South Sea Tales - Jack London - Published in 1911 by MacMillan, South Sea Tales is an anthology of stories linked by their setting. Alongside London's Klondike works, his South Sea stories, of which these are a great example, come fresh from his times on board ocean going ships and boats. While his racist overtones are in evidence here, so too is London's gift for plotting and his detailed knowledge of sailing, amply demonstrated by the last story in the set The Seed of McCoy.Set aboard a ship that is on fire below deck, the story concerns the efforts of the ship's captain and the Governor of Pitcairn, acting as a pilot, to steer the doomed ship to a lagoon in which she can be beached so that the hull can be saved. To see this done, they have to overcome the South Sea Island currents, reassure the ship's crew, keep the deck corked so that the fire doesn't get fed and overcome their own doubts. The story is a minor triumph of plotting.
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