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Lord Jim

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  27,078 ratings  ·  1,287 reviews
Jim, a young British seaman, becomes first mate on the Patna, a ship full of pilgrims travelling to Mecca for the hajj. When the ship starts rapidly taking on water and disaster seems imminent, Jim joins his captain and other crew members in abandoning the ship and its passengers. A few days later, they are picked up by a British ship. However, the Patna and its passengers ...more
Paperback, 455 pages
Published November 7th 2000 by Broadview Press Inc (first published January 1st 1900)
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John Molloy As an ex ship's captain Jim's crime of abandoning a ship with a load of pilgrims was unforgivable, his other shipmates should not be considered its Ji…moreAs an ex ship's captain Jim's crime of abandoning a ship with a load of pilgrims was unforgivable, his other shipmates should not be considered its Jim and Jim alone is judged. Yet for all this he did not do any good by almost sacrificing himself for his guilty conscience, he had lots of life and good things to achieve. A shallow plot and conclusion of a weak minded man. (less)
Abraham Lewik
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Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you are a serious student of Conrad, you must read Typhoon, Heart of Darkness, and Lord Jim.

After reading Lord Jim, a comparison with Heart of Darkness is unavoidable. The two books were published a year apart; Conrad began Lord Jim first, put it down to write and publish HOD, and then finished the expanded Lord Jim. Much of the tone, themes, imagery and even language are similar if not identical.

Heart of Darkness, I think, is the better literary work, and is on a short list of my all time f
Henry Avila
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jim, no other name is given except the rather pretentious one of Lord, which he acquires later on. A son of an English clergyman, who seeks adventure, among other things at sea. And becomes the first mate of the rusty, old, local steamer Patna at the age of 23. Going from port to port, mostly in the western Pacific . But everything changes, when taking 800 pilgrims to Mecca, something hits the ship underneath, springing a major leak, not good. Opening a hatch, our friend Jim sees water flooding ...more
The outlook is bleak. Conrad's last book of the nineteenth century offers the certainty that we can never be good enough, if you are lucky disillusionment will result, if less lucky disaster, and your own death will be a mercy. Ideals, civilisation and values, even love, none have a chance in the face of our universal insufficiencies, however before we start getting too pessimistic the novel itself is an exercise in optimism - at least - Conrad demonstrates, we can talk about these things, even ...more
Mar 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: classic-novels
Lord Jim is an incredibly frustrating book. It's part imperial adventure, part psychological study, in the vein of Joseph Conrad's most famous work, Heart of Darkness. However, whereas Heart was brief and elegant, Lord Jim is a repetitive slog. I spent as much time trying to figure out who was telling the story as I did actually enjoying the story.

The book tells of the eponymous Jim, who is a mate aboard the merchant ship Patna, which is carrying hundreds of Muslim pilgrims. Mid-voyage, the ship
Jason Koivu
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Ponderous and difficult to follow, but still a beautiful piece of work.

I say "difficult to follow" in the sense that Conrad did not always balance his action and exposition in Lord Jim. There were large sections of backstory or the minutia of character. Certainly character is the cornerstone of this work in which a man buries himself deeper and deeper into a manageable backwoods fiefdom of sorts in order to escape his own failings on the larger stage of civilization, so it's hard to fault Conra
Megan Baxter
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
It has been over a week and a half since I last finished a book. This is so extremely unusual. I'm trying not to hold it agains the collection of books I've been reading that week in a half, but at times it's hard. I find myself eyeing Ulysses suspiciously, poke The Reality Dysfunction every once in a while to see if it's moved, or tuck The Idiot in my purse to try to get through just a little more. (Does anyone else think it's odd that a 600+ Dostoyevsky book is the only one that will fit in my ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
785. Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad
Lord Jim is a novel by Joseph Conrad originally published as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine from October 1899 to November 1900. An early and primary event in the story is the abandonment of a passenger ship in distress by its crew, including a young British seaman named Jim. He is publicly censured for this action and the novel follows his later attempts at coming to terms with himself and his past.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سوم ماه نوامبر سال 1997 میلادی
عنوان: لرد جیم؛ نو
Jun 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: classics, favorites
So much to say about this novel. One one hand it's an adventure tale, but on the other it's a harbinger of the modern novel, told from various points of view, creating an almost cubist vision of one man's struggle with guilt and morality.

The prose is beautiful and the characters fascinating, every one of them plagued by their own inner demons. Jim, himself, is almost a younger version of Kurtz from Heart of Darkness, but my favorite characters were probably Brierly, the forboding sea captain, a
Jul 10, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literaryfiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nandakishore Varma
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
This is the classic tale of redemption - a man, running from himself for a momentary act of cowardice which brings lasting shame, atones for it in the depths of the Eastern jungles. Brilliantly plotted and beautifully written - only the undertone of white supremacy strikes a sour note sometimes.
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
The first half of this book is heavy work, Conrad throws a lot at you without a lot of dialogue to break it up. A very psychological novel based on the internal conflicts and consequences of past actions; in this case, the staff abandonment of a ship believed to be sinking with hundreds of ethnic travellers aboard.

This is told from various viewpoints, with each character having immense development and all trying to come to terms with their own inner debacles and problems.

You`re going to find tha
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know if there has ever been an out and out study of Conrad’s influence on T.S. Eliot, but I couldn’t help but feel, while reading Lord Jim that the influence goes beyond the footnote. The most famous is of course Eliot’s epigram from Heart of Darkness (“Mistah Kurtz -- he dead.”). (Lesser known is another Heart of Darkness epigram – before Pound waved it off – that got things rolling in “The Wasteland.”) However, buried deeper in the “Hollow Men” are the lines “Between the idea / And the ...more
Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dough jugglers
Shelves: fiction, own

Finally, an answer to my question "what novel contains the phrase a sinister pantaloon?"

Objectively speaking, I didn't enjoy this read. But also speaking objectively, I appreciate the way this book sits on the cusp of the transition from 19th-century adventure writing to 20th century modernism. An omniscient narrator tells the story of first mate Jim abandoning his ship full of Muslim pilgrims. Then Conrad inserts his favorite narrator Marlow, who picks up the story of the rest of Jim's life, hi
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Here's a great statement!
"'And because you not always can keep your eyes shut there comes the real trouble -- the heart pain -- the world pain. I tell you, my friend, it is not good for you to find you cannot make your dream come true, for the reason that you not strong enough are, or not clever enough. Ja! ... And all the time you are such a fine fellow too! Wie? Was? Gott im Himme! How can that be? Ha! ha! ha!'"
Stein, (from Joseph Conrad's, "LORD JIM")
J.M. Hushour
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Men act badly sometimes without being much worse than others."

Given the 1200+ reviews here, I have little to add. This is a dark exploration of conscience and humility in the face of unwavering human weakness, placed in the context of a guy who just simply wants to do right by people, whoever or wherever they are, an idea that many these days, in our age of self-entitled and petty self-absorption (I see no redundancy here, since the entitlement and absorption are two mutually-reinforcing traits
David Sarkies
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
Running Away from One’s Past
4 October 2018

I remember watching a movie years ago when I didn’t have a job. It was about this guy who was trapped on the island of Borneo during World War II, and became involved with a native village where he ended up becoming king. Things went quite well for a while until the Japanese invaded the island and basically destroyed the village, despite the attempts of the natives to prevent them from doing so. In the end, while this man was still technically king, he
aPriL does feral sometimes
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary, metafiction
I don't know why but ‘Lord Jim’ somehow echoes Star Wars. Same mythic quality, same romantic dreaming of quest hopefulness and testing of one's mettle until something really bad happens and naive inexperience gives way to heartrending reality. But Star Wars goes on to space opera where ‘Lord Jim’ is more of a singular man's destiny.

Star Wars does not possess any moral uncertainties, but Lord Jim accurately reflects the real-life play of moral decisions made on the fly that destroy or uplift a p
Jacob Appel
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anascape Taylor
Dec 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
First, the bad news. In Lord Jim, Conrad launches full-bore into every idea, with a thoroughness verging on overdevelopment. The power of brevity is not explored in his writing style. Choosing realism over poetry, he paints a sharp picture akin to a photograph where other writers may have reached for enigma. But such a tender criticism, it must be said, could only be given to a great work. However, Conrad oddly tries to paint his subject matter as enigmatic using finery and detail, and the resul ...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is one of those novels that may take (a bit) more time to read. Now, there is no sense in talking about how long it will take you to read this one because that is very individual. As well as that infamous 'difficulty' factor, it is something that is bound to differ from person to person. It took me some time to read this one, but I MUST say it is one of those books that is certainly worth the effort. You know that feeling when you have read some amazing book and even though it may have take ...more
Joshua Rigsby
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classic, nautical
My problem with this book was one of misinformation and confused expectations.

I've heard and read lots of references to Lord Jim as being primarily about the sinking of the Patna, a true story where a Western-owned and operated vessel full of Muslims on their way to the Haj in Mecca was believed to be sinking, and was abandoned by the crew. Turns out it didn't sink, and everyone on board was rescued by another vessel. This, as you'd imagine, was quite embarrassing for the crew.

Conrad describes
Dec 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
Jove! This book was ruined by being a story-within-a-story! Sometimes I had to search back and decode the quotation marks to discover whether the speaker was Marlow or Marlow relating something that Jim said. I don't know why Conrad decided to present Jim's story through Marlow, but it really distanced me emotionally from Jim's struggles. This is mostly (barring the end) told by Marlow to a small audience at a distance of some years and I found myself questioning whether he left things out or em ...more
Joseph Sciuto
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read
If Dostovesky's "Crime and Punishment" stoked my interest in literature, it was Joseph Conrad who sealed the deal. From the opening lines of "Lord Jim" to the closing lines of the novel, it is nothing but a painstaking, brilliantly descriptive, and mesmerizing work of art. It is, in short, a masterpiece.
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Okay, so I'm not the world's biggest Conrad fan. Chinua Achebe's essay on Heart of Darkness pretty much explains why. But Conrad's on the list, so Conrad I read! I'm wishing now I'd stuck with The Secret Agent, which I read for a 20th Century British Literature course a few years ago--but no, I had to be adventurous and pick one I hadn't read before.

First off, Lord Jim is confusing. The first seventy pages, it's made very clear that something terrible has happened, that Jim was involved in an aw
Sidharth Vardhan
Penance is useless. If you don't feel guilty, you won't do it. If you feel guilty, it won't be enough.
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is when we try to grapple with another man's intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun. It is as if loneliness were a hard and absolute condition of existence; the envelope of flesh and blood on which our eyes are fixed melts before the outstretched hand, and there remains only the capricious, unconsolable and elusive spirit that no eye can follow, no hand can grasp.
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up a used book last week called 'In Search of Conrad' and found it fascinating. It got me wanting to read Conrad, an author I only dipped into a bit. His books are set in Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore... so I got an atlas out when I was reading this travel book and became fascinated with the area. I’ve almost finished it so I'm starting reading this, based on a true incident mentioned in the book. The original Jim was second mate on a steamer taking 1000 pilgrims from Malaysia to Mecca I ...more
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very different sort of read. There are no time constraints here, the author can skip forward and backward and sideways. It is 'in the will' of the reader to decide whether to follow or fold. The reader may close the last page brimming with irresolution. This is not a composition that attempts to facilitate or ease the reader with Conrad's rendition. He, Conrad, has no obligation to the reader other than to demonstrate to himself, the futility of life. The ignobility of truth, romance, or ideal ...more
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a long time to complete Lord Jim, over a year grabbing chances here and there on the bus stop reading a Google Play Books version. When I found a Penguin Classics paperback in a charity shop the reading went quicker but still long.

The way the novel is told, related by Marlowe made he think of a Tarrantino film. The narrative reaches back or out of the flow often. Marlowe often quote someone who is quoting another. This makes the nested quotation marks an interesting sea to navigate.
Nov 12, 2015 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Bettie by: TTC Masterworks of Early 20C Modernism

Opening: He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull. His voice was deep, loud, and his manner displayed a kind of dogged self-assertion which had nothing aggressive in it. It seemed a necessity, and it was directed apparently as much at himself as at anybody else. He was spotlessly neat, ap
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Goodreads Librari...: Please combine 3 27 Mar 11, 2019 01:38PM  
Book Review: Lord Jim 1 6 Aug 14, 2018 08:09PM  
Guardian Newspape...: Lord Jim - July 2018 30 16 Jul 28, 2018 01:42AM  
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1000 Books Before...: Lord Jim 1 4 Feb 18, 2017 01:07PM  
Cafe Libri: June: "Lord Jim" by Joseph Conrad 20 13 Sep 24, 2016 01:33AM  
What does Tamb' Itam mean by "It is not safe for thy servant to go out amongnst the people"? 2 23 Jul 31, 2014 10:00AM  

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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

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