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Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh | [Joseph Conrad]

Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh

A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.
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Audible Editor Reviews

"The horror! The horror!" In this brooding and justly celebrated novella of 1902, seaman Charles Marlow is cruising quietly down the Thames at dusk with some friends. As night begins to fall, he tells them of his harrowing journey down an African river in search of the unscrupulous and near-legendary ivory trader named Kurtz, a quest deep into inky spiritual and symbolic darkness. Acclaimed Irish actor/director Kenneth Branagh impersonates Marlow in this recording. Admirably, while fully playing the drama, he never goes overboard. He plays the tale for the great yarn that it is. But had he taken more cognizance of its trajectory and subtleties, he would have made the listening experience far richer than he has.

Publisher's Summary

Prose that demands to be read aloud requires a special kind of narrator. For the Audible Signature Classics edition of Joseph Conrad’s atmospheric masterpiece, Heart of Darkness, we called upon four-time Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh.

Branagh’s performance is riveting because he reads as though he’s telling a ghost story by a campfire, capturing the story’s sense of claustrophobia, while hinting at the storyteller Marlow’s own creeping madness. Heart of Darkness follows Captain Marlow into the colonial Congo where he searches for a mysterious ivory trader, Kurtz, and discovers an evil that will haunt him forever.

With this landmark work, Conrad is credited with bringing the novel into the twentieth century; we think Branagh brings it into the twenty-first.

Stay tuned for more one-of-a-kind performances from actors David Hyde Pierce, Leelee Sobieski, Tim Curry, and more, only from Audible Signature Classics.

Listen to more Audible Signature Classics.

Public Domain (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Acclaimed Irish actor/director Kenneth Branagh impersonates Marlow in this recording. Admirably, while fully playing the drama, he never goes overboard. He plays the tale for the great yarn that it is." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Alissa McCarthy Scottsdale, AZ USA 08-13-12
    Alissa McCarthy Scottsdale, AZ USA 08-13-12 Member Since 2009
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    "One of the very best Audible books I've ever heard"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh to be better than the print version?

    This audio version was definitely better than the print version. Branagh's acting ability breathes life Marlow's character and better projects the central theme of hypocrisy.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh?

    I found that the way he voiced Kurtz to be amazing! He created a voice for him that made it more clear why Marlow so struggled with the ambiguities of Kurtz's "unsound methods."


    What about Kenneth Branagh’s performance did you like?

    Kenneth Branagh is one of the finest actors of his generation. His voice is like silk and I could listen to him read the phonebook.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely!


    Any additional comments?

    A compelling story made all the more so by the narration. This is not the book you had to read in high school, this is the story as I'm sure Conrad meant it to be heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Sherman, TX, United States 08-13-12
    Martha Sherman, TX, United States 08-13-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Listen to Branagh's voice!"
    Would you listen to Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh again? Why?

    I might listen again only because I don't "listen" as well as I "read" a book. I seem to pay more attention when I read than when I listen, maybe because I'm more of a visual than auditory learner.


    What about Kenneth Branagh’s performance did you like?

    His voice is exquisite. A pleasure to my ears to listen to his voice.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha 08-10-12
    Samantha 08-10-12
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    "Metaphorical genius"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh to be better than the print version?

    Listening really helped me understand what was actually going on. This book is a really rough read and if your tripping over yourself reading it you'll never understand, the audio really really helps you to get whats going on and get the metaphors that go with it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Marlow, he was the teller of the story and the only person that was not good nor was he evil.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Naomi 07-23-12
    Naomi 07-23-12
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    "Easy listening"
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Easy listening after a somewhat tedious description of the setting in the first twenty minutes or so.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    IAN Montreal, Quebec, Canada 07-06-12
    IAN Montreal, Quebec, Canada 07-06-12 Member Since 2010
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    "keeper"
    If you could sum up Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh in three words, what would they be?

    Marvelous simply marvelous.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh?

    The horror.


    Have you listened to any of Kenneth Branagh’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    first one. I'll look for more.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Had me so focused on the story and perfomance i almost ran out of gas.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll keep this book ready to listen again. Marvelous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sally G. Bergman San Francisco, CA USA 06-25-12
    Sally G. Bergman San Francisco, CA USA 06-25-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A book I could read again"

    The writing is so powerful and the performance by Kenneth Branagh so exceptional that I could read this book again and again just as I might enjoy again seeing a favorite Broadway play. This was entertainment at its best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Kenmore, WA, United States 06-19-12
    John Kenmore, WA, United States 06-19-12 Member Since 2003
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    "Intense absorption"
    What did you love best about Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh?

    Narrator brought a sense of presence to the story. Subtle but strong. Very much enjoyed the voice inflection and variation of character voices.


    Would you recommend Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes. Time well spent listening to this narration.


    What about Kenneth Branagh’s performance did you like?

    An adult speaking to adults. No kiddy voice or old person voice which is non-inteligible. Just a normal person speaking a story. Very enjoyable.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Apocolypse Now.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sam Anchorage, AK, United States 04-30-12
    sam Anchorage, AK, United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2006

    sjdickey

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    "Not sure what I expected but sure I got more"

    I purchased this book almost solely because of the reader Kenneth Branagh. It turned out a fine story, well written and a story line that totally sucked me into it. I could hear the mosquito's buzzing and hear the steam engines hiss.

    A well done story told in an interesting fashion by a narrator that makes you feel the story and slap at flies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Panguitch, UT 04-21-12
    Amazon Customer Panguitch, UT 04-21-12

    Too long gone, two wrongs right, to a brighter day and Tupelo night . . .

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    "A Great Production"

    This is a good pairing of narrator to story. Kenneth Branagh does a great job with this Conrad classic. His pacing is comfortable while his characterizations come to life with appropriate drama without being over-done.

    This book is an easy (although sometimes horrifying) listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janelle 03-26-12
    Janelle 03-26-12
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    "classic"
    What made the experience of listening to Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh the most enjoyable?

    Branagh is not just reading the words, but successfully tells Conrad's classic story. He doesn't over-inetrpret for the listener, but reads with intent and understanding.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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