Ian's Reviews > Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
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May 05, 2010

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bookshelves: classic, a-to-z-2011, a-kindle, atw80
Read from March 08 to 19, 2011

Apocalypse Now is one of my favourite films. Consequently I have wanted to read this for years, but never quite got around to it.

Set against the backdrop of colonial exploitation in Africa and the vicious racism of that period, this is a book of two halves. The terrible racism is there from the start and it jars continually, but I didn't get the impression that this bothered the author particularly when he wrote it in 1902.

The first 100 pages is quite slow and meandering and the main theme of the effect power can have on the descent of the human spirit into evil(below and beneath racism) only gets going once they are on the river. For me, this section was far too short and thus disappointing.

Glad I've finally read it and seen in print the words "the horror, the horror" but not sure I would have liked it that much if I hadn't seen the film many, many times. To be honest Coppola's interpretation on film using the Vietnam war as his backdrop is much more powerful. That takes in key visual and verbal elements of Conrad's story and adds in more references to Dante's journey down through the circles of hell in Inferno. Truly awesome.

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Quotes Ian Liked

Joseph Conrad
“The horror! The horror!”
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness


Reading Progress

03/16/2011 page 15
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