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Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

Lord Jim (original 1900; edition 1990)

by Joseph Conrad

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Title:Lord Jim
Authors:Joseph Conrad
Collections:Your library
Tags:literature, fictin, novel, pb

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Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad (1900)


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English (64)  Spanish (3)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Piratical (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (72)
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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 |
It took me a very long time to start this book, and I only did because a friend wanted to do a buddy read. I remember it being assigned in high school (not to my class) and everyone complained about it, so I thought it was one of those endless, description-laden books where no one is likable. It is definitely description-laden; Conrad never met a similar or metaphor he couldn't use. But it turned out to be compulsively readable. Who knew?

It's beautifully written and far more accessible than I expected. Even though it is wordy and descriptively dense, it draws you in and you just keep going. The structure is unusual; almost the entire story is related by Conrad's favorite narrator, Marlow. So you almost never see a character POV, and yet you come to know them, at least somewhat.

The writing style feels late Victorian, but the subject is entirely modernist. It's a character study, but it's also about fate, redemption, and imperialism/colonialism. It's not a book for readers who can't tolerate the High Imperial view of the colonized; they mostly wind up being infantilized and are always seen through the eyes of their colonizers, with all the expected shortcomings therein. But Conrad is no Kipling. He shows you the excesses and distortions of the imperialist project, and there are no unalloyed heroes here. Jim comes closest, and his heroism grows out of his great act of cowardice.

I could go on and on, but there are a ton of excellent analyses of this novel that I can't possibly equal. ( )
  Sunita_p | Apr 17, 2016 |
Classic tale of one man's redemption the "hard" way ( )
  jerry-book | Jan 26, 2016 |
Meh. Descriptions of scenery were overwrought. Marlow often relates incidents told to him by someone else, and occasionally the person who told him was told by a third person, yet Marlow claims to know the internal motivations of the participants. The romantic pairing was implausible, as the woman Jim falls in love with is, conveniently, the only hot chick in the jungle amongst the rest of the dirty filthy savages. Dated. Definitely does not hold up over time. ( )
  Joanna.Conrad | Nov 4, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (270 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joseph Conradprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Monod, SylvèrePrefacemain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Adams, J. DonaldIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hampson, RobertEditorsecondary 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
With Gratefull Affection
After Many Years
Of Friendship
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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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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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