Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Lord Jim: A tale by Joseph Conrad

Lord Jim: A tale (original 1900; edition 1992)

by Joseph Conrad

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,67084562 (3.68)263
Title:Lord Jim: A tale
Authors:Joseph Conrad
Info:Everyman's Library (1992), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:everyman's library, literary fiction

Work details

Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad (1900)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 263 mentions

English (74)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  Piratical (1)  Danish (1)  All (1)  All (84)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
eh. this was okay. i was hoping for more. ( )
  oelenzil | Jan 25, 2018 |
Most reviewers have written of the psychological story (guilt/redemption) and plot, but I picked it up again after first reading it several decades ago, because of the setting behind the story--details of life in 19th century Southeast Asia and the Malay Archipelago. Conrad was inspired by a true story of a pilgrim ship carrying Muslim pilgrims whose crew did desert it when it appeared to be sinking on August 8, 1880. The novel's trial and much of the story takes place in Singapore and Southeast Asia -- hence an interesting read for anyone who has previously read this book but was unmindful of the incredibly evocative and realistic details of the story's scenes and people--monsoon rains, endless chirping insects, the sharpness of a Malay kris, the gentle brush of palm leaves in a breeze...and how the threat of an imminent death was so often a possibility. ( )
1 vote pbjwelch | Jul 25, 2017 |
A young man, raised in a good family with good values, views himself as a fundamentally good person. He settles on a career at sea where his confidence, courage, and commitment help him quickly rise through the ranks to a position of considerable prestige and responsibility. On an ill-fated voyage, though, disaster strikes and, in a moment of panic, the young man’s courage deserts him in a way that imperils the lives of hundreds of passengers under his charge. Does this one action make the man a coward, either in his own mind or in the eyes of others? If so, to what lengths must he go to seek redemption for that single, critical transgression? What is the ultimate price that he must pay to restore his sense of honor?

These are the questions that frame the basic story in Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad’s psychological profile of one man’s fall from grace and subsequent struggle to redeem himself. In fact, for me, the novel actually works better on the level of a character study than it does as a compelling adventure tale. To be sure, the author’s writing is beautifully rendered throughout the book and some of the descriptions of the protagonist’s exploits at sea and in the remote Malay village where he ends up are amazing. However, there are also lengthy passages in which the narrator—the same Capitan Marlow from Heart of Darkness—drones on in a way that detracts considerably from the flow of the story. So, despite its reputation as one of the great novels of the past century, what will stay with me about Lord Jim is its timeless message about human fallibility and the power of second chances. ( )
1 vote browner56 | May 14, 2017 |
I first read this book when I was thirteen, which of course was too young.
Conrad’s novel is about a young English lad full of Victorian ideals and zeal who fails his first opportunity to be a hero very badly and goes to his death when his second opportunity is ruined. I liked the first half of the novel the best, which described in the lush psychological detail I love how Jim failed, how he reacted to his failure, and how he tried to find a new place and a new purpose.
I was not as pleased with the second half, where Jim turned an island backwater into a mini-Eden until a serpent entered it. Conrad tried to ground this section in realism but I couldn’t help feeling that the author was becoming as romantic as his hero. I admired his villain, a psychopath of Shakespearian proportions, but winced at the inevitable primitive girl who provides the love interest.
What I loved about all was Conrad’s prose, always soothing the heart, stimulating the soul, demanding and rewarding attention. I rarely found affected or overdone. ( )
1 vote Coach_of_Alva | Jan 18, 2017 |
Consequences of straying from personal responsibility and ethical behavior of a colonial Englishman ( )
  JackSweeney | Jan 15, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (355 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joseph Conradprimary authorall editionscalculated
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
Stafford, EdForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watts, CedricEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
"It is certain my Conviction gains infinitely, the moment another soul will believe in it."

To Mr. and Mrs. G. F. W. Hope
With Grateful Affection
After Many Years
Of Friendship
First words
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Lord Jim retold by Clair West. This series of "Bookworms" offers younger readers the chance to enjoy accessible adaptations of the best classic and modern fiction. Each title is illustrated to engage the reader in the world of the book and help with specific vocabulary. Accompanying exercises make all these titles suitable for use in class or at home.
Haiku summary

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 7 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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 33 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.68)
0.5 2
1 34
1.5 6
2 66
2.5 20
3 207
3.5 54
4 294
4.5 36
5 209

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441615, 0141199059

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909438030, 1909438162

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 124,164,831 books! | Top bar: Always visible