" 'There are things you find nothing about in books.' I think that he got out of it very well for such a stupid man."
Meh. I'm not sure why I'm so underwhelmed by this story - it had all the elements of a good tale: interesting characters, a setting at sea, dramatic descriptions of human fate pitted against nature, and Conrad's typical understated irony.
And yet, Jukes' personality was quite off-putting. Most of the story is told from his point of view and his endless references to coolies and other derogatory descriptions of the Nan-Shans passengers, was just offensive to my reading sensitivities, even when considering the context of the stories setting.
What saved the story for me was the ending and the triumph of the sober but grounded spirit of Captain MacWhirr over his chief mate's, Jukes', know-it-all, presumptuous, imperialist attitude.