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In Search of Conrad

Gavin Young
Date Published
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First published in 1991, Gavin Young’s hugely acclaimed In Search of Conrad was joint winner of the 1992 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award.

‘Part-mariner’s log and part-detective story, [In Search of Conrad] brilliantly evokes the Far Eastern landscapes fixed forever in our imaginations by Conrad’s novels. But above all Young makes us realize that the world Conrad described nearly a century ago is still there … the most pleasurable and exciting book I have read this year.’ J. G. Ballard, Daily Telegraph

‘Young’s passion for Conrad and his stories blazes from every porthole.’ John Carey, Sunday Times

‘Young has an eye for atmosphere; he is marvellous on Singapore as her past impinges on the present, myriad streets stalked by ghosts from the nineteenth century … In Search of Conrad is both scholarly and enthralling – always vivid, and often a hoot to read … better still it may set you to reading Conrad again.’ Independent

‘Gavin Young has managed to write something rare in recent literature – a happy book about the Third World which also has the ring of truth.’ Jonathan Raban, Independent on Sunday


Gavin Young (1929-2001) was a journalist, writer, and briefly a member of MI6. As a journalist, he was most associated with the Observer, being in the words of Mark Frankland’s obituary ‘a star foreign correspondent’. When disenchantment with journalism set in he turned to the writing of books. The two most famous ones are Slow Boats to China and its…

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