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Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
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Heart of Darkness (1902)

by Joseph Conrad

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,094212127 (3.59)2 / 894
Recently added byHGCL, freudslip, arenie5000, DebbieBaker27, vpaparic, private library, azoumpou, DeltaQueen50, torih95, CPI
  1. 182
    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. 82
    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 André Malraux (thatguyzero)
  18. 10
    The Beach by Alex Garland (TomWaitsTables)
  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. 43
    Congo: The Epic History Of A People 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)

1890s (10)
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English (186)  Spanish (7)  German (3)  Italian (3)  Catalan (3)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (2)  Tagalog (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  Galician (1)  All languages (211)
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is an icon of a book, and one that up to now I have avoided as my thinking was that it would be too high-brow, too literate for me. Due to encouragement from fellow Lters, I decided to give the audio version, read by Kenneth Branagh, a try. What I found was a moving, hauntingly troubled story that is as defining today as it was when first published in 1899.

On the surface a simple story, but there are plenty of hidden meanings and allegories to be found on these pages. This journey into the heart of darkness is rife with themes about the evils of colonialism along with the corruption that comes with greed and power. Rich with symbolism, yet surprisingly readable, I was quite taken with Heart of Darkness. I can now understand why there has been such an abundance of “borrowing” from this story in many other forms of art and literature. There have been many who find Joseph Conrad a racist, and perhaps, by today’s definition he was. I prefer to think of him as more of a product of his time.

Kenneth Branagh was an excellent reader, putting enough emphasis into his reading without over selling the work. His light tough and slight nuances help to bring the book alive. I can see why this classic book is considered a masterpiece revealing as it does the dark side of human nature, and it is a story that I will remember. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | May 1, 2016 |
This is the second time I've started this book. I tried to read it in my late teens but could not deal with the brutality toward the Africans by the Europeans. I'm not sure that the "darkness" Conrad refers to is the same "darkness" I see in the book. For me this is about the attitude and actions of the colonists / company men toward the native tribes' people. But I get the feeling that Conrad's contemporary readers (at time of publication) would have been more horrified at the way Kurtz "went native" so to speak.
One paragraph did really stand out for me and in it Conrad says (paraphrase)who would we be if we didn't have the judgement of our neighbours / friends / family / society around us; if we were completely free of all expectations and only had our own morality to guide us? How many people obey the rules for fear of what society would do to them if who they really are were to show?
The darkness that will stay in my head is the wholesale destruction of a native society for greed and profit - a destruction that continues today in that area of the world. ( )
  SashaM | Apr 20, 2016 |
I heard many times about this book and just waited; I understand about the fact it is considered a great book from a great writer. It say something about humanity,... ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
An incredibly poetic and evocative work, unfortunately, one also steeped in its own racist perspective. At its best Heart of Darkness lyrically explores those important and ambiguous questions common to much of great literature. It is disappointing- though not surprising- to see such a stylistically powerful work undermined by a generally racist outlook. Of course it is debatable to what extent Conrad may actually be commenting upon such a perspective through his once removed filter of Marlow, and this novel does indeed call some imperialist practices into question. Generally though, as Chinua Achebe points out in a great essay on the work, Conrad "neglects to hint however subtly or tentatively at an alternative frame of reference by which we may judge the actions and opinions of his [African] characters." Even with these flaws it is hard to write off a work with such beautiful passages as this:
Droll thing life is -- that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself -- that comes too late -- a crop of unextinguishable regrets. I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable greyness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid scepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary. If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, then life is a greater riddle than some of us think it to be. I was within a hair's breadth of the last opportunity for pronouncement, and I found with humiliation that probably I would have nothing to say. ( )
  Matthew.Ducmanas | Mar 18, 2016 |
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. ( )
  thebookmagpie | Mar 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (101 possible)

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

Is contained in

Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness / Almayer's Folly / The Lagoon by Joseph Conrad

Youth / Heart of Darkness / Typhoon / The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad

Seven Great British Short Novels by Philip Rahv

Great Modern Short Stories by Grant Overton

Youth | Heart of Darkness | The End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad

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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.
Quotations
"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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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 title is in public domain in the USA and the e-book is available free online.  

GUTENBERG.org is the origin for most of the human and well-edited FREE kindle editions online in various languages. Scam sites will ask for money for the hard work and titles which Gutenberg volunteers provide free. ARCHIVE.org provides a huge selection of FREE e-pub & PDF public domain titles in various languages also. (easily readable with the Free CALIBRE-ebook.com app]. Project Gutenberg is a great organization. They will never ask you for money before allowing you to download their books (though voluntary donations are welcome).   

Only SCAM SITES & CON ARTISTS will ask for money for the hard work and e-book titles which the Gutenberg volunteers provide free. Their latest bs? "You're paying for the ability to wi-fi your download." Really? So these con artists who steal Gutenberg's hard work then re-post what should be FREE e-books for sale .... rationalize it because they provide wi-fi downloads? Now that is a load of nonsense. Do you think these scammers are donating all the money back to the non-profit Gutenberg? I don't think so. Please don't patronize e-thieves or con artists. And don't let them gull you. How hard is it to plug your e-reader into your computer and do a manual download? Pretty damn easy. If you don't know how to do this, ask one of your grandkids to show you how.   

There are lots of free pre-1923 public domain kindle books on Amazon.com. [Type in 'free' and 'public domain' in the search bar.] Some current authors make their copyrighted e-books available free on Amazon and other sites also. [I would assume as a form of advertising and/or as a loss leader for a book series. Make sure to review their books as a thank you.]   

ManyBooks.net offers Gutenberg's books in a different formatting. If the book you downloaded from them doesn't work for you, maybe you can get a different copy of the same book there.   

FeedBooks.com/publicdomain offers Gutenberg's books in a different formatting. It also offers ebooks for sale. If the book you downloaded from Gutenberg doesn't work for you, maybe you can get a different copy of the same book there.
Haiku summary
King Leopold's fans
appreciate this tribute;
Mister Kurtz, he dead.
(thorold)

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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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Audible.com

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

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

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

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100615, 1400108462

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175978, 1909175986

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