Heart of Darkness is one of my all time favorites. I have purchased and listened to several audio versions but Branagh has out-voiced them all. This is the best version - a must have!!
Story was interesting but much better after I read the history of the Belgium Congo. Heard the story a second time with more insight and understanding. This was an important historical novel because it shed light on the abuses of the Europeans towards the native population.
It's a pity that whoever prepared the text for the narrator felt it necessary to promote political correctness over the author's original language. As a result, I didn't enjoy Kenneth Branagh voice as much as I usually do.
Yes, Kenneth Branagh performance was the best I have ever heard. I have read this book several times and enjoyed it the most in this audio version.
Heart of Darkness is a classic, confronting the Hypocrisy of Imperialism in a suspenseful and enlightening drama. That explores the ambiguity, and moral confusion in a story within a story. I loved the description and changing of tempo and voice that Branagh used throughout the novella.
His changing of tempo and voice for the different characters, the wonderful use of silence in his construction of his presentation of the novella.
I remember reading this book years ago in high school, and I liked the book back then, but I debated whether it would be worth it to get this audiobook just to listen to something I've already read over ten years ago. I have absolutely no regrets over the purchase, and would recommend it to anyone in a similar position, for three main reasons:
1. The average (i.e. there are certainly exceptions) American high school student is not mature enough to adequately understand of the darkness which this book attempts to portray. From my experience the vast majority of high schoolers power through books, expending as little energy as possible to achieve the best grade possible. As an adult reading it for leisure, I found the book significantly more thought-provoking and meaningful.
2. Because the vast majority of the text is the words of one character speaking to other men, the words come across clear when spoken out loud. His language is eloquent and vivid, but at all times it's believable as the words of a sailor. This not only makes it more entertaining, but also more understandable. When reading the book I found it easy to miss things, not so much for their complexity as for their unfamiliarity, by virtue of being written by a British person in the late 1800's. I found that the manner in which the words were read gave me additional cues to help my understanding, such that even if I didn't understand a particular word or expression used, it didn't derail me from the main story.
3. Any fan of Apocalypse Now will love this book. I felt a deepening appreciation of the brilliance of the movie comes as I dove deeper into the world of Marlow and Kurtz. In the same way Dr. Strangelove came from Kubrick's particular reading of the book Red Alert, the way he saw the Vietnam War within this book is profound.