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The Secret Sharer

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The Secret Sharer

by Joseph Conrad

Genre: Suspense
Format of Original Source: Novella
Recommended Adaptation Length: 90 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising


And, besides, there were the scares. On the second day out, for instance, coming off the deck in the afternoon (I had straw slippers on my bare feet) I stopped at the open pantry door and spoke to the steward. He was doing something there with his back to me. At the sound of my voice he nearly jumped out of his skin, as the saying is, and incidentally broke a cup.

“What on earth’s the matter with you?” I asked, astonished.

He was extremely confused. “Beg your pardon, sir. I made sure you were in your cabin.”

“You see I wasn’t.”

“No, sir. I could have sworn I had heard you moving in there not a moment ago. It’s most extraordinary… very sorry, sir.”


This seafaring tale of a newly appointed inexperienced captain dealing with his insecurity and the dynamics of rank relations aboard his (unnamed) ship kicks into gear when the Captain hides an escapee from the nearby ship, Sephora, who unintentionally caused the death of one of his crewmates. The Captain sees this fugitive, Leggatt, as a sort of alter-ego compensating for his lack of courage, setting the stage for his transformation. This coming-of-age tale, with its contrasting yet sympathetic two main characters and themes of goodwill and self-realization, has rich possibilities for a full-length musical (and it all takes place on one ship).  [ML]


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