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Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness: Essays, Articles, Reviews
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Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness: Essays, Articles, Reviews (Columbia Critical Guides)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  708 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews

Spanning an impressive range of interpretations, the critical works in this collection analyze the complex narrative technique of "Heart Of Darkness" while exploring its evocation of myth, philosophy, and politics, its attitudes to empire, its images of Africa, and its representations of women. Examining secondary sources from the 1900s to the 1990s, this "Guide" is an ind

Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 23rd 1999 by Columbia University Press (first published March 15th 1902)
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Russell Libonati
Jun 06, 2014 rated it liked it
I listened to this book on audio from discs I got at the library. The first thing I should admit is that I didn't follow the story very well. In fact, I would have a hard time repeating all of the most important aspects of the story. I followed the story so poorly that I hesitated to even write a review. Then I realized that that was actually a reason to write one. I have never had this problem before. Allow me to explain.

I listen to audio books on my drive to and from work. As happens from time
Apr 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: doreen nidey
Brilliant book. Lean. Spare. Right down at it. He uses a trip, up river, to discover mankind, or at least, one way men can be. It builds and builds and moves and moves. I suppose some would say this is a "man's" book, but I disagree. We all take that trip upriver,sometimes, and sometimes we see things about ourselves we don't like and recognize as such. Why are we here? To own. To conquer. To make oneself king of the heap. Lord of the lowlands. It's a consumate work of art. And it's narrative is ...more
Eliza Brittni
Nov 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: whoever wants to read it
Recommended to Eliza Brittni by: mr carson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: whoever want to read a short hard novella
Reading this novella is a torment. Not only it is hard, its content also tortures readers. Marlow and Kurtz, they were similar. The only difference between Marlow and Kurtz was that the darkness failed to take over Marlow. Kurtz was a talented, eloquent, powerful man. These merits somehow was the origin of his fall. If, he was an idiot, he could never be able to use his advantages to control the inner land, the heart of darkness. It is dangerous for a man have too much power for too long, Kurtz ...more
Nov 26, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people lookin for a diffiuclt read
Recommended to Briana by: teacher
The book Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is absoultley horrible. I hated this book. the reason why i didnt like this book was because 1st of all it was very difficult to read and 2nd it was just hard to get into. The character Marlow kept talking about insanity on and on and on and the person he was trying to find (Kurtz) was insane. This Congo that he went to turned people insane and it just seemed too unrealistic to me. i wouldnt reccomend this book to people who are looking for an easy rea ...more
Nov 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Muyiwa by: My teacher
This highly detailed novella was about a man named Marlow on his life changing hunt to find a missing man that became over- assimilated in the African culture and his crave/lust for ivory. His name was Mr. Kurtz. This book took place in the heart of Africa, which is the Heart of the Congo. This book was a bit over detailed and did not get its meaning across very well. The novella was unnecessarily extended without a twist, or climax. I do not reccomend this book to other scholars. I would rathe ...more
Elizabeth Anderson
I was a bit disappointed with Heart of Darkness. I had heard only good reviews about it, but the fact that the entire novella was told through Marlow's dialogue was off-putting for me and made it harder for me to understand what was going on. The messages were good, but the execution made it hard to get through. It was, however, a good example of a story that wasn't particularly for or against African Colonialism, but instead mostly just told details.
Tara Lynn
While I can honestly say that I enjoy Heart of Darkness, it's definitely dense reading material. Conrad's style doesn't especially suit to my tastes, and I feel that the realm of the nature of humanity was more brilliantly executed in the Lord of the Flies. Or, for the matter, I think Moby Dick (cliche, but still true,) covers it best. I've met so many people who list this book as one of their major defining influences, but I really can't wrap my head around the writing style.
Aug 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
I think that people who were confused by "Heart of Darkness" probably didn't read "Youth" beforehand. "Youth" is almost like a preface for "Heart," and I would imagine that it would be hard to contextualize without the earlier work.
That said, I found "Heart" to be a little hard to get through. Maybe it's a style issue, but it seemed like we were never supposed to connect with the narrator or his quest. I may give it another try in ten years or so, and see if the problem is with me...
Loren Harway
Sep 11, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who can read
this book gives you that nice warm delicious feeling in your tummy IF you understand it. Its definitely one of the most dense books i've ever come across and no one should be forced to read it.
My advice is steer clear of the book and watch 'apocalypse now' instead. while it may be an awful movie it might keep you more entertained than a book which has you looking up the online synopsis every few minutes.
Mohammed H.
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 11 and older
Recommended to Mohammed by: My teacher
To be honest, I find this book pretty enjoyable but at the same time I feel as,"wow its boring."However, I did learn things concerning to real life and how things like that occurs.Infact,one of thos thing I have learned from this book would be,"never let drakness consume you even when you think you have control over your life.You got to see things from different perspectives."
Feb 26, 2008 rated it did not like it
I learned that sometimes even somewhat interesting stories can get boring if they go on too long with nothing happening.

This book started out ok, but I could hardly finish it. If it had not been assigned reading I don't think I would have finished it. It just kept going ON and ON and ON without anything new or interesting happening.

Thumbs down! Not a good read.
May 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Yes, I realize I've only given this two stars, and I hate doing that to books that are deemed "classics" because I wonder if I've missed something...But I can't bring myself to reread Heart of Darkness and find out! The first reading of Heart of Darkness was a chore, and there are too many books out there that I actually WANT to read. Sorry, Conrad.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it liked it
I don't know about this. I enjoyed bits of it, but found myself getting lost at points and I didn't quite get the point of it...I think I'll give Joseph Conrad another go in the near future, but for now, it wasn't that incredible.
May 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: advisory-books
This book was very challenging. I totally don't understand what this book meant. The text was way too complicated for me to understand. At one point, he's talking about alligators and then he talks about this boat. What's going on?? O_O
Apr 10, 2008 rated it liked it
I remember hating reading this book in AP English (aka, AP Scrapbooking) senior year of HS. BUT, it was amazing when I went to South Africa, I was drawing some odd parallels between what Conrad writes and the situation the South African economy was in...brick layers with no bricks...
Jan 21, 2009 rated it liked it
didnt really like this one too much. the horror, the horror. pretty deep though. i think i was too young and skimmy of pages to understand its depth. may have to go back to this one. buuuut probablly not.
Lark Benobi
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A very informative survey of critical essays on Heart of Darkness, from the time of publication until today. Because I didn't know quite what I felt about Heart of Darkness when I read it, I enjoyed the many points of view about the novel that this book contained.
Nov 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Literary fans
I had expected more from this book. It was much shorter than I would have hoped for and not a lot really happened. Having said that, enough happened to make it provocative and deep meaning. This book is proof that a book doesn't need to be long to be good.
Jul 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
not the lightest summer reading (everything is dark and brooding and darkness) but it's referenced in the movie 'Up' that I saw this summer so I thought I'd check it out from the library. A short and good read.
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
I did not enjoy the book Heart of Darkness. To me it was boring and not interesting. I would only reccomend this book if you have high reading level or you just like reading books. I would never like to read this book again, it was a waste of time.
Nov 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mom-fiction
I tried to get into this book but just couldn't get past page 5. I know that's pathetic but there are so many other books I am dying to read I couldn't see reading a book I didn't really care about. Maybe someday I'll go back to it. It's awfully short. Surely I can get through it.
Jun 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Okay, this sounds like a really nerdy book to read "for pleasure", but I re-read it (read it first years ago at UofT) because my son had to read it in order to pass grade 12. I decided that I'd read it at the same time so I could "discuss" it with him.

(And he passed!)
Richard Houchin
Apr 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, philosophy
Full marks for concept and atmosphere! There's a great character study here, and some chilling scenes right out of the Necronomicon, but still and all I found the actual narrative a bit slow and tedious.
Apr 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: smart people who like traditional classic literature.
I read a different edition, don't see it listed here.

This was for an advanced writing class, so I read it at least three times during that semester. Each time I read it, my respect and admiration grew for the story and Conrad's gift.

Sep 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Interesting and provocative. Gives you a different idea of what colonialism was like. Also, this was referenced for a Seinfeld episode, and the inspiration behind Apocolypse Now, so worth reading the 90 or so pages to log in an often-alluded-to classic.
Mar 05, 2008 rated it liked it
This did a good job evoking a vague horror. I'm still a little confused, though.
Stacy Chance
Mar 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars, really. Works better as allegory, but sometimes painful to get through chapters.
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
I had to write a research paper about this book in high school. Maybe that's what ruined it for me.
Allison Zahorcak
Lovely. Simply, lovely.
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