Monthly Archives: February 2014

Nostromo, a Tale of the Seaboard

Nostromo, a Tale of the Seaboard by Joseph Conrad

Nostromo, a Tale of the Seaboard by Joseph Conrad

Señor Gould is a native Costaguanan of English descent who owns the silver-mining concession in Sulaco. He is tired of the political instability in Costaguana and its concomitant corruption, and puts his weight behind the Ribierist project, which he believes will finally bring stability to the country after years of misrule and tyranny by self-serving dictators. Instead, the silver mine and the wealth it has generated become a magnet for local warlords to fight over, plunging Costaguana into a new round of chaos. Among others, the revolutionary Montero invades Sulaco; Señor Gould, adamant that his silver should not become spoil for his enemies, entrusts it to Nostromo, the trusted “capataz de los cargadores” (head longshoreman).

Nostromo is an Italian expatriate who has risen to that position through his daring exploits. (“Nostromo” is Italian for “mate” or “boatswain”.) He is so named by his employer, Captain Mitchell. “Nostromo’s” real name is Giovanni Battista Fidanza — Fidanza meaning “trust” in archaic Italian.

Nostromo is a shameless self-publicist. He is believed by Señor Gould to be incorruptible, and for this reason is entrusted with hiding the silver from the revolutionaries. He accepts the mission not out of loyalty to Señor Gould, but rather because he sees an opportunity to increase his own fame.

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Phantastes

Phantastes by George MacDonald

Phantastes by George MacDonald

A young man named Anodos experiences dream-like adventures in a distant land, where he meets tree-spirits, endures the presence of the overwhelming shadow, journeys to the palace of the fairy queen, and searches for the spirit of the earth.

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A Journey to the Center of the Earth

A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth is a science fiction novel. The story involves a professor who leads his nephew and hired guide down a volcano in Iceland to the “center of the Earth”. They encounter many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy.

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Riders of the Purple Sage

Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

The year is 1871, and wealthy ranch owner Jane Withersteen is in trouble. She has incurred the displeasure of her Mormon church leaders by refusing to marry a church elder and by befriending Gentiles (non-Mormons). In rides Lassiter, the quintessential Western hero: mysterious, purposeful, a deadly gunslinger, but with an unexpected streak of gentleness. While Lassiter is assisting Jane at the ranch, her friend and rider Bern Venters is having an adventure of his own in the Utah canyon lands. Riders of the Purple Sage is a story of heroism, love, brave men and strong women, good dogs and fast horses. And who is that Masked Rider?

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