Ryan's Reviews > Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo

Conquest of the Useless by Werner Herzog
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's review
Feb 13, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: adventure, cinema, survival, art, horror
Read in January, 2011

JG Ballard meets Heart of Darkness. Maybe some Thomas Bernhard mixed in. Herzog is compelling writer and stylist, as anyone that's seen his documentaries knows from his narration. His closing line, perhaps, sums up the book best: "the river flowed by in majestic indiffernce and scornful condescension, ignoring everything: the plight of man, the burden of dreams, and the torments of time." Though don't let this lead you to believe it's solely morose; Herzog's incredible passion for living and his humor are also evident. With straight face delivery he slips from musing on the profane abundance of nature ("the jungle revels in debauched lewdness") to stating that "the notion that fish dance preoccupies me."

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message 1: by brian (new)

brian I got this as a gift recently, glad you liked it. i need to get to it.

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