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Heart Of Darkness And Selections From The Congo Diary

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  327 ratings  ·  37 reviews
'Heart of Darkness,' which appeared at the very beginning of our century, 'was a Cassandra cry announcing the end of Victorian Europe, on the verge of transforming itself into the Europe of violence,' wrote the critic Czeslaw Milosz.

Originally published in 1902, Heart of Darkness remains one of this century's most enduring--and harrowing--works of fiction. Written several
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Published 2000 by McGraw Hill
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Melki
description
"L’Horreur” by Anthony Petrie, based on 'Heart Of Darkness' by Joseph Conrad

The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.

Ain't that the truth, and sadly. the history of much of mankind...the haves become the have-nots, and we chalk it up to progress.

I hesitated to give five stars, as I did not love this book. It was as sad and depressing a
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HuhWhat
***SPOILER ALERT***

I started this book aware that some people think of it as a racist book. I’m not entirely convinced of that, mostly because I’m not entirely convinced of the views of Marlow; the narrator of the story, towards the native people & the Congo.

At moments, he looks upon them as savages and I believe in one of 2 instances has described them in quite a derogatory way, for example, when he sees a native dressed in Western clothing, saying “to look at him was as edifying as seeing
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Catherine
I read this book as a result of having read King Leopold's Ghost, so my interest was not so much literary as historical. Because of that, I read things out of order - skipped all the commentary at the beginning, went straight to the story, then read excerpts from Conrad's diary, and then returned to the start of the text and read what critics had to say.

I found the story plodding, to be honest - the style of a long and rambling narration by one character just didn't hook me, and I frequently fou
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Emily
I know this is the required reading book everyone hates, but I thought it was stunning, honestly due to the language for the most part. Everything was described so perfectly, so eloquently, and so beautifully. It was a simple story, and a very short one - a novella, really. A guy goes into the Congo, meets this crazy dude, and takes him back as he dies. That's it. But the way Conrad describes how Kurtz's heart has been infiltrated and darkened by the wilderness around him is just amazing, as is ...more
Catherine
"The horror! The horror!" sums up my reading experience of Heart of Darkness nicely. The origin of the exclamation and the addition of a few nautical terms to my vocabulary are really the only things I took away from the book. I didn't like the secondary narrator means of storytelling, and I occasionally found Marlow's communication of events difficult to follow and not always clear--which I am to understand was intentional for some points. It also never really felt as dramatic as the writing se ...more
Nicholas
The horror! The horror!
Violet
Imagine then that you are standing at the edge of a fallow field, planning your route through it. You could walk across it and end up on the other side, safe and sound. But you’ve heard rumors of treasures buried underneath the dirt, so you decide to tunnel your way through.

You start shallow and begin to dig deeper and deeper, the soil around you growing denser and denser. Soon you are so deep that there’s nothing to light your way, and there’s great risk of becoming lost. Fortunately, you find
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Jocelyn
Heart of Darkness is a book that has really put me on the fence. I don't really know what to make of it. First, let me give you a small summary: The narrator is on a boat on the Thames listening to Marlow tell a story about his journey up the Congo River in search of an elusive ivory trader, Kurtz.

I'm going to be frank: Kurtz is the most interesting character that came out of this book. Marlow seems less of a character and more of a narrative frame. I never really felt that Marlow was a characte
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C
Joseph Conrad begins his 1902 novella by having the sub-narrator, Charlie Marlow, talk about the Romans conquest of England centuries before. "And this also has been one of the dark places of the earth." I found this a bit odd. The only thing I could think Conrad (or Marlow) was doing, was to justify invading Africa, since this was not first instance of colonization. That goes along with a doctor telling Marlow he would love "to watch the mental changes, on the spot" of people who travel to Afri ...more
Marci
I have been to the "heart of darkness" many times over the years with other authors - in critical texts, histories and New Yorker articles. I've been there so many times that going there started to feel trite. Yet Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" is anything but trite. It's serious, heart-wrenching and horrible. Still, reading it I found that I expected more. Probably too much, for a book of its time.

"Africa" appears early on to be a state of mind for Conrad's narrator. Marlow travels to the physic
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Dorothy
My husband was appalled when I told him I’d never read this book, and frankly, after reading it, I’m a little ashamed of myself too.

Heart of Darkness is a study of man’s potential for greatness and for evil. Sometimes the two can’t be extricated from each other, and that is what the narrator, Marlowe, comes to acknowledge about himself. On the surface, it’s an indictment of colonialism and the idea that the white man had a duty and a charge to civilize the "savage peoples" of the earth. It was
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Amy Layton
I reread this, as it was next on my bookshelf and it had been two years since I previously read it in highschool. I don't know why everyone was making a fuss about how awful the book was, because the novella is actually very well written, even if it isn't in the common language and slang we use now. Even if one does not like the book itself or how it was written, one can't deny the literary meaning and themes used by Conrad to further his novella.

Edit; Third time rereading: I recently reread thi
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Elisa
This story is the perfect example of enveloping imagery. Everything about its descriptions brings us back to its title: the impenetrable wall of black that is the jungle, the dark shapes of the natives strewn about, the somber depths of men's thoughts and souls.
There's something about writers for whom English is not a first language (like Nabokov) that makes them do incredible things with English words.
This edition includes some very interesting commentaries from such literary luminaries as Vi
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Katie
This is definitely a book that a person should read. Its all about your own inferences as to what the main point of the book was. For me it was about how the wild can change a person. Its basically about a guy named Marlow and he tells the story of a guy named Kurtz. Kurtz is this “remarkable” person and everyone seems to know about him and what type of person he is. It amazes me how much people admired this guy.

I really enjoyed the way that the jungle was portrayed. It was like its own characte
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Kyle
Over-rated work of literature.

Reading it felt too inward and individual. Conrad's journey never felt like it had any sense of place or purpose. I had very little understanding of the African continent or Congo. If there was anything about his own or society's nature and values in question, I must have missed it.

Heart of Darkness may be one of those novels more fit for a college classroom. I think some theoretical or pedagogical guidance would have helped make this a richer, more rewarding text.
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Alex
So rich and multi-layered that I had to read it twice back-to-back. Then watch videos and read analyses to take it apart even more.

While being a contentious novel due to its portrayal of Africans as being primitive in the late 1800s, there is no denying Conrad's vast knowledge of literature, his mastery of the English language, and his ability to weave a complex tale into a novel that spans only 124 pages. The novel depicts the worst of humanity through the eyes of Marlow, and explores countles
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Katelyn
I'm giving 5 stars not to the book alone but to this particular edition which has included some very interesting commentary that elucidate the racism but beauty of this book.
Winter Branch
Jun 25, 2007 Winter Branch rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: fiction
I don't know what it is, but there is something about this book that sucks me in every time. I have read Heart of Darkness countless times and my copy is filled with enumerable markings and underlines. The narrative within a narrative delivery, the quest up the Congo, the contrast between the industrialized/civilized world and the jungle, Conard's wonderful prose, and the torment of man. Great, great stuff.

The added Congo Diary from Conrad's own travels is a neat extra treat in this edition.

"Fo
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Christiana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley
I understand this is such a highly rated classic. For me however, I could not get into it. Joseph Conrad, as I imagine, is a superb writer. However, this book was just not it for me. Not sure I grasped what was really going on... having it required as a mandatory novel in my history class, I just wanted to get it done and over with. I'm sure after I write my paper on it I will have even more unhappy feelings towards it. As of now, I'll just stick with: "I did not enjoy it one bit".
Ashlee
Very quotable. Lot's of interesting ideas. Feels more like the author had something he wanted to talk about but knew people would read a lecture, but they would read a story, so he buried a lecture in a story. This is the third time I've read this for a class, and I'm finally getting why everyone keeps making me read it. I enjoyed it more this time around, but only because I was reading it with the intention of pulling ideas/themes out of if, instead of trying to follow the story.
Emilie
I expected so much more from this book. I thought there would be more interplay between the colonisers and the Congolese peoples, I expected a sharper criticism of imperialism and certainly did not expect it to be in the form of a yarn. I don't quite know what I WAS expecting but this fell hollow on me and has (lamely) upset me because from the snippets I had overheard or come across in relation to this work, it was going to be a revelation of some sort. It simply wasn't.
david blumenshine
my thoughts on this book after reading it are tangible enough to type out and have sense be made of from; however, my thoughts are moving too quickly to be made tangible, typeable. some of the most stunning language usage in my literature experience, firstly. secondly, huzzah humminah humminah humminah.
Sebastian
I started to read Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" late one night and the captivating prose didn't let me put it down again until after I had finished it. Way to end a day, reading about the horror of men...
yoli
I enjoyed it. The subtext is pretty fabulous. I wish the class were more rigorous and we were going deeper in depth but c'est la vie. I will most definitely be writing about it!
Eleanor
Read the Norton edition, actually.

This time through I soaked it up. Such language! Such dimensions! Such fog! A problematic and beautiful novel. Has me thinking...
Carmen
A trip to Africa to win money and prestige. What a new concept. But Joseph Conrad makes it all new as he relates how the cultures clash and change.
Aruna
Conrad's writing is brilliant. This is true. But I'm swayed by Achebe's point that we can't call something so racist a "great novel."
KATEtheGREATESTBESTONE
my first reaction was to put my head under the pillow and squeeze my eyes shut. actually, still there. makes you wonder, yes?
0027310887
The hypnotizing prose made up for the mediocre story. Beautifully illustrates the complexity of our feelings
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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 Bri
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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.

The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of an interminable waterway. In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth.
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