(P)1996 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Howard ably adapts his tone, pace and insight to convey the intricacies of Conrad's splendid fiction and deep characters." (AudioFile)
"[A] master of the English language." (F.R. Leavis)
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
"One may meditate on life endlessly, one may even have a poor opinion of it--but the fact remains that we have only one life to live. And it is short."
-- Joseph Conrad, Within the Tides, "The Planter of Malata"
Joseph Conrad likes to test men. He likes to place them in circumstances that bend, break, or change men. These four short stories collected together are all typical Conrad. The language is beautiful and clean. There is an abundance of psychology and perhaps even a bit of madness.
The Four Stories are:
1. The Planter of Malata - 5 stars
2. The Partner - 4 stars
3. The Inn of the Two Witches - 3 stars
4. Because of the Dollars - 4 stars
I used to tell my wife the reason I pushed and teased people was I wanted them a bit off balanced. Like those punching bags with sand in the bottom, people can lean and pretend. They show me their mask, but not their "real" side. They can easily provide to stranger or friend an act or a cover for who they really are. Often, however, when you shake them, surprise them, "punch them" intellectually a bit it throws this mask off. When they "recover" their balance they (even just momentarily) often lose their artifice and pretense. I think Conrad is a bit like that. I think in his search for truths about people, he wants to examine the edges, the stresses, the places where people collapse or change. In that zone. In that littoral zone of the human psyche, truth resides.
I enjoyed these stories although I don't remember them very well and it wasn't too long ago that I listened to them so they must not have had that much of an impression on me. Really have enjoyed the books of Conrad that I have listened to so was searching for more of that, perhaps me thinks this book did not fulfill that desire. Good narration I would say. I by three stars I am being a very harsh judge, I'm not sure why, Conrad is quite good.
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