In the Eye of the Storm
In Hazard is an extraordinary read. It resembles The Human Predicament in mixing fiction with fact, but here the ‘fact’ is not a devastating political movement which took years to grow, but a devastating meteorological event which took place within a week. In November 1932 the steamship Phemius was sucked into a Caribbean hurricane and tested to the limits, yet somehow she and all her crew survived. The owner of the shipping line to which Phemius belonged approached Hughes and suggested he record the dramatic story. Hughes agreed to describe the storm and its effects on the ship as accurately as he could, with the proviso that he would invent a fictitious captain and crew . . .