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Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  17,506 Ratings  ·  166 Reviews
Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction, by Joseph Conrad, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classicsseries, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

New introducti
paper, 261 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Barnes & Noble Classics (first published 1899)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mark Lawrence
Feb 14, 2016 Mark Lawrence rated it really liked it
I read this a long time ago, and then again this weekend, and realised that I remembered maybe 5% of it. It's perhaps not that surprising because the existential meandering dominates the actual events, and many of the those events involve lying around being too hot, too sweaty, and too sick, just waiting. That's unfair - events do unfold, characters are met, unpleasantness witnessed, at at the creshendo, blood is spilled. The pace, however, is slow. Nineteenth century slow. Dickens sprints by co ...more
May 04, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Predivna kolekcija. Ako nekom treba najbolji način da upozna Jozefa Konrada ove tri piče su odličan uvod. Ili neka pogleda Apocalypse Now, i to funkcioniše :) Tolko emocija, ljudskosti i uopšte poznavanje ljudske psihe i to tako verno preneti na papir ... pa prosto ne umem d objasnim kako to neki ljudi mogu.

Naravno priče kao priče su relativno obične ali dubina pisanja i pažnja koja mora da se posveti čitanju su daleko veća nego večina knjiga koje sam čitao u poslednje vreme tako da to što nema
Sarah Anne
This book sucked me in one end and spat me out the other and I'm still not entirely sure what happened. It was incredibly absorbing because it took place exclusively inside the narrator's head. This felt something like a whirlpool of thoughts. This was fascinating and I really want to reread it so I can understand more of it.
Apr 29, 2014 Karl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this book mainly due to Conrad's influence on Lucius Sheppard's work. So far I have gone through almost fifty pages of introduction material. That's almost as long a the whole work it self.

The extensive imagery and use of language is amazing. It's hard to imagine in these times of Political Correctness just how harsh these colonial British times were in relation to the population they were "ruling".

This is certainly an intense and thought provoking book. I am amazed I had not re
I don't believe much can be said about this book that hasn't already been said, many times over. But let me say, my thoughts on this book is that although it really is very well written and deemed one of the all time classics and listed in so many of the "must be read" lists that it simply begs that this book absolutely must be read - at least once in a persons life.

With that being said, I am glad I am now finally able to tick it off the list, but for the actual book itself well obviously it is
Feb 21, 2013 Zachariah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heart of Darkness is an astounding feat of literature, displaying an uncanny command of the written English language, and written by a man who learned English as his third fluent language while in his late teens. I will not spoil the story here, but Heart of Darkness is a strange and grim, yet fascinating, look into the horror that was the Belgian Congo and the horror of human enterprise. The language may at times seem difficult for after-all, it is the common British-English of 1899.

As greatly
May 11, 2016 ElRojoCapucha rated it liked it
Shelves: semester-2
Heart of Darkness is essentially the story of how society not only keeps the wicked disguised, but also keeps them in check from going completely psychotic. The story can basically be summarized as “Man recounts the horrifying journey he took back when he was young (though ironically when said Man was young he saw it as an the beginning anyway) and teaches us that society keeps the beasts within us in check.” For those who read a certain other book about society keeping us in che ...more
Sep 27, 2015 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2015
I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude --and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core...

Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, is a book that I've been meaning to get to for some time. The theme and underlying story has influenced many other pieces of fiction so returning to the source has intrigued me. Man ver
Mar 17, 2009 Chory rated it it was amazing
"Racism Couched in a Critique of Racism"
Certainly it was relevant in 1977 for a black African man with a “western” education to offer criticism of the dominant paradigm of the “western,” “white” status-quo; however, in his article “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness,” Chinua Achebe entirely misses the mark. His assertion is, essentially, that given the novel’s having not been written in the latter half of the twentieth century with the bleeding-heart sensibilities of a “whi
Rowland Bismark
Jun 09, 2010 Rowland Bismark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A group of men are aboard an English ship that is sitting on the Thames. The group includes a Lawyer, an Accountant, a Company Director/Captain, and a man without a specific profession who is named Marlow. The narrator appears to be another unnamed guest on the ship. While they are loitering about, waiting for the wind to pick up so that they might resume their voyage, Marlow begins to speak about London and Europe as some of the darkest places on earth. The narrator and other guests do not seem ...more
May 30, 2012 Bailey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Heart of Darkness. favourite book.
Although the last time I read this was three years ago, it stills resonates so strongly that I feel the urge to write a review. Which is something that I almost never do. [And please ignore any grammatical errors]
Some people are hindered by Conrad's extensive imagery and skim through it in search of an obvious plot that easily moves from point A to B and end up sorely disappointed. This book was not meant to have a thrilling plot that keeps you perched on the e
Jun 18, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it
This book's status in the Western canon - for those of us who still believe in the Western canon - has been hotly debated because of the book's implied racism. The book is a story within the story; a group of men sit awake throughout the night on a ship anchored on the Thames listening to a man named Marlowe recount his experiences as a steamboat captain on the Congo River. As night deepens, Marlowe's story becomes darker and darker. He tells how the Belgian Free State (modern Democratic Republi ...more
I gathered from the introduction to my copy that there seems to be a debate about Conrad's treatment of colonial and racial issues in Heart of Darkness: whether Conrad is exposing and condemning it or just reconfirming white European rule. From what I could see, it seemed to be that Conrad appears to be reflecting what is probably the average person's position on it: predictably a mixture.

Apathy, inertia because it does not adversely affect the white person, because it is what the majority goes
Loads of boring details, not quite enough story.

While it was interesting to read Conrad's take on the exploitation of the African subcontinent and the treatment of the native peoples during the colonial era, this book failed to live up to its legendary reputation as a literary classic. The story moved ploddingly slow at times, getting mired down in mundane details and unimportant tangents, while at other times it would fast forward through events.

I actually found Conrad's short story "Youth" (
Nov 22, 2008 Shiloh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shiloh by: Mike Start
This book was the Heart of Darkness story, plus Youth, Amy Foster, and the Secret Sharer short stories by Joseph Conrad. I read the Heart of Darkness first because I was most curious about the narrative as it was loosely based on his own travels in the Congo during the 1800's during the Belgian colonialization. As the introduction attests, the broad strokes with wich the story is painted made it a bit difficult for first time readers to follow the plot. It often changes time or setting without l ...more
Sharon T
Mar 04, 2012 Sharon T rated it really liked it
I've read this novella three times in my life -- once in college, once for a book group, and once for my work as a writing coach and tutor. Each time, I've discovered something different in the work (the joys of re-reading!). Upon this last effort -- and it is an effort -- I found I especially appreciated its character development, pacing (especially the seemingly interminable Chapter One), and fevered, oblique, imprecise language. A book I love? No. A book I'm glad I've had the occasion to re-r ...more
Feb 13, 2015 Nathan rated it liked it
Heart of Darkness is one of those books that you are forced to read in high school. Perhaps a little too early in one's development to be able to grasp the messages put forth in the book.
The book itself focuses on the tale of an old man named Marlowe discussing his adventures as a boatman on the Congo river. His descriptions are often harsh, edged with racist tones, and show a disdain for much of the experience. The prose is well written, and the work certainly achieves what it sets out to achi
J. Alfred
Jan 28, 2015 J. Alfred rated it liked it
About half the people you talk to will say something like "Oh, I read Heart of Darkness my junior year. I've never hated anything more." One can see why. Conrad's prose, which seems to be one of the real spurs to so-to-speak High Modernism, is terse and unemphatic, and the frame-story with a narrator talking to friends after the event lessens the impact of the events-- which, in fact, are normally not told. A story which is told only through the aftermath is one calculated to make people angry. ...more
Stephanie Barth
Oct 18, 2016 Stephanie Barth rated it really liked it
There are 4 stories in here: Youth, Heart of Darkness, Amy Foster, and the Secret Sharer

Youth- this is the most optimistic of all the stories. The main character is brash and ready to face any danger head long while the captain (an older gentleman) seems to be indecisive and moves at a snail's pace. It was a fun, fast read.

Heart of Darkness- my favorite of all the stories. This story shows the cruelty and the mindlessness of the European colonists while at the same time showing that some believe
Jul 07, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it
This edition of Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and assorted other short stories (fiction) sports the title work along with "Youth", "Amy Foster", and the popular "The Secret Sharer". Although the stories do attempt to harken to our adventurous side, the idea of darkest Africa or the coast of China doesn't have much appeal anymore. However, the stories are still timeless in their psychological stripping down of humanity to show that we, much like any other "tribal nation", are still animalistic. We ...more
John Molina
Nov 14, 2013 John Molina rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book a lot. I thought the prose in it was some of the best I have ever read and the psychological aspects of the novel were done extremely well. I don't want to write much more for fear of giving anything away, but I have to say that this is definitely one of the best books I've ever read.
Feb 27, 2011 marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing was amazing, esp if you think that English was not his first language. I felt that I was in Africa. But I felt the character devt of Kurtz was insufficient.
May 09, 2014 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the Congo Free State (which later became the Belgian Congo) - this book was the inspiration for Apocalypse Now. Marlon Brando was told to read this book before playing the part in the movie - as he would be playing the part of the remarkable Kurtz.

Conrad put a lot of thought into this... the Thames and the Congo River.... Kurtz finding the right words in the things he sees - including his life. Hell - I can't find the right words trying to write this.

I'm not the biggest fan of the style
Oct 24, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beloved
I read this book in college whilst working out on an exercise bike and sweating buckets... how's that for an atmospheric reading experience?
Aug 28, 2014 Shelbi rated it liked it
Since this is a collection of short stories, I have reviewed and rated each book individually. The collection includes Amy Foster, Youth, Heart of Darkness, and The Secret Sharer. Overall, I am not a huge fan of Conrad or his style or writing. Two of the four stories were almost impossible for me to get into, while the other two I found entertaining, but nothing spectacular. In three of these, Conrad wrote the story by having a character tell the story. So the entire story was just dialogue if s ...more
Aug 13, 2016 Julie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 501-must-read
I give this book a 5-star rating for delivering as a polarizing, perplexing, provocative and enduring work of art. That is not to condone its racist assumptions nor to forgive the extent to which it absolves the sins against humanity committed in the name of European Imperialism. (Particularly here, what was known as the African Holocaust, which ravaged half the population of central Africa, mostly between 1890 and 1910.) Conrad Richter's intriguing and disturbing tale of Marlow's quest to retri ...more
Apr 16, 2016 precaf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I re-read "Heart of Darkness" after many years to see how it has stood up. And it does – exceptionally well.

The story is recounted, as fin de siècle stories sometimes were, as the recollections of a narrator once-removed. The narrator recounts a tale told by a mariner named Marlow, who as a young man had been out of work for some time and had obtained work as a river pilot for a Belgian colonial enterprise.

In Part I of the story, even before Marlow enters the Congo, his first ominous brushes a
Tamira Rae
Feb 26, 2014 Tamira Rae rated it did not like it
This collection of short stories contains Conrad’s “Youth,” “Heart of Darkness,” “Amy Foster,” and “The Secret Sharer.” I read the collection for “Heart of Darkness,” and so this review focuses on that story.

Conrad frames “Heart of Darkness” within two separate narratives: the central character Marlow recounts his experience travelling into the Congo to a group of unnamed companions, one of whom, as the actual narrator of the story, narrates Marlow’s recounting. In other words, the first-person
Dec 17, 2008 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-lit
At first, I wasn't thrilled. The short story "Youth," included in the book, introduced me to one of Conrad's favorite rhetorical devices: using catalogues in descriptions. If written well, they are great in providing definitions; if not, it's like getting pounded over the head: "Day after day and night after night there was nothing round the ship but the howl of the wind, the tumult of the sea, the noise of water pouring over her deck. There was no rest for her and no rest for us. She tossed, sh ...more
There is so much packed into every word of Heart of Darkness that if you’re not careful, if you don’t slow down and contemplate every word the story and beauty of the novel will fly by unnoticed. I think that’s why so many people don’t give Conrad’s classic novel the credit it deserves.

Here’s a man for whom English is a third language, and, yet, Heart of Darkness is so beautifully written - almost like a long poem.

“The day was ending in a serenity of still and exquisite brilliance. The was shon
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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 mysteries of a universe made of drops of fire and clods of mud do not concern us in the least. The fate of humanity condemned ultimately to perish from cold is not worth troubling about. If you take it to heart it becomes an unendurable tragedy. If you believe in improvement you must weep, for the attained perfection must end in cold, darkness and silence. In a dispassionate view the ardour for reform, improvement for virtue, and knowledge, and even for beauty is only a vain sticking up for appearances as though one were anxious about the cut of one’s clothes in a community of blind men.” 11 likes
“how can you imagine what particular region of the first ages a man's untrammelled feet may take him into by the way of solitude-utter solitude without a policeman-by the way of silence-utter silence, where no warning voice of a kind neighbor can be heard whispering of public opinion? These little things make all the great difference. When they are gone you must fall back upon your own innate strength, upon your own capacity for faithfulness.” 2 likes
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