Java Head

Cover image for


Published: 1918
Language: English
Wordcount: 66,725 / 199 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 67.2
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 1,031
Added to site: 2005.12.20 12026

A tale of micegnation in the 1880s.

Show Excerpt

sail, double-reefed foresail and forestaysail, dead before a gale and gigantic long seas hurling the ship on in the bleak watery desolation.

Laurel was closely concerned in all these. One cause for this was the fact that her grandfather so often selected her as the audience for his memories and stories, during which his manner was completely that of one navigator to another; and a second flourished in the knowledge that Camilla affected to disdain the sea and any of its connections.

Sidsall appeared and took her place with a collective greeting; while Laurel, coming out of her abstraction, realized that they were discussing the subject in which nearly every conversation now began or ended--the solemn speculation of why her Uncle Gerrit Ammidon, master of the ship Nautilus, was so long overdue from China. Laurel heard this from two angles, or, otherwise, when her grandfather was or was not present, the tone of the first far more encouraging than that of the latter. Her father was speaki


Average Rating of 4 from 1 reviews: ****

Strangers in a strange land

The Author

In the 1920s Joseph Hergesheimer was considered to be one of the most important American writers of his time. He liked to write about wealthy people using a detailed descriptive writing style. However, his style fell out of favor during the next decade as Americaís taste moved to tough guys and terse clipped dialog. Java Head was Hergesheimerís most acclaimed novel.

The Story

People in New England donít talk much. When they do, they keep it simple; they limit their talk to observations and evaluations and they avoid feelings. Cause, feelings are sensitive, and feelings can be hurt, and itís not a proper thing to do in New England. So, they try to dance around each other, but since they donít understand each otherís feelings, they donít know each otherís boundaries, so, they dance clumsily, because they are all pointy elbows and knobby knees and they knock and they bump and their feet tangle and they fall down and their feelings get hurt.

So, this Sea Captain and his new wife, who he brings home from China, and this woman he used to like and this other guy who likes China and who likes opium and who whishes the Captainís wife would like himÖ Well, they donít talk, so they dance, clumsily, so they collide, and so, somebody dies.

And, if you who want to find out, who? dont worry, itís a good read.

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