New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590172728, 239pp.
Publication Date: August 12, 2008
Based on detailed research into an actual event, Richard Hughes's tale of high suspense on the high seas is an extraordinary story of men under pressure and the unexpected ways they prove their mettle--or crack. Yet the originality, art, and greatness of "In Hazard" stem from something else: Hughes's eerie fascination with the hurricane itself, the inhuman force around which this wrenching tale of humanity at its limits revolves. Hughes channels the furies of sea and sky into a piece of writing that is both apocalyptic and analytic. "In Hazard" is an unforgettable, defining work of modern adventure.
John Crowley is the author of many critically acclaimed books, including "Love & Sleep, Aegypt," and "Little, Big." He lives in northern Massachusetts with his wife and twin daughters.
" With his eerie narrator (Is it a surviving crew member? The author? Poseidon himself?), Hughes presents an atmospheric book that makes trouble with pirates, rocky shoals or white whales seem almost trifling." --Time Out New York
"The passages in literature that have thrilled me most have almost all been sea battles and storms. Now I have had the great and exhilarating pleasure of surviving yet another tempest in Richard Hughes's In Hazard, now equipped with an excellent introduction by John Crowley... The novel is superb." --Katharine Powers, The Boston Globe
"To take the same subject as Conrad in Typhoon would be foolhardy if it were not so triumphantly justified." -Graham Greene
"Richard Hughes is a genuine case of unfair neglect, and will some day be seen again as one of the very best novelist of the past hundred years from Great Britain...In Hazard is much more than a brilliant sea story. The tale is about extreme danger and human reactions to it...It seems just as apposite to our times, when we confront a bewildering range of hazards, including the destructiveness of nature, which we ourselves are probably exacerbating." -The Financial Times
"Richard Hughes...has done another magnificent saga of the sea in this novel which inevitably calls to mind Conrad's Typhoon, not for similarity in the progression of the novel, but because of the power with which the author evokes the man's struggle against the elements. A story of mad weather at sea, it is told with restraint, humor and irony. Almost compulsory reading." -North American Fiction Review
"In Hazard is not really a book about a storm, but about fear...what will stick in most minds are the sharp descriptive passages--of a scene, illuminated by lightning, when the crew looks out on a mountainside of water crawling with sharks." —Time
"The most intense reading experience of the year-easily-was discovering Richard Hughes's 1938 novel, In Hazard, a small masterpiece of lyric terror about a cargo ship that runs into a hurricane, but also about the rest of life. It might have helped that I read it in a force 10 gale on the Atlantic but reading it in the bath would probably have the same impact."-Simon Schama, The Guardian
"Every bit the equal of Perfect Storm, this is the story of a freighter that gets caught out in the worst hurricane ever recorded at the time. It's terrifying, and it's also wonderfully written." -Boat Safe