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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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Masterfully performed

A true classic and a masterful and intensely felt performance by the narrator David Rintoul.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing prose, breathtaking story.

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Best Narrator

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

profound and unsettling

Where does Heart of Darkness rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

near the top

What was one of the most memorable moments of Heart of Darkness?

Kurtz's death

Have you listened to any of David Rintoul’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

First time

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I wouldn't make a film of this book: what's the point ?

Any additional comments?

required reading for the unconscious

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • David
  • United States
  • 02-12-15

Actually Non-Fiction

Would you try another book from Joseph Conrad and/or David Rintoul?

Hmmm

Would you recommend Heart of Darkness to your friends? Why or why not?

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.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Awesome imagery

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?

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Stanislav
  • Brooklyn, NY, United States
  • 01-24-15

Super racist

I mean...so much racism. Black people in the story are not even portrayed as people. Waste of time. Imperialism sucks!

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Lukas
  • 06-17-16

Amazing

Incredible story, chilling and emotional performance. I've found a new favorite book. Absolute must read/hear.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Raphael
  • 09-23-17

This one of the audiobooks on their best ever!

The congenial interpretation by David Rintoul hits the nail; he manages to enrich this masterpiece of thoughtful poetry by providing it with a deeply reflective, rich sonorous voice - this one of those audiobooks that make you, yet again, to long for more!