24 May 2017



BACK COVER BLURB: A novel of hallucinatory violence and strangeness, Heart of Darkness tells the story of the sailor Marlow and his entanglement in the horrors of colonialism in Africa. He travels up the Congo on a steamer in search of the great ivory trader, Kurtz, the 'universal genius' who rules his lands through terror, and has made himself into a god.

Joseph Conrad's masterpiece is a harrowing, gripping portrait of man's potential for evil.

FIRST SENTENCE {CHAPTER ONE}: The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {PAGE 44}: Trees, trees, millions of trees, massive immense, running up high; and at their foot, hugging the bank against the stream, crept the little begrimed steamboat, like a sluggish beetle crawling on the floor of a lofty portico. 

SOURCE: A Reading Group read.

READ FOR: Not applicable.

MY THOUGHTS: My first thought?

Why the cover? Surely its not just me who found it rather, well, bizarre?

But not to judge a book by its cover ...

Whilst I enjoyed the authors hauntingly enigmatic descriptions, his protagonist's powerful interior monologues, at the same time, just how many metaphors can one short novella of barely 100 pages contain?

Whilst I appreciated his play with light and darkness, his insight into the darker recesses of the human mind, alas I found Heart Of Darkness incredibly bleak at best, totally depressing at worst.

A book that, despite my understanding of the concepts behind the story, somehow constantly left me feeling that I was missing something, that there was something I simply wasn't getting.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

I had to read this in college...I wasn't really a fan. lol Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

DMS said...

I haven't heard of this one. Sorry you didn't enjoy it more. I don't like when I read books and feel like I am missing something. Thanks for your honest review. :)

Kelly said...

I have vague memories of having read this (or maybe just portions?) in school, but I honestly remember nothing more than what you'd learn from the book's description.

I kind of like the cover and the feeling it evokes. (perhaps apt for the content?)

At least it was short and hopefully you enjoyed what you read next.

Suko said...

Thank you for your honest review. I have heard of this book. It does sound rather depressing.

Melliane said...

Ah complicated for this one

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I'm with kelly, in that I quite like the cover. It kind of fits the title somehow and also the reference to 'The darker recesses of the human mind'.

I'm not too sure that I would get an awful lot from a story which has the potential to be so deep and powerful, in such a few short pages.

The fact that the premise relates to a journey up the Congo, must surely qualify this book for one of the book travel challenges!

Books designed for school or college reading, are generally of a fairly high quality, but it seems to be a universal opinion that this book isn't quite up to scratch. I hope that the next read is more to your liking :)


Brian Joseph said...

I really like this but it certainly was bleak. It was indeed packed with metaphors. In away the overkill added to the attraction for me.

That cover is strange but I think that it fits the text very well.

kimbacaffeinate said...

I think my daughter actually read this in college. If I remember correctly she appreciated aspects but scratched her head as well.

Anonymous said...

I would appreciate Joseph Conrad's
play with light and darkness, and
his insight into the human mind.
But I am hesitant about the overkill
of metaphors. But thank you for your
honest review.

The Bookworm said...

This does sound bleak, thanks for the honest review. Enjoy your week!