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Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

Lord Jim (1900)

by Joseph Conrad

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (68)  Spanish (3)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Piratical (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
Good lord, this book is boring. At it's core is a wonderful tale of youth, cowardice, courage and redemption, but this is brutally buried by the narrator's need to philosophize and expound on his own feelings at each twist and turn of the story, for all that he isn't even present for most of it. Conrad may have succeeded here in single-handedly popularizing the "enough about me, what do you think of me?" trope.

I loved [Heart of Darkness] and began this with anticipation, but after dragging myself halfway through I gave up in disgust. I have only so many hours to live and read, after all. ( )
  auntmarge64 | Sep 15, 2016 |
Read as I revisit Conrad from front to back. This is the culmination of his early novels - many familiar threads from the works up to this one, right up to the long Marlowe monologue. Conrad's ambivalence to race, especially compared to the time he was writing, stands out to the modern reader. ( )
  kcshankd | Aug 17, 2016 |
Way back when I was in high school, my English class had to read Lord Jim. None of us students liked it. The English teacher suggested that this was a book we should reread in middle age; we would understand better what it means to be "one of us" then. So now, in memory of this teacher, I took up the challenge and reread Lord Jim as a mature adult. I didn't like it any better the second time around.

The novel's plot is simple: the maritime career of a young British man named Jim is ruined after he and his fellow crew members desert a sinking ship. Jim's shame at his own cowardice drives him ever eastward, and he finally settles on a remote Indonesian island. There the natives revere him as the white man with all the answers. Then the outside world, in the form of a motley band of robbers, intrudes.

The narrative, which is told from multiple perspectives, features page-long paragraphs and sentences with multiple semi-colons, not to mention lots of French and German phrases and nineteenth-century nautical terms. At least the individual chapters are short.

The declaration that Jim is "one of us" occurs in several places. The phrase means different things in different contexts, but the overarching idea is that Jim is a "romantic". However, unless I missed something, the term "romantic" remains undefined.

Lord Jim is a literary classic. I am glad that I gave it another try, but I still failed to find much to appreciate in it. ( )
  akblanchard | Jul 29, 2016 |
Lord Jim. Turn to any page in this book and you will find breathtaking descriptions of a man's demeanour or facial expressions when struggling to come to a decision. The passages on seascapes and cloud castles in the sky, hanging dark and ominous, are brilliant.

The problem is, that is all there is. The wordplay is such that the story, if it can be so termed, is lost under it's weight. Metaphorically, we have a passer-by here who is asked, “Did you see anything?” The next five pages in this long book describe his face as he forms his reply. The following three pages, his clothes and the condition of his hard used shoes. After some talk of his mother who sewed seam after seam to keep from starving for a few pages, the man forms his reply: “No.” That is his only part in the book, we have just spent an evening reading about him .. .. .. and so it goes on .. .. ..

To keep this review shorter than the book, I find it best to take this tome down from time to time and read a page or two to marvel at Conrad’s ability to conjure magic with words. I would love to read the whole thing from cover to cover but have only ever got half-way before losing interest. There are too many wonderful books waiting on my shelves, some by Joseph Conrad, to waste time floundering in this one.
However, even if you only read the first few pages or the last, you will have to agree it is well worth five whole stars. ( )
  SpikeSix | Jul 24, 2016 |
I read 10/45 chapters and in two words: boring, monotonous! Tis the story of the sea and a ship sinking or not and the inquest and it was just awful! Conrad is excessively verbose, I could not ascertain a plot, and slogging through this has already killed too many brain cells. 1 star. I know it's a classic, but really! ( )
1 vote tess_schoolmarm | Jun 12, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (270 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joseph Conradprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, J. DonaldIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hampson, RobertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monod, SylvèrePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monsarrat, NicholasIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mursia, UgoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prinzhofer, RenatoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siciliano, EnzoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watts, CedricEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"It is certain my Conviction gains infinitely, the moment another soul will believe in it."

To Mr. and Mrs. G. F. W. Hope
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After Many Years
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He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull. His voice was deep, loud, and his manner displayed a kind of dogged self-assertion which had nothing aggressive in it. It seemed a necessity, and it was directed apparently as much at himself as at anybody else. He was spotlessly neat, apparelled in immaculate white from shoes to hat, and in the various Eastern ports where he got his living as ship-chandler’s water-clerk he was very popular.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140180923, Paperback)

When Lord Jim first appeared in 1900, many took Joseph Conrad to task for couching an entire novel in the form of an extended conversation--a ripping good yarn, if you like. (One critic in The Academy complained that the narrator "was telling that after-dinner story to his companions for eleven solid hours.") Conrad defended his method, insisting that people really do talk for that long, and listen as well. In fact his chatty masterwork requires no defense--it offers up not only linguistic pleasures but a timeless exploration of morality.

The eponymous Jim is a young, good-looking, genial, and naive water-clerk on the Patna, a cargo ship plying Asian waters. He is, we are told, "the kind of fellow you would, on the strength of his looks, leave in charge of the deck." He also harbors romantic fantasies of adventure and heroism--which are promptly scuttled one night when the ship collides with an obstacle and begins to sink. Acting on impulse, Jim jumps overboard and lands in a lifeboat, which happens to be bearing the unscrupulous captain and his cohorts away from the disaster. The Patna, however, manages to stay afloat. The foundering vessel is towed into port--and since the officers have strategically vanished, Jim is left to stand trial for abandoning the ship and its 800 passengers.

Stripped of his seaman's license, convinced of his own cowardice, Jim sets out on a tragic and transcendent search for redemption. This may sound like the bleakest of narratives. But Lord Jim is also touching, elevating, and often funny. Here, for example, the narrator describes the ship's captain (proving that clothes do indeed make the man):

He made me think of a trained baby elephant walking on hind-legs. He was extravagantly gorgeous too--got up in a soiled sleeping suit, bright green and deep orange vertical stripes, with a pair of ragged straw slippers on his bare feet, and somebody's cast-off pith hat, very dirty and two sizes too small for him, tied up with a manilla rope-yarn on the top of his big head. You understand a man like that hasn't a ghost of a chance when it comes to borrowing clothes.
This is formidable prose by any standard. But when you consider that Conrad was working in his third language, the sublime after-dinner story that is Lord Jim seems even more astonishing an accomplishment. --Teri Kieffer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:10 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Jim, the first mate aboard the Patna, dreams youthful dreams of heroism and of the daring act that will prove his courage. But when the Patna collides with a mysterious obstacle, Jim panics and jumps free. This act of cowardice drives him to exile as a white trader in the remote tropical outpost of Patusan.… (more)

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18 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441615, 0141199059

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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