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Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  22,811 ratings  ·  237 reviews
Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction, by Joseph Conrad, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, 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 introductions
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paper, 261 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Barnes Noble Classics (first published 1899)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  22,811 ratings  ·  237 reviews


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Mark Lawrence
Jan 20, 2012 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
Sarah
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
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.
Zachariah
May 07, 2012 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
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Karl
Apr 23, 2014 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
...more
Matt
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a review for Heart of Darkness. Read 5/3/17 - 5/11/17

3/5 stars for Heart of Darkness. I'm not sure I fully understand it but I think what Conrad was getting at is the evil consequences of colonialism in Africa, and to illustrate every man's search for the "meaning of life". Marlow's journey into the dark jungles of The Congo was gripping. His journey is one of self discovery and I think another point to this story was that Kurtz had found the "meaning of life", and Marlow only got to se
...more
Kevin
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Finally read it and now I finally get Apocalypse Now, really I should have read this years ago but it just seems like the world is steaming up this river now.
MichelleG
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
...more
Jerry Pogan
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read "Heart of Darkness" while in high school over 55 years ago and I'm amazed at how different it is from how I remembered. I remembered it as a much more action packed story than it actually is. It is an adventure story about a young man named Marlow travelling up into Africa but it is also a commentary on colonialism and racism (although some of Conrad's writing was rather racist in itself). I remember I had to write a book report for my class back then and I would love to be able to see th ...more
Joseph Wenworth
Kinda disappointed...At the beginning I thought this was going to be a very good book but it soon became kinda stagnant and I was underwhelmed by how dark the colony was described. Too much time is spent going over the narrator‘a thoughts about insignificant things, and Kurtz has this incredible build-up and then all we get are his last words. It’s well written though with good imagery; the narrator is chill.
Maia
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read2020
Technically a DNF. Only got through two short stories and skimmed the last 10 pages of the main story, Heart of Darkness. Not bad writing, just incredibly bored with it. Because I wasn't intrigued or cared about the characters, a lot of the shocking moments for the reader weren't very impactful. Like I said, not bad, just wasn't my personal preference.
Kyle Garner
Dec 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Second time I've tried to read Conrad. Will be the last!
Chory
Mar 17, 2009 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
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Rowland Pasaribu
Jun 09, 2010 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
Bahman Bahman
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Joseph Conrad was born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski on December 3, 1857, in Berdichev (now Berdychiv), Ukraine. His parents, Apollo and Evelina (nee Bobrowska) Korzeniowski, were members of the Polish noble class. They were also Polish patriots who conspired against oppressive Russian rule; as a consequence, they were arrested and sent to live in the Russian province of Vologda with their 4-year-old son. When Conrad's parents died several years later, he was raised by an uncle in Poland.

Conr
...more
Chelsey
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I did not necessarily dislike this book, but - my gosh! - the language is so difficult! I now wish I had read it in a classroom, because one small book club discussion was not enough!
Aram Mohammed
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it
It is amazing novel. Really it is about the nature of human! We should guide ourselves to the best and correct path of live.
Rachel
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read
These were all surprisingly better that I imagined. While Heart of Darkness was the star of the show, Amy Foster was my favorite.
Nate Hansen
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
An awesome edition with mostly-good liner notes.
Evan
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“... what thrilled you was just the thought of their humanity—like yours—the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes, it was ugly enough; but if you were man enough you would admit to yourself that there was in you just the faintest trace of a response to the terrible frankness of that noise, a dim suspicion of there being a meaning in it which you—you so remote from the night of first ages—could comprehend. And why not? The mind of man is capable of anythi ...more
Rogelio Briseno
May 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
A very confusing and boring book. The whole book was mainly about Marlowe travelling to the Congo and finding out about Kurtz and then him trying to meet him. The book felt very slow at most times throughout the book. The book tackles the morals of imperialism and if it is right or wrong. The main character seems to be against imperialism yet he traveled with an imperialistic company so he can go to the Congo. A very dull book overall.
Eric
Sep 24, 2015 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
...more
Mykelle Wilkerson
It’s about Europeans coming to Africa and exploring the Congo to steal ivory from the locals (Africans) so basically it’s about imperialism.
Bethan
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
...more
Adan Garcia
May 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I only read the "Heart of Darkness" part of the book. The location of the story is very interesting to me, it is a gloomy jungle in the Congo. It kind of sets the tone for the story, it's just dark when you think about it. The story was alright and the message was OK. It's probably a better read if you understand where the author is coming from.
Ryan
Jun 18, 2012 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
Seamus Ronan
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
"We live as we dream--alone....”

Took me 2 years to finish this novella. So that's not a glowing endorsement. I understand why it's significant--but you're probably better off just watching the movie Apocalypse Now.
Bailey
May 30, 2012 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
...more
ElRojoCapucha
May 11, 2016 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 adventure...in 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
Samantha Leighanne
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011-reads, reviewed
Alright, I feel bad, because this is supposedly a must read, and a classic. Before I write my reviews, I generally look at other reviews to see what other people thought, and it seems once again that you either love this book, or you hate it. Unfortunately, I am the latter.
The story is about a sailor, Marlow, who took a trip down the Congo. On his journey he discovers that the company that he works for is using the natives as slaves in some areas, and are leaving them to die in the wooded area
...more
Jeff
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Conrad explores the "darkness" of imperialism and the subjugation of sorts of "others" in this book of Belgium's occupation of the Congo river during the ivory trade. Filled with deep moments of insanity and discomfort, Marlow, the protagonist ventures to understand the failings of Kurtz, a mythic figure of imperialism that has been wrapped in the darkness of his submersion into Africa.

Interlaced, there are limited commentaries on Africa and the outright denial of a foreign culture versus the ca
...more
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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
...more

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