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Almayers Folly

3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  777 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into pri ...more
Paperback, 222 pages
Published May 12th 2010 by Nabu Press (first published 1895)
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Lyn
Mar 15, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First published in 1895, Almayer’s Folly was Joseph Conrad’s first novel, written within a year after he stepped onto the dock after his long career at sea.

Set in colonial Borneo, Almayer’s Folly deals with many of the themes that he would return to again and again over his successful and influential career as a writer: a dependency on the seas and the river trade, colonialism, race – particularly as between the natives and the European colonists, distinctions between Eastern and Western cultur
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Marco Tamborrino
Dec 14, 2015 Marco Tamborrino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"After burying the last slight imprint of Nina's slipper he stood up, and, turning his face towards the headland where he had last seen the prau, he made an effort to shout out loud again his firm resolve to never forgive. Ali watching him uneasily saw only his lips move, but heard no sound. He brought his foot down with a stamp. He was a firm man--firm as a rock. Let her go. He never had a daughter. He would forget. He was forgetting already."

This book is the first one written by Conrad, and
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Tristram
“No Two Human Beings Understand Each Other. They Can Understand but Their Own Voices.”

(view spoiler)
...more
Darwin8u
Apr 13, 2013 Darwin8u rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Not my favorite Conrad, not even second tier, but it is still amazing to read. This was Conrad's debut novel and you can see flashes of his big themes (not yet mature) swirling in the deep water of his words.

'Almayer's Folly' reminded me of a gloomy, obsessive Melville novella or an alienated E. M. Forester story. It is one of those novels that if you love Conrad, you will want to read eventually (I'd read Heart of Darkness, Nostromo, Lord Jim, and Typhoon first). If your only exposure to Conrad
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Naeem Nedaee
Mar 01, 2015 Naeem Nedaee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always wondered how Conrad could learn English from sailors without having a tutor let alone write with such overwhelming vigor and "worderly" style. I mean, he had to be a real prodigy without exaggeration. I can find themes and symbols in Almayer's Folly that resonate with Heart of Darkness as my first Conrad pick. It also resonates with my life as a perfectionist who could never fulfill what he had in mind and all his dreams went up in smoke.
Tahseen
Dec 02, 2009 Tahseen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Connie
Mar 06, 2008 Connie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in the complexity of human experience
Conrad wrote three books I LOVE set in Malaysia. The Planter of Malaya, An Outcast of the Islands and Almayers Folly. All three are related and really give a wonderful wonderful picture of what it was like to be sent there in the 19th century. I highly recommend these books over most others of Joseph Conrad. As usual I cannot remember exactly the year I read them, but not too long ago. And they stay with me.
Meredith
I started this book three times before finally plunging in. Then I loved it. It resonates powerfully with many of Conrad's other novellas--Heart of Darkness, Freya of the Seven Isles, The Shadow-Line, The Secret-Sharer. (The Secret Agent also came to mind.)

Set in Borneo, the narrative describes Almayer, a trader of Dutch origin, and his decline into poverty, disgrace, grief, madness, dementia, opium-addiction, and death. The work's vivid characters include Almayer's hated "witch" Malay wife, his
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Mairita
Darbs, kas rada džungļu drudža iespaidu, bet atstāj vienaldzīgu pret stāsta varoņiem. Skumjas dzīves uz nepiepildāmu sapņu un kultūras atšķirību fona.
Matthew
Almayer’s Folly is as much a place as Bleak House or Mansfield Park, and the location has a symbolic value within the novel just as much as it did in those other books. It is the mocking nickname given to the building set up by Almayer in anticipation of trade that never came.

The Folly then is a failure, and in this respect it symbolises its owner. Almayer is a dreamer with ambitions to make great wealth. However his ventures are doomed to fail due to a mixture of incompetence and bad luck.

He h
...more
Philip
Conrad's first novel, a truly Shakespearean tragedy of East Borneo and a veerry lonely and depressed/depressing Orang Putih. Similar in many ways to the later Lord Jim, but with none of Jim's inherent dignity and morality, Almayer is just a loser from start to finish - although his story is no less sad for his lack of any sympathetic characteristics.

Reading Conrad is never easy; and so while I enjoyed this for its thoroughly Malay setting, it was still a chore to get through, like a class assign
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Steve
Apr 14, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
About as fine a first novel as I've ever read.
Bhavya Viswarajan
Joseph Conrad- the undisputed master of writings on tropical life. When I read his descriptions of the sea, the remote settlements of Sambir,the turbulent, foaming river Pantai,I'm strangely reminded (gripped by?) of that Irish longing for home (Yeats and Innisfree?). Sambir is as much a character in the novel as Almayer, and the eloquence with which Conrad makes the forests and rivers of Borneo speak, is proof of his absolute mastery over words.

'Almayer's Folly', like 'Outcast', presents a stu
...more
Lisa
Apr 24, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: C20th Yahoo reading group
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
1.1
Oct 31, 2013 1.1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the Wordsworth Classics version, which includes Almayer's Folly as well as some short pieces (Tales of Unrest) some of which I'd read before. The main show is a bit of a drag – Conrad's first novella demonstrates all of his skill at painting an evocative setting but very little of the intrigue and plot that keep the telling itself moving. The character of Almayer, a dissipated Dutch trader, his concerns over his beloved half-Malay daughter (who has her own ideas), and his existence in a w ...more
Fabio Raffaelli
Conrad ci presenta la storia di un uomo bianco, ambizioso, che vive in Malesia e che sposa la figlia adottiva di un ricco uomo. A quei tempi di suddivisione in classi razziali, questo matrimonio appariva sconsiderato ad un occidentale, ma Almayer, il protagonista, non esita ad accettarlo per il suo desiderio di denaro e scalata sociale. Ma il matrimonio, soprattutto dopo l'allontanamento della figlia nata dai consorti, risulta infelice, arrivando a rendere Almayer sempre più arcigno e sua moglie ...more
Mkp
May 11, 2011 Mkp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Joseph Conrad's first novel is fascinating and atmospheric -- an amazing first effort for a non-native English speaker. It tells the story of Kaspar Almayer, an isolated Dutch trader in the East Indies in the late 19th century. Almayer has an arranged, loveless marriage to a Malaysian woman, and a beloved daughter Nina, who falls in love with a Malaysian adventurer Dain. The narrative focalization shifts across a number of characters, including Almayer, Nina, Dain, and Almayer's adversaries (not ...more
David
Jan 17, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third Joseph Conrad book I have read, the others being Heart of Darkness and a Collection of his short stories. The first half of the book was a slog, and the book might more accurately be called Almayer's follies, as cannot recall a single choice he made that actually resulted in a good outcome. There was a good deal of excellent prose in the last few chapters. I can't say I would recommend this novel unless you are quite the devotee of Conrad's work. That being said, it also is quite incis ...more
Spigana
Mazliet īpatnējs, atsvešināts romāns, kurā lasītājs paliek tikai un vienīgi novērotāja lomā, bez iespējas identificeties ar kādu no varoņiem. Ģeniali nebija, bet man patika.
http://spigana.spektore.lv/2016/01/25...
Lars
Jul 18, 2014 Lars rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The central issue of the novel takes quite a while to piece together, but by about a hundred pages in, you'll be hooked in 'til the finish. While Conrad begins the novel on essentially the climatic day of Almayer's life(a sort of "last big score plot"), he then steps back to give us Almayer's backstory, the development of his malaysian surroundings, his friends, family and enemies(whose designations become overlapped). It reads like quite a digression for a while, but Conrad is thorough in provi ...more
Shahrill Ramli
Jul 10, 2015 Shahrill Ramli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tragic story entailed of a White Man named Kasper Almayer who were so boastful and arrogant of his White Supremacy. Yet he was forced to marry a Malay girl of which the race was perceived by him as beneath him. Irregardless of the loath, Almayer loved his 'half-caste' daughter born from the marriage, Nina Almayer. He dreamed of lavishing Nina with 'cultured European' lifestyle, away from the dilapidated bungalow in Borneo.

The arrival of Bali Prince named Dain Maroola changed everything. Nina f
...more
Jan
Apr 26, 2015 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Conrad's prose is beautiful. His understanding of human nature is complete. Almayer's Folly is a tragic tale of hopes thwarted by the hardship of life and the weak spirit of one man. Almayer's Folly is the name given to the house built by the titular hero to house his family and demonstrate his wealth and success. It is also the theme of his life - from presuming he would inherit the fortune of his boss by marrying his adopted daughter, to thinking he could throw that daughter off when he no lon ...more
Noah
May 30, 2011 Noah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

'Almayers Folly' is Conrads first novella and, like all his stories, is beautifully written and proves he's one of the worlds greatest writers.

That being said, very little happens in this story and, despite how short it is, takes a while to get through. This is primarily because each sentence feels like a story in of itself, which is both good and bad.

Overall, I'd say 'Almayers Folly' is worth the read.
Jim Leckband
Conrad's first novel has a lot of the themes that he worked with in his later books, such as Heart of Darkness. The atmosphere of colonial Malaysia in the 19th century is so palpable that I sometimes thought I was sweating in the jungle as I was reading it. Conrad's prose style is dense and rich. While the book may seem physically short (i.e. in pages), the reading goes pleasantly slow.
Pete
Jun 09, 2011 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-classics
Apparently soon to be made into film set in 50's which I find hard to believe will be able to tell the same story. I really enjoyed the bits about the turbulence in Almayer's mind near the end of the book as he struggles with his conditioned social attitudes. A bit more Mills&Boon than his later books....
Joseph Grinton
May 23, 2010 Joseph Grinton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this one several times. I really admire it. Conrad is probably my favourite author and this is my favourite book. It's not a perfect book but it has a pulse and passion. I always feel connected to the current of life whenever I read anything by Conrad and I feel it most strongly here.
Salvatore
False advertising, this book wasn't funny at all. But seriously, perhaps if I hadn't read any other Conrad this book would be more favourable. It breathes life into Women and the Locals who the White Men have Colonized, something for which Conrad is criticized elsewhere for not doing. It's a romance between a daughter and a competitor, which ultimately destroys the father in a beautiful and sorrowful way. His dreams are his daughter's suffocations. Almayer's desire to forget her at the end is al ...more
Shedhead
Early Conrad, before he became modernist and interesting. So it reads like a boys own adventure story. Still, interesting enoughfor Conrad nerds (like me!)
KC
Oct 14, 2009 KC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicholas
Nov 28, 2011 Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This tale of misfortune and mental breakdown is not as dark as you'd expect,as you never feel any sympathy for the main character.
The novel is the template for much of Conrad's best work, based on what I assume was the first hand observation of colonialism in the southern hemisphere and the effects of a tropical climate and culture on the men who pioneered trade there.
At the start his writing style is slightly less convoluted than his later works ,but the seeds of his luscious and verdant ver
...more
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Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski ) was a Polish-born English novelist who today is most famous for Heart of Darkness, his fictionalized account of Colonial Africa.

Conrad left his native Poland in his middle teens to avoid conscription into the Russian Army. He joined the French Merchant Marine and briefly employed himself as a wartime gunrunner. He then began to work aboard Br
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“The well-known shrill voice startled Almayer from his dream of splendid future into the unpleasant realities of the present hour. An unpleasant voice too. He had heard it for many years, and with every year he liked it less. No matter; there would be an end to all this soon.” 2 likes
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