"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)
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.
someone who can stand the narrator's dullness.
no, the narrator does not become the charactar, just some fancy reading.
It's a shame you get the feeling you're listening to words being read instead of listening to a story.
Incredible story unfolded in a sophisticated mannner. The speaker is superb. Requires undistracted listening. Reflects on various aspects of the human condition. The parallel them with the movie Apocalypse now is obvious. A great movie. A great book.
Heart of Darkness is not my favorite book, so I thought I'd listen to it...it is still not one of my favorites despite a flawless performance by KB.
Description of landscape as it matches the mind of its characters.
The final scene.
Well done performance of a great story with classic themes. I shortly afterwards viewed
I've read "Heart of Darkness" many times over the years, for the lushness of the writing and the profundity of the theme. However, hearing Branaugh read it expanded my comprehension and brought out all the nuances. I was on a real adventure with him. And I came away with a much better understanding of Marlowe, the corporate tool -- identifying with "the horror" and yet able to turn it into an entertaining tale shared with cronies on a quiet evening.
Kenneth Branagh's performance in narrating "Heart of Darkness" is outstanding. This novella revolves around an experience in Africa related by one sailor (Marlow) to his fellow seaman while they are waiting for the tide to turn on the river Thames. Branagh takes on the role of the storyteller admirably and brings the tale, with all its fear, suspense and horror, to life. You feel as if you are one of the English seamen listening to Marlow's recount of his amazing adventure on the Congo River in the early years of European colonization.
Branagh does a good job with narrating/performing this story. Heart of Darkness is controversial from a modern perspective, of course - but if you want to listen to it, this is well worth the time. The recording is atmospheric and draws you into the story.
Yes, fun to listen to, this is also a piece many high school, undergraduates, and graduate students study! Great to listen to it in tandem with a focused close reading.
The story can be disturbing because of widespread ignorance and prejudice but the author seems to be aware of it. That makes the difficult parts interesting.
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