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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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Sort by:
  •  
    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 . . .

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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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    8
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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
  •  
    Laila Leiden, Netherlands 03-16-12
    Laila Leiden, Netherlands 03-16-12
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    6
    1
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    Performance
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    "narrator disappointing"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    someone who can stand the narrator's dullness.


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

    no, the narrator does not become the charactar, just some fancy reading.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kenneth Branagh?

    simon vance


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    not really


    Any additional comments?

    It's a shame you get the feeling you're listening to words being read instead of listening to a story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Hoholulu, HI USA 03-16-12
    James Hoholulu, HI USA 03-16-12
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    "Incredibly well done."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clifford United States 03-12-12
    Clifford United States 03-12-12 Member Since 2011
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    1
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    "A dark tale told well"
    Where does Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Description of landscape as it matches the mind of its characters.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The final scene.


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

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Psorcon Annapolis, MD United States 03-12-12
    Psorcon Annapolis, MD United States 03-12-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Classic..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh to be better than the print version?

    Well done performance of a great story with classic themes. I shortly afterwards viewed


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Rochester, NY, United States 01-20-12
    Amazon Customer Rochester, NY, United States 01-20-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Mesmerizing interpretation of an old classic"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Bangkok, Thailand 01-17-12
    Angela Bangkok, Thailand 01-17-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Branagh breathes life into a dark tale"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Scullin, Australia 12-30-11
    Amanda Scullin, Australia 12-30-11 Member Since 2011
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    "A classic story, well-performed"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krystal 12-12-11
    Krystal 12-12-11
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    2
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    "Great listen! Branagh gives a perfect rendition."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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