Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

Book - 1999
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A masterpiece of twentieth-century writing, Heart of Darkness exposes the tenuous fabric that holds "civilization" together and the brutal horror at the center of European colonialism. Conrad's crowning achievement recounts Marlow's physical and psychological journey deep into the heart of the Belgian Congo in search of the mysterious trader Kurtz.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 1999.
ISBN: 9780140281637
Branch Call Number: Fic Conr
Characteristics: 146 p. ; 22 cm.


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Oct 15, 2018

a pleasant journey into the depth of wild +++

How the author could put that story together is a mystery.

Andrew Kyle Bacon
May 17, 2018

Am I glad to be done with this awful book.

To be clear, I enjoy classics. I'm big fan of The Idiot and Dracula, and I read quite a bit and usually very quickly. But this book took me a long time considering its rather short length, and it was a snooze. The prose is so thick as to be impenetrable. There is only ever so much useless, pointless pontification which I can take in with my two eyes before the superfluous excess of verbiage overwhelms my senses reducing me to an aching pile of why the crap am I reading this?

DPLnate Apr 04, 2018

And this also,” said Marlow out of nowhere, “has been one of the darkest places of the earth.” Vivid, hallucinatory, haunting.

Feb 01, 2018

This story was quite a different storyline than I had ever read before; The underlying messages and plot were not obvious, and certain scenes and phrases really made you think. This is a very challenging book, and I would not recommend letting young children attempt it, on account of gross themes such as cannibalism, and the very classic literary language most children would probably not understand. But, if you are in your teens or adulthood and can handle harder words, then I would definitely recommend this! The story is very exciting, and the characters are very in depth and interesting to read about.

Jan 18, 2018

However much I enjoyed the book, it seemed the underlying messages and themes were more important than the actual characters and their actions. I understood that Kurtz was corrupted by the jungle and reverted to its barbarism, whereas he was once idealistic and had great ambitions, but I felt that the actual extent of his evil was poorly exemplified. By this I mean, the spikes or the personal cult, not the treatment of the natives, which was seen as correct in that time. Although that may just be my reading of the book. Otherwise, the themes were profound and the image painted of imperialism conveys just what it did to the native inhabitants and the people bequeathed with the 'white mans burden'.

Jun 12, 2017

Conrads semi-autobiographical novel is a must read. Although I t's a compelling, surreal story about African conquest, the true heart of darkness is that which resides within man. Read it then treat yourself to Apocalypse Now (redacted version). Even if you think you know the movie, you'll understand it very differently after this book.

Mar 22, 2017

One of 2 or 3 of my favorite books of all time . Have read it over and over since the ,8th grade. TRULY CLASSIC

Mar 06, 2017

For everyone that is not familiar with this classic you may know the adaptation into film " Apocalypse Now ". Originally published in 1902 as a novella Conrad uses the story as a critique of imperialism. "Heart of Darkness" can either be read as an adventure story of a young man's exploits in a foreign mysterious continent or a physiological thriller of another man's descent into madness.

ArapahoeMaryA Feb 09, 2017

Conrad underscores the premise that western civilization is driven by the need to dominate others. He also makes the point that all humans have the capacity for evil. This is one of the classics that many of us had to read for high school English. While I did not consider it an enjoyable read, I must say it was memorable.

Sep 08, 2016

Do not read this novel as a story – if you do, you will end up horribly uninterested and miss the remarkable true nature of this masterpiece: read this as an essay. There is a side serving of adventure to this story, but ultimately it is an essay about the human psyche, character development, and how deep the sorrow of a human’s heart can be. If you don’t enjoy words, don’t read this book. If you are going to read this book, know that European Colonialism, and all the benefits and horrors along with it (including truly awful racism) were in full swing, but discounting the themes discussed because of the racist undertones (or even overtones) would be a disservice to yourself if you do choose to read this book.
- @FalcoLombardi of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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Feb 01, 2018

rslars001 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 18, 2018

Oberösterreich99 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

velociraptor jesus
Apr 03, 2011

velociraptor jesus thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jul 24, 2010

mbazal thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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ArapahoeMaryA Feb 09, 2017

Like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in the flicker.

No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence--that which makes its truth, its meaning--its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream--alone.

Dec 22, 2010

"The horror! The horror!"

Jul 24, 2010

"The word ‘ivory’ rang in the air, was whispered, was sighed. You would think they were praying to it. A taint of imbecile rapacity blew through it all, like a whiff from some corpse. By Jove! I’ve never seen anything so unreal in my life. 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.”

“The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness, bearing us down towards the sea with twice the speed of our upward progress; and Kurtz’s life was running swiftly, too, ebbing, ebbing out of his heart into the sea of inexorable time. . . . I saw the time approaching when I would be left alone of the party of ‘unsound method.’”


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Jul 24, 2010

Heart of Darkness (1902) grew out of a journey Joseph Conrad took up the Congo River, and the verisimilitude that the great novelist thereby brought to his most famous tale everywhere enhances its dense and shattering power. Heart of Darkness is a model of economic storytelling, an indictment of the inner and outer turmoil caused by the European imperial misadventure, and a piercing account of the fragility of the human soul.

FavouriteFiction Sep 30, 2009

A sailor takes a ship up the Congo river in search of a ivory trader.


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Jul 24, 2010

Violence: This title contains Violence.

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