"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.
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.
"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)
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
His voice is exquisite. A pleasure to my ears to listen to his voice.
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.
Marlow, he was the teller of the story and the only person that was not good nor was he evil.
Marvelous simply marvelous.
first one. I'll look for more.
Had me so focused on the story and perfomance i almost ran out of gas.
I'll keep this book ready to listen again. Marvelous.
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.
Narrator brought a sense of presence to the story. Subtle but strong. Very much enjoyed the voice inflection and variation of character voices.
Yes. Time well spent listening to this narration.
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.
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.
Too long gone, two wrongs right, to a brighter day and Tupelo night . . .
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.
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.
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