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Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1902)

  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 (188)  Spanish (7)  German (3)  Italian (3)  Catalan (3)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (2)  Tagalog (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  Galician (1)  All languages (213)
Showing 1-5 of 188 (next | show all)
Book Description
Heart of Darkness (1899) is a short novel by Polish novelist Joseph Conrad, written as a frame narrative, about Charles Marlow's experience as an ivory transporter down the Congo River in Central Africa. The river is "a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land". In the course of his travel in central Africa, Marlow becomes obsessed with Mr. Kurtz. The story is a complex exploration of the attitudes people hold on what constitutes a barbarian versus a civilized society and the attitudes on colonialism and racism that were part and parcel of European imperialism. Originally published as a three-part serial story, in Blackwood's Magazine, the novella Heart of Darkness has been variously published and translated into many languages. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Heart of Darkness as the sixty-seventh of the hundred best novels in English of the twentieth century.

My Review
Conrad's writing is amazing. I loved his vivid descriptions of the river and the forest. Many a deep and profound message shows up within these pages. The book causes you to think about life and death, light and darkness and the absolute recesses of human darkness and depravity. I highly recommend this as a book everyone should read at least once in their life. ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
One book that all people who can read should read. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
That was a tough read man...a tough read.
( )
  Garrison0550 | May 10, 2016 |
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. ( )
1 vote 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 |
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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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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.
Haiku summary
King Leopold's fans
appreciate this tribute;
Mister Kurtz, he dead.
(thorold)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

Marlow comes face to face with the corruption and despair that lies at the heart of human existence when he undertakes a journey on behalf of a Belgian trading company up the Congo River in search of the tormented white ivory trader, Kurtz.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 34 descriptions

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Average: (3.59)
0.5 27
1 175
1.5 28
2 418
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Audible.com

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

See editions

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

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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