A High Wind in Jamaica

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9780099437437: A High Wind in Jamaica

Set in the last century against a tropical landscape and the ever-present sea, A High Wind in Jamaica tells the story of a family of English children who, on being sent by their parents back to England from Jamaica, fall into the hands of pirates. As this voyage of innocence continues, the events which unfold begin to take on a savagely detached and haunting quality.

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Review:

A High Wind in Jamaica is not so much a book as a curious object, like a piece of driftwood torqued into an alarming shape from years at sea. And like driftwood, it seems not to have been made, exactly, but simply to have come into being, so perfectly is its form married to its content. The five Bas-Thornton children must leave their parents in Jamaica after a terrible hurricane blows down their family home. Accompanied by their Creole friends, the Fernandez children, they board a ship that is almost immediately set upon by pirates. The children take to corsair life coolly and matter-of-factly; just as coolly do they commit horrible deeds, and have horrible deeds visited upon them. First published in 1929, A High Wind in Jamaica has been compared to Lord of the Flies in its unflinching portrayal of innocence corrupted, but Richard Hughes is the supreme ironist William Golding never was. He possesses the ability to be one moment thoroughly inside a character's head, and the next outside of it altogether, hilariously commenting.

Irony finds a happy home indeed in the book's mixture of the macabre and the adorable. The baby girl, Rachel, "could even sum up maternal feelings for a marline-spike, and would sit up aloft rocking it in her arms and crooning. The sailors avoided walking underneath: for such an infant, if dropped from a height, will find its way through the thickest skull (an accident which sometimes befalls unpopular captains)." In that "such an infant" lies a world of mordant wit. In fact, throughout, Hughes's wildly eccentric punctuation and startling syntax make just the right verbal vehicle for this dark-hearted pirate story for grownups.

Hughes enjoys some coy riffing on the child mind, as with this description of the way Emily handles an uncomfortable social situation: "Much the best way of escaping from an embarrassing rencontre, when to walk away would be an impossible strain on the nerves, is to retire in a series of somersaults. Emily immediately started turning head over heels up the deck." Even so, Hughes never sentimentalizes his subject: "Babies of course are not human--they are animals, and have a very ancient and ramified culture, as cats have, and fishes, and even snakes." Children, as a race, are given rough treatment: "their minds are not just more ignorant and stupider than ours, but differ in kind of thinking (are mad, in fact)." That madness is here isolated, prodded, and poked to chilling effect. But Hughes never loses sight of his ultimate objective: A High Wind in Jamaica is, above all, a cracking good yarn. --Claire Dederer

From the Publisher:

New edition of a classic adventure novel and one of the most startling, highly praised stories in English literature--a brilliant chronicle of two sensitive children's violent voyage from innocence to experience.

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Richard Hughes
Editorial: Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom (2011)
ISBN 10: 0099437430 ISBN 13: 9780099437437
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
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(London, Reino Unido)
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Descripción Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Set in the last century against a tropical landscape and the ever-present sea, A High Wind in Jamaica tells the story of a family of English children who, on being sent by their parents back to England from Jamaica, fall into the hands of pirates. As this voyage of innocence continues, the events which unfold begin to take on a savagely detached and haunting quality. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780099437437

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Richard Hughes
Editorial: Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom (2011)
ISBN 10: 0099437430 ISBN 13: 9780099437437
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Descripción Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Set in the last century against a tropical landscape and the ever-present sea, A High Wind in Jamaica tells the story of a family of English children who, on being sent by their parents back to England from Jamaica, fall into the hands of pirates. As this voyage of innocence continues, the events which unfold begin to take on a savagely detached and haunting quality. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780099437437

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Richard Hughes
ISBN 10: 0099437430 ISBN 13: 9780099437437
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BWB
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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Nº de ref. de la librería 97800994374370000000

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Richard Hughes
Editorial: Vintage Classics 2002-07-04 (2002)
ISBN 10: 0099437430 ISBN 13: 9780099437437
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Chiron Media
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Descripción Vintage Classics 2002-07-04, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-BER-00016248

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Richard Hughes
Editorial: Vintage Classics (2002)
ISBN 10: 0099437430 ISBN 13: 9780099437437
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The Monster Bookshop
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Descripción Vintage Classics, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0000190369

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Richard Hughes
Editorial: Random House 2014-11-06, London (2014)
ISBN 10: 0099437430 ISBN 13: 9780099437437
Nuevos paperback Cantidad: 5
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Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, Reino Unido)
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Descripción Random House 2014-11-06, London, 2014. paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780099437437

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Hughes, Richard
Editorial: Vintage
ISBN 10: 0099437430 ISBN 13: 9780099437437
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Kennys Bookstore
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Descripción Vintage. Estado de conservación: New. 2007. Paperback. On the high seas of the Caribbean, a family of English children is set loose - sent by their parents from their home in Jamaica to receive the civilising effects of England. When their ship is captured by pirates, the thrilling cruise continues as the children transfer their affections from one batch of sailors to another. Num Pages: 192 pages. BIC Classification: FA; FJH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 129 x 12. Weight in Grams: 160. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780099437437

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Hughes, Richard
Editorial: Vintage (2007)
ISBN 10: 0099437430 ISBN 13: 9780099437437
Nuevos Tapa blanda Cantidad: 5
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Descripción Vintage, 2007. Estado de conservación: New. 2007. Paperback. On the high seas of the Caribbean, a family of English children is set loose - sent by their parents from their home in Jamaica to receive the civilising effects of England. When their ship is captured by pirates, the thrilling cruise continues as the children transfer their affections from one batch of sailors to another. Num Pages: 192 pages. BIC Classification: FA; FJH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 129 x 12. Weight in Grams: 160. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780099437437

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Richard Hughes
ISBN 10: 0099437430 ISBN 13: 9780099437437
Nuevos Cantidad: 3
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Speedy Hen LLC
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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0099437430. Nº de ref. de la librería ST0099437430

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Richard Hughes
Editorial: Vintage Classics (2002)
ISBN 10: 0099437430 ISBN 13: 9780099437437
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Descripción Vintage Classics, 2002. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería EH9780099437437

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