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Heart of Darkness
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PAST Group Reads 2019 > Heart of Darkness- January Bonus- NO Spoilers

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message 1: by Joy, Your Obedient Servant (last edited Dec 18, 2018 10:20AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
This is the January group read. Start here with comments, impressions, thoughts, or just to say you'll be joining in! We'll really start getting into discussion closer to January.

No spoilers on this thread. We'll unlock the spoiler thread once some of us have started reading it.


Skye | 72 comments Conrad is a wonderful writer, and English is not his native tongue. This book is excellent.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments Skye wrote: "Conrad is a wonderful writer, and English is not his native tongue. This book is excellent."

That's kind of why I'm giving it a go, even though I don't remember being crazy about Nostromo or Lord Jim. Now that I'm good in several languages, I have a new appreciation not only for someone who learns to speak it well, but who chose to write novels in a language other than their first language. Astounding to me...


message 4: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Skye wrote: "Conrad is a wonderful writer, and English is not his native tongue. This book is excellent."

Hi Skye, it's been a long time! That's good to know.


message 5: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "Skye wrote: "Conrad is a wonderful writer, and English is not his native tongue. This book is excellent."

That's kind of why I'm giving it a go, even though I don't remember being crazy about Nost..."


If I remember correctly, the movie Apocalypse Now was partially based on this book even though it was set in Vietnam. I remembering watching that in the theater with my boyfriend (now husband) with my hand over my eyes.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "Skye wrote: "Conrad is a wonderful writer, and English is not his native tongue. This book is excellent."

That's kind of why I'm giving it a go, even though ..."


That makes a lot of sense.........
Ha! My sister and brother in law fooled my friend and I (we were teenagers). They told us they were taking us to see Steve Martin in "The Jerk", and instead they took us to Apocalypse........I fell asleep and woke up when they tiger burst out of the jungle.


message 7: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "Skye wrote: "Conrad is a wonderful writer, and English is not his native tongue. This book is excellent."

That's kind of why I'm giving it a g..."


I think I looked up just in time to see a head on a stake. I was such a girl. It was on TV last year (it's still one of his favorite films) and I barely flinched. It shows what 40 years of watching movies and TV can do to you.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "Skye wrote: "Conrad is a wonderful writer, and English is not his native tongue. This book is excellent...."

Desensitization......:)/:(
I've never seen all of "Platoon" or "Full Metal", because they're on TV, and I just don't make it through, even though the violence isn't supposed to be gratuitous. Think I would re-watch "Apocalypse" now, with enough free time.


Parker | 204 comments Although I admire Conrad's fluency in English, I absolutely despise this book (orobably because I was forced to read it three or four times for various English classes. Plus, I think it was very poorly taught).

Never see Apocolypse with a Nam vet is all I can say.


message 10: by Joy, Your Obedient Servant (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
Parker wrote: "Although I admire Conrad's fluency in English, I absolutely despise this book (orobably because I was forced to read it three or four times for various English classes. Plus, I think it was very po..."

I did not like this book at all when I read it over the summer. Seeing this thread I wonder if it's because it has some heavy ideas and it just sat with me. I'm interested to see if discussing it changes how I first perceived it.


message 11: by Skye (new) - rated it 5 stars

Skye | 72 comments There is a serious underlying truth in the book's theme. When total freedom gets out of control, how many of us are capable of doing the unthinkable? B.F. Skinner would have a field day with this novel.


message 12: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Dec 27, 2018 01:09AM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Skye wrote: "There is a serious underlying truth in the book's theme. When total freedom gets out of control, how many of us are capable of doing the unthinkable? B.F. Skinner would have a field day with this n..."
BF Skinner also raised his baby in a box and trained it like a puppy with reinforcements and punishments. (How do I remember 40 year old examples from college and I can't remember my passwords?)

But seriously, that's an interesting concept. Too much freedom, like too much power, or too much money can create a sense that there are no consequences, and it can ruin a person. Not to mention other people.

I'm so glad you're here Skye! It's been a long time. You always add something new to the discussion.

I'm listening to Shape of Water (based on the movie) in the car and it's interesting so far. It starts with a year long trip in the jungle, on boats and on land, and a lot of terrible things happened. I'm anticipating something like that from this book.


message 13: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Parker wrote: "Although I admire Conrad's fluency in English, I absolutely despise this book (orobably because I was forced to read it three or four times for various English classes. Plus, I think it was very po..."

Well I just hope that the people who nominated/voted for it will be here to discuss it! I'm suddenly more interested than I was.


message 14: by Skye (new) - rated it 5 stars

Skye | 72 comments Hi there, Nancy:

The is exactly the outcome: Kurtz was completely over the edge, but the interesting aspect is Marlowe was tempted....


message 15: by Skye (new) - rated it 5 stars

Skye | 72 comments Skinner raised his baby like a dog? He was brilliant is psychology, thought as well as English.


message 16: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Dec 27, 2018 01:23AM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Skye wrote: "Skinner raised his baby like a dog? He was brilliant is psychology, thought as well as English." Not like a dog really, though I do remember something about a big box or cage like thing. He sought to teach her through rewards and consequences as opposed to telling her things. He used operant conditioning and reinforcement theory to shape her behavior. Behavior modification.

The Stanford prisoner experiments might be relevant to this discussion too. Half the students played the role of prisoners and half were guards. It really brought out terrible behavior from the guards. These were regular college students who (many not all) turned abusive and violent. There are a lot of ways to explain it, but it was pretty shocking and led to reforms in how students could be used in psychological research.

There is a movie that pops up on tv once in a while that shows videos of psychological experiments. They're pretty old (maybe the sames one I saw in college). I showed it to my kids when they were in high school.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "Skye wrote: "Skinner raised his baby like a dog? He was brilliant is psychology, thought as well as English." Not like a dog really, though I do remember something about a big box or cage like thin..."

Wow. I mean, my friend jokes about using positive reinforcement with her husband ("You and Shamu, dear", she says), but ........wow.


message 18: by Skye (new) - rated it 5 stars

Skye | 72 comments Nancy, he truly believed that anyone could be forced to do anything, if the right amount of positive/negative operants could be applied, but the glitch is that everyone is different in their manner of tolerance; many assassins are put through a 'Skinner' behavioral training. Just think----what would make you do something out of the ordinary? Something vile and violent????


Kirsten  (kmcripn) This is one of my favorite books. That being said, a lot of people just can't stand Conrad.

However, if you have an Audible account, look for Sir Kenneth Branagh's narration of this. It was exceptional.

Also, many film makers try and adapt the story for modern audiences. Like Apocalypse Now.


message 20: by Skye (new) - rated it 5 stars

Skye | 72 comments That movie was sensational.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments Joy, since I hadn't realized it was a novella instead of a full-length novel, I was able to finish it before New Year's, so if you want to unlock the spoiler link, I'm good now-no one will ruin anything for me! :D


message 22: by Joy, Your Obedient Servant (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "Joy, since I hadn't realized it was a novella instead of a full-length novel, I was able to finish it before New Year's, so if you want to unlock the spoiler link, I'm good now-no one will ruin any..."

You got it!


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