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Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  22,168 ratings  ·  218 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 introd
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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  · 
Rating details
 ·  22,168 ratings  ·  218 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.
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.
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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
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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.
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.

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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 obvi
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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
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
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Zebardast Zebardast
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. ...more
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.
Nate Hansen
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
An awesome edition with mostly-good liner notes.
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!
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.
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 versus himself, c/>Heart
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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 along wi
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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
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 perc
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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
Shiloh
Nov 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shiloh by: Mike Start
This book was the Heart of Darkness story, plus Youth, Amy Foster, and the Secret Sharer short stories by Joseph Conrad. I read the Heart of Darkness first because I was most curious about the narrative as it was loosely based on his own travels in the Congo during the 1800's during the Belgian colonialization. As the introduction attests, the broad strokes with wich the story is painted made it a bit difficult for first time readers to follow the plot. It often changes time or setting without l ...more
Sharon T
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've read this novella three times in my life -- once in college, once for a book group, and once for my work as a writing coach and tutor. Each time, I've discovered something different in the work (the joys of re-reading!). Upon this last effort -- and it is an effort -- I found I especially appreciated its character development, pacing (especially the seemingly interminable Chapter One), and fevered, oblique, imprecise language. A book I love? No. A book I'm glad I've had the occasion to re-r ...more
John Molina
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book a lot. I thought the prose in it was some of the best I have ever read and the psychological aspects of the novel were done extremely well. I don't want to write much more for fear of giving anything away, but I have to say that this is definitely one of the best books I've ever read.
Laura
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beloved
I read this book in college whilst working out on an exercise bike and sweating buckets... how's that for an atmospheric reading experience?
marie
Feb 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing was amazing, esp if you think that English was not his first language. I felt that I was in Africa. But I felt the character devt of Kurtz was insufficient.
Kyle Garner
Dec 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Second time I've tried to read Conrad. Will be the last!
Josh
I can't really recommend Joseph Conrad to anyone. Not that there's any issues with his writing, just…it's really hard to read quickly. Conrad's a smart writer, I think his humor is underappreciated, and his characters are always keenly aware of the psychology behind everything that's going on, and Heart of Darkness is just a classic…I just don't feel like reading his works gave any extra insight that reading about them doesn't give. But at the same time, I don't regret reading it. I guess I just don't feel t ...more
Ismael Retzinsky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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 British ships, le
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“The mysteries of a universe made of drops of fire and clods of mud do not concern us in the least. The fate of humanity condemned ultimately to perish from cold is not worth troubling about. If you take it to heart it becomes an unendurable tragedy. If you believe in improvement you must weep, for the attained perfection must end in cold, darkness and silence. In a dispassionate view the ardour for reform, improvement for virtue, and knowledge, and even for beauty is only a vain sticking up for appearances as though one were anxious about the cut of one’s clothes in a community of blind men.” 10 likes
“how can you imagine what particular region of the first ages a man's untrammelled feet may take him into by the way of solitude-utter solitude without a policeman-by the way of silence-utter silence, where no warning voice of a kind neighbor can be heard whispering of public opinion? These little things make all the great difference. When they are gone you must fall back upon your own innate strength, upon your own capacity for faithfulness.” 2 likes
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