In the story, the gentlemen narrator, Humphrey Van Weyden, is pitted against an amoral sea captain, Wolf Larsen, in a clash of idealism. The novel begins when Van Weyden is swept overboard into San Fancisco Bay, and plcuked from the sea by Larsen's seal-hunting vessel, the Ghost. Pressed into service as a cabin boy by the ruthless captain, Van Weyden becomes an unwilling participant in a brutal shipboard drama. Larsen's increasingly violent abuse of the crew fuels a mounting tension that ultimately bolts into mutiny, shipwreck, and a desperate confrontation.
Pressed into service aboard the Ghost, Humphrey Van Weyden becomes an unwilling participant in a tense shipboard drama. The vessel's deranged and abusive captain, Wolf Larsen, perpetrates an atmosphere of increasing violence that ultimately boils into mutiny, shipwreck, and a desperate confrontation. This 1904 maritime classic depicts the clash of materialistic and idealistic cultures with a captivating combination of gritty realism and sublime lyricism.