Dominic Morgan - Duffus 1987
Backline and other short stories by Dominic Morgan (Duffus 1987)
Both short and deceptively simple, this book of sea stories follows the central protagonist, Silas Murphy, through his hard and dangerous career as a yacht captain and a commercial fisherman.
The rigours of the sea have made him dark and nihilistic and a borderline alcoholic. Yet despite his acceptance and expectation of a cruel fate and despite his seemingly pointless existence, he continues his struggle to survive and eventually finds salvation where he least expects to.
The stories are terse and stark and brutal. With the exception of The Last Voyage, they are all true and are based on the author’s experiences. The book explores the themes of life and death, love and hate, fear and hope and the existential nature of the human condition.
Startlingly frank and open it is both beautiful and terrifying.