Gallions Reach is the story of an East End shipping clerk, Jim Colet, who, in a moment of rebellion against the tyranny of dull work and a bullying employer, causes his boss's death with an unlucky blow. He escapes to sea, without any clear intention of doing so, and becomes purser on the Altair, a steamer making her way across the Indian Ocean. The Altair goes down in a tropical storm, the crew are rescued by a liner, and Colet meets a prospector who takes him on an expedition into the depths of the Malay jungle. H. M. Tomlinson subtitled his novel 'A romance', and it is in a sense a romantic version of his own life, but what makes it a classic is his marvellous power of description, and his extraordinary command of what J. B. Priestley called 'a magnificent and idiomatic prose style, as individual as a voice.Tomlinson is one of the very small company of writers who have created classics out of their travels.Gallions Reach was first published in 1927.
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