Set in the fictional South American country of Costaguana, Nostromo explores the volatile politics and crippling greed surrounding the San Tomé silver mine. The story of power, love, revolutions, loyalty, and reward is told with richly evocative description and brilliantly realised characters. But Nostromo is more than an adventure story; it is also a profoundly dark moral fable. Its language is as compellingly resonant as the sea itself; the characters absorbing and complex. It was Conrad’s masterwork, a forerunner of Modernism, and one of the greatest novels of the 20th century.
Would you listen to Nostromo again? Why?
after re reading and listening to several years after my first encounter with Nostromo I can not recommend the book highly enough. It is compelling to listen to and read at the same time so as not to miss any of the language and structure of the book .
What did you like best about this story?
everything form the way of expressing the language to the gripping tale
What about Nigel Anthony’s performance did you like?
very good . The different expressions and accents were constantly good.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The descriptions of the sea and the Isabels.
Any additional comments?
a treat for anyone to read.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Nostromo is one of the most fascinating books I've ever read.
First of all, the novel is not an easy read. Many times I needed to go back and revisit whole passages and even start chapters over again - and even then I still sometimes felt a little lost and would just have to trust Conrad to actually lead me somewhere, which he always did. Add in the fact the novel is dense with imagery (light and dark, sun and shade, black and white are some of the more obvious one, while others are much more obscure), and this is an all around meaty novel to sink your teeth into.
Nostromo is very dream-like, everything has a colorful, vibrant, out-of-focus haziness to it that dips back and forth in time, point of view, tone, and mood. Conrad most likely was trying to capture the essence of some South American jungle in all its complexity and savageness by intentionally being vague. Yet some of the best moments where when there was a clear sense of place and plot - the boat at night, most scenes with the doctor or Charles Gould - Nostromo in the end - and these moments feel like the stories what would have survived crossing the Atlantic back to Europe in the papers at the time. Everything else, however, is unclear, dangerous, even misleading.
The problem with all this is that while on the one hand this novel is a supreme work of art, it also suffers from exactly what it's trying to accomplish. Because Sulaco is not clearly defined, we have a hard time feeling anchored anywhere and so have a hard time getting 'into' the story. Now perhaps after years of studying the novel and paying all one's dues to in Joseph Conrad Society can we fully appreciate Nostromo, but for the normal reader the very things that make the novel brilliant also make in hard to really enjoy or even accessible.
However, this is still an amazing novel. I seriously believe much of how the west sees South America, especially her violent politics and social uncertainty, is due in no small part to Nostromo. Details such as the jarring scene of the emerald parrot or the doctor carrying the watermelon are such cliche images in film and fiction that it's hard to believe they were ever invented or fresh. Yet here in a way is the birth of modern South America, for good or bad, here are the beginnings (in a way) of the coming magic realist fiction that that part of the world is still so famous for.
Maybe Conrad unfairly indicted all of steamy, passionate South America, or maybe he was close to the mark, I can't answer all that. What I do know is that Conrad's exploration of man's greed, violent tendency, desires and failures are wonderfully captured here in Nostromo. I doubt I'll ever read another novel quite like it.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
This book is really great. The narration is great. I don't really feel like writing a long review but seriously this is one of my favorite books. I rank it over books I like a whole lot, I'm not exactly sure why, there's something about it. Here's to the "Glorious Capitas!" Interesting fact about Joseph Conrad, he was born and raised in Poland and emigrated to England, I think this adds something to his writing.
What didn’t you like about Nigel Anthony’s performance?
I could not hear him. I had to turn the volume way up, and even then the recording is just too muddy to listen to.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful
I absolutely loved this. Conrad is a magnificent writer. The narration was excellent. I may listen again
Definitely one of the best I've listened to
This is a book of such depth, grace and passion. Despite being written in 1904, Nostromo still presents a fresh thought provoking story. The story starts slow but you will be rewarded by sticking with it and will come to the point where will not be able to put it down. The characters are of incredible depth and complexity and the story is timeless.
The narration is ideal for the story and is superb.
There is a reason this book is in the top 100 modern library choices, and this performance brings out the story in its fullness.