reading reflects not a young, impatient character but one who has seen evil in the world and recognizes human weaknesses. Although the young captain is often impetuous, Williams’ retrospective tone gives the character’s voice a moral weight, reflective of his growing maturity.”

    Booklist

  • The Shadow-Line, in its simple plot and unmediated narrative, is a sharp…departure from Conrad’s earlier more celebrated work. In many ways, however, it is also a return: a return to the sea, that testing ground of the soul, and a return to the virtues that arise and flourish.”

    Modernism Lab at Yale University

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darkwood | 1/29/2014

    " I don't know what I would have thought about this book if I had read it when I was young, but as a mature reader I thought it was profound. If you've ever suffered the doldrums under sail this beautifully written little book will bring it all back to you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Libyrinths | 1/27/2014

    " Very nice autobiographical novella from one of my favorite authors about the moment one realizes one has grown up. I was in the mood for a sea tale, but got much more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thirteenth Peer | 1/26/2014

    " A nice tale but it lacks the depth and interest of the other Conrad stories I've read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 1/21/2014

    " Another one of Conrad's Great short novels! His mastery of the English language continually amazes and delights me. He is able to paint a picture of a man with precise detail in a just a few words as in the phrase "He was a confirmed dyspeptic." Conrad must be exposing his own thoughts, feelings and recollections as a seaman in the Gulf of Thailand as he portrays the character and actions of "the young captain" who he never names. He is obviously deeply connected with the characters and circumstances. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Johann Thorsson | 1/14/2014

    " While it is not exactly exciting, it is such sublime writing that it keeps you reading, and turning the page. One of Conrad's best work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/6/2014

    " I actually like this better than Heart of Darkness. The sea and the ship work in relation to the idea of good and evil. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karla | 12/25/2013

    " The secret part of us that lurks in darkness and our dread confrontations... wow! I was seventeen when i first read Shadowline. I think i need to rummage the stores until i find the book again and read it with a bit more of life's experiences. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Will Miller | 12/23/2013

    " Gets pretty excellent toward the end, but since when is Conrad a, well, boring writer? The first chapters are a slog. Maybe his most "British" feeling book - self-consciously so? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 12/5/2013

    " I read this for my dissertation chapter on Conrad. I'm not sure if I am going to include it yet, but it needed to be read. It's a funny little story that doesn't seem to lead anywhere or accomplish anything, but maybe that's the point. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elena | 10/31/2013

    " The use of the language is what captures you the most in this book. Not much happens as far as the story-line goes; it is the powerful use of words, able to depict mostly what is actually not happening, that does it all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maxinenunes | 11/5/2012

    " Picked it up because it's oft-cited in Exit Ghost. A great yarn... haven't quite finished and need to think more about it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginola81 | 9/28/2012

    " Una bella storia autobiografica sulla prima esperienza da capitano di nave di Conrad. Tra malattie, bonaccia e fantasmi, ci racconta la sua esperienza nell'oltrepassare la "linea d'ombra". Gran bel libro... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kara Isaac | 1/31/2012

    " I not smart enough to understand this novel either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 10/27/2011

    " Its basically a book about drifting listlessly at sea while your first mate is suffering the sea-crazies. That being that, it was a pretty darn spooky book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Valla | 2/3/2011

    " a me sembra veramente brutto. e conrad veramente noioso e farraginoso. chissà se ce la farò.</p>

    Finito. E' il vuoto o non ho capito nulla?

    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Johann | 1/12/2011

    " While it is not exactly exciting, it is such sublime writing that it keeps you reading, and turning the page. One of Conrad's best work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Libyrinths | 6/2/2010

    " Very nice autobiographical novella from one of my favorite authors about the moment one realizes one has grown up. I was in the mood for a sea tale, but got much more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elena | 8/16/2009

    " The use of the language is what captures you the most in this book. Not much happens as far as the story-line goes; it is the powerful use of words, able to depict mostly what is actually not happening, that does it all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 2/26/2009

    " I read this for my dissertation chapter on Conrad. I'm not sure if I am going to include it yet, but it needed to be read. It's a funny little story that doesn't seem to lead anywhere or accomplish anything, but maybe that's the point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 2/4/2009

    " Not my favorite Conrad work, but was hard to put down. I love the way Conrad creates and sustains suspense. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karla | 9/8/2008

    " The secret part of us that lurks in darkness and our dread confrontations... wow! I was seventeen when i first read Shadowline. I think i need to rummage the stores until i find the book again and read it with a bit more of life's experiences. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kara | 7/28/2008

    " I not smart enough to understand this novel either. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Issy | 5/2/2008

    " I think maybe I made the mistake of reading this book too fast and thus somehow missing its subtle beauty. Maybe? It was a pretty interesting story but I didn't realize the climax was happening when it was happening so that's not so hot. "

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About the Author
Author Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad (Józef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski) (1857–1924) was born in Ukraine. Raised by an uncle after the death of his parents, he educated himself by reading widely in Polish and French. At age twenty-one he began a long career sailing the seas on French merchant vessels, after which he went to London and began writing, using the romance and adventure of his own life for his incomparable sea novels.