Joseph Conrad's searing tale of one of the strangest and most memorable journeys ever taken. Quite simply the scariest book ever written, this is a searing tale of one of the strangest and most memorable journeys ever undertaken - to the heart of a geographical and psychological wilderness from which no-one returns unscarred. For this isn't simply a journey up an uncharted river into a geographical wilderness; rather, it's a trip deep into our collective subconscious.
This story - about what happens when so-called "civilized" human beings go off the rails - was the inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola's movie Apocalypse Now.
Conrad himself had undertaken such a river journey as a ship's captain back in 1889 when he was in his early 30's and before he took to writing full time. Back then, the Congo Free State, as this area of Africa was known, was a Belgian colony under the personal control of King Leopold II. Atrocities were commonplace, to the point where the international community finally had to sit up and take notice; in a report published in 1904, over 3 million people were said to have died as a direct result of European intervention in the area.
It has long been argued whether Heart of Darkness, which first appeared in 1902, was in any way influential in bringing Leopold's violent regime to the public's attention; but whether or not, it remains a searing indictment of human rapacity - and depravity.
Public Domain (P)2013 Creative Content
Joseph Conrad is simply one of the best writers in the English language. He is both efficient and opulent at the same time. This text is fascinating and it manages to be sympathetic with the protagonist while utterly condemning the empire and culture he represents. The narrator was fantastic as well! I will listen to this one over and over.
After listening to all of the previews I selected this narration. I was not disappointed. The emotion with which the narrator spoke allowed me to have a better connection to the text. I have read this book multiple times and found that listening allowed me to perceive and comprehend parts of the text that I had previously glossed over. It was like a new experience altogether. I highly recommend listening to this version.
near the top
I wouldn't make a film of this book: what's the point ?
required reading for the unconscious
No. It seemed obtuse to me, jumpy in terms of visualizing scenes and following the time line. In addition, narrative is stylized and from another era that may not have translated well into the spoken word.
I did not like the over wrought style. That style may be appropriate to the stylized written narrative but I did not like that style either.
This is almost non-fiction. Conrad spent time in Congo and this representation apparently includes real people and a real boat (see King Leopolds Ghost - but read my review first) and is actually understated.
I thought the author did an amazing job at describing surroundings and emotions about those surroundings. The story was pretty effing stupid though. A guy takes a boat up river and uses the N word a lot. How is this a classic?
I mean...so much racism. Black people in the story are not even portrayed as people. Waste of time. Imperialism sucks!
Incredible story, chilling and emotional performance. I've found a new favorite book. Absolute must read/hear.
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