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Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness (1902)

by Joseph Conrad

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,907184150 (3.59)2 / 812
Recently added byrhayes, DoxieLibrarian, Mikalina, penicolas, ericbell35, randcraw, private library, rwilliab, DReicht
  1. 181
    King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild (baobab, chrisharpe)
  2. 90
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (baobab, WSB7)
    WSB7: Both about "colonialisms" abuses in the Congo, among other themes.
  3. 71
    The Quiet American by Graham Greene (browner56)
    browner56: Powerful, suspenseful fictional accounts of the intended and unintended consequences of colonial rule
  4. 72
    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (SanctiSpiritus)
  5. 51
    Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline (gust)
  6. 51
    State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (DetailMuse)
    DetailMuse: Includes a quest for a Kurtz-like character.
  7. 30
    Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company by Multatuli (JustJoey4)
    JustJoey4: Both books focus on the ugly sides of colonialism.
  8. 20
    Exterminate All the Brutes by Sven Lindqvist (Polaris-)
  9. 20
    The Roots of Heaven by Romain Gary (ursula)
  10. 20
    The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa (gust)
  11. 20
    Downward to the Earth by Robert Silverberg (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Silverberg was inspired by Conrad's story to write Downward to Earth and makes some interesting comments on the themes that Conrad explores.
  12. 20
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (Sylak)
    Sylak: Delving the depths of human savagery and corruption.
  13. 20
    The African Queen by C. S. Forester (Cecilturtle)
  14. 20
    The Sea Wolf by Jack London (wvlibrarydude)
  15. 10
    Headhunter by Timothy Findley (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: "Headhunter" is a clever and well written fantasy on the theme of Kurtz.
  16. 10
    Fly Away Peter by David Malouf (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad may be paired with Fly Away Peter by David Malouf as both authors show human nature to be hollow to the core.
  17. 21
    The Royal Way by Andre Malraux (thatguyzero)
  18. 10
    The Beach by Alex Garland (one-horse.library)
  19. 10
    Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa by Jason Stearns (Anonymous user)
  20. 32
    Congo by David Van Reybrouck (gust, Jozefus)
    Jozefus: Bekroond werk over de geschiedenis van Congo, dat door The Independent een "masterpiece" genoemd werd.

(see all 26 recommendations)


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English (160)  Spanish (8)  German (3)  Italian (3)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Tagalog (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Galician (1)  All languages (184)
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
Conrad paints a vivid picture of the heart of darkness which is the mind of man. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 21, 2014 |
Beautifully written, rich, rich imagery, totally absorbing.

I really don't want to waste anything about it for anyone, except to tell you to please read it. It won't take you long and it's entirely worth it. One, perhaps slightly odd, thing I will note is that the narrative style really reminded me of F. Scott Fitzgerald, in particular The Great Gatsby. I'm not sure why, given that the subject matter and time period are so vastly different - I think it's the dynamic between the two male leads. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
First of all, I'd like to state that the real reason why I started reading this book was because of the game Spec Ops: The Line (my current favorite one), which was apparently based on it. So right to begin with, if you played the game you'll probably know what I was expecting of this book: something less complicated and more explicitly mind-blowing. What I got in the end was a book that I did not understand, thus the low rating I gave it.
Please notice that I did not hate the book, the reason why I disliked it is because it was difficult to understand rather than "I was expecting something similar to the game". The narrative is different from the books I'm used to read. I had to re-read several passages over and over again until I finally gave it up and decided to move on regardless if I did or did not get the meaning of everything the main character said. There is character development in the book, and I assume it's a strong one, but it's so goddamned implicit that I think I went over it and did not notice anything unusual. Heck, I was too busy trying to understand the plot itself to actually be able to figure what was going on with the characters. As I result, I probably got neither of them right. Was there anything about a change of personalities or main goals or priorities?

Seriously, like Tales of a Tub, I'm pretty sure this book is splendid. Too bad I don't have enough patience to cope with the classic writing style. ( )
1 vote aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
Conrad's conflicts always involve the sea or a river in some way. He pits modern man with his vices/virtues against the primitive and always finds him lacking. Heroes are brought low and jerks become redeemed. Always a good read and a gifted writer. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
I read this book in high school and appreciated it, but made no personal connection. Interesting story, but no plans to pick it up ever again. ( )
  marthaearly | Jun 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (148 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Conrad, Josephprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Branagh, KennethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kish, MattIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Prey, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vancells i Flotats, MontserratTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watts, CedricEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest. The flood had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide.
"The horror! The horror!"
"And this also," said Marlow suddenly, "has been one of the dark places of the earth."
"What you say is rather profound, and probably erroneous," he said, with a laugh.
I've seen the devil of violence, and the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire...these were strong, lusty, red-eyed devils, that swayed men - men, I tell you. But as I stood on this hillside, I foresaw that in the blinding sunshine of that land I would become acquainted with a flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly.
And outside, the silent wilderness surrounding this cleared speck on the earth struck me as something great and invincible, like evil or truth, waiting patiently for the passing away of this fantastic invasion.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
This is story of Marlow and his quest to find Mr Kurtz within the dense jungles of Africa. His journey challenges his values and life and reveals new sides of himself that only darkness could expose.

This book was really hard to read at times. So much of what i readmade me think. It took me longer to read each page- each paragraph- because there was so much meaning in each one. A lot of the book was about how I interpreted it. That was a new one for me.
Haiku summary
King Leopold's fans
appreciate this tribute;
Mister Kurtz, he dead.

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

A journey up the river in the Belgian Congo is also a journey into the darkest part of a man's soul.

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Average: (3.59)
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22 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Five editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441674, 0143106589, 014356644X, 0241956803, 0141199784

Urban Romantics

Two editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175978, 1909175986

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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