Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
(Green Integer)

69%

30 Critic Reviews

My first thought was, 'wait, what?' It was very anticlimactic. I am glad to be able to say that I have read this book but I did not really enjoy it at all.
-So Many Books, So Little Time

Synopsis

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY TIM BUTCHER

The silence of the jungle is broken only by the ominous sound of drumming. Life on the river is brutal and unknown threats lurk in the darkness. Marlow's mission to captain a steamer upriver into the dense interior leads him into conflict with the others who haunt the forest. But his decision to hunt down the mysterious Mr Kurtz, an ivory trader who is the subject of sinister rumours, leads him into more than just physical peril.
 

About Joseph Conrad

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Joseph Conrad is recognized as one of the 20th century's greatest English language novelists. He was born Jozef Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski on December 3, 1857, in the Polish Ukraine. His father, a writer and translator, was from Polish nobility, but political activity against Russian oppression led to his exile. Conrad was orphaned at a young age and subsequently raised by his uncle. At 17 he went to sea, an experience that shaped the bleak view of human nature which he expressed in his fiction. In such works as Lord Jim (1900), Youth (1902), and Nostromo (1904), Conrad depicts individuals thrust by circumstances beyond their control into moral and emotional dilemmas. His novel Heart of Darkness (1902), perhaps his best known and most influential work, narrates a literal journey to the center of the African jungle. This novel inspired the acclaimed motion picture Apocalypse Now. After the publication of his first novel, Almayer's Folly (1895), Conrad gave up the sea. He produced thirteen novels, two volumes of memoirs, and twenty-eight short stories. He died on August 3, 1924, in England.
 
Published November 20, 2015 by Krill Press. 117 pages
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Critic reviews for Heart of Darkness
All: 30 | Positive: 23 | Negative: 7

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Phil Mongredien on Jan 22 2011

Despite his protestations, this is undeniably an invaluable historical document offering a glimpse into the horrific human consequences of the imperial powers' scramble for Africa as much as it is a compelling tale.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Phil Mongredien on Jan 23 2011

...this is undeniably an invaluable historical document offering a glimpse into the horrific human consequences of the imperial powers' scramble for Africa as much as it is a compelling tale.

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Examiner

Above average
Reviewed by Hugh Patterson on Jun 14 2010

If you fumbled through this masterpiece in high school only to fall asleep, try re-reading it. You’ll be amazed at how brilliant this story is.

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The Independent

Above average
Reviewed by Tim Butcher on Jan 25 2008

Some of its power comes from its eloquent denunciation of the conceit behind colonialism...But its real power for me is that when I next pick it up, I know I will feel something new.

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The Telegraph

Above average
Reviewed by David Miller on Jun 07 2009

Its relevance echoes forever, fizzing with understanding us then and there, and here and now, written for us all to live with today, whenever ''today’’ will be.

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Christian Science Monitor

Above average
Reviewed by Megan Wasson on Feb 22 2013

'Heart of Darkness' will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about modern society and world order.

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Suite 101

Above average
Reviewed by Lyn Michaud on Apr 06 2008

After Heart of Darkness was written, the true meaning of darkness in the heart and human depravity was revealed...Conrad's extensive description adds tension and period perspective to the classic internal and external struggles between good and evil.

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Common Sense Media

Good
on Dec 13 2011

Often required reading in high school, HEART OF DARKNESS is a powerful work of early modern fiction, full of psychological reflection and interior monologues by Marlow, who is trying to make sense of what he is seeing.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Troy C. on Jan 28 2014

As Marlow tells his story, Kurtz’s inner self is revealed through his malevolence actions towards the natives in his quest for wealth and fame.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by BrittanyM on Jan 28 2014

It is a fact that Joseph Conrad has placed an unreasonable amount of controversy on the table, after his publication of is novel. However, its is ultimately the readers choice. The readers can choose who is the victim from who is the villain.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Victory Q. on Jan 28 2014

I think Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness beautifully. He uses figurative language to his advantage to bring his story to life.

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Teen Ink

Above average

Thus, the novel creates an obscurity that allows the audience to go in whatever direction their own journeys of self-discovery may take them.

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Teen Ink

Above average
on Jan 23 2013

Heart of Darkness is a novel told through the eyes of Marlow, who, while on a vessel, recalls his travels into the heart of Africa where he meets Kurtz, a successful ivory collector for an imperialist company.

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Teen Ink

Above average

Heart of Darkness shows the darkness inside of us all, while still being an outstanding book. This book has become one of my favorite books, even though it is dark and eerie.

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Teen Ink

Above average

The novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad can be defined as a complex painting that has relayed different images of meaning within the eyes of its readers.

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Teen Ink

Above average

I think Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness beautifully. He uses figurative language to his advantage to bring his story to life.

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http://www.bookdrum.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Gordon Knox on Mar 25 2015

Allusive and purposefully elusive, Conrad’s novel remains a deeply troubling work, possessed of a haunting power which remains undiminished even after decades of critical study.

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Book Review Circle

Above average
Reviewed by Prerna Gupta on Mar 27 2015

Throughout the novel are scattered several symbols depicting the rapacity of the white men. The story also brings into sharp contrast white men as “civilized beings” and the African natives as “brutes”. This is an enlightening book by a writer who had experienced the ills of imperialism himself.

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Jules' Book Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by Jules on Jan 31 2010

Would I recommend it to read: I would, but only to certain people. The book has offensive language and explains harsh treatments of the natives. It not a grotesque explanation, but the reader is left knowing the natives are tortured and beaten, treated as objects.

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Lit Lovers

Good
Reviewed by Molly Lundquist on Mar 26 2015

Heart of Darkness, then, is ambiguous; critics are still trying to figure it out. Is it a harsh indictment of colonialism...or an endorsement, albeit with reservations? This is a rich, complicated novel and can yield thoughtful discussions of man's inhumanity to man.

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Literary Exploration

Excellent
Reviewed by MICHAEL KITTO on May 08 2013

Heart of Darkness is a really complex book but if you take the time to break it apart and explore the text critically, you’ll find there is so much to appreciate.

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Literary Exploration

Above average
Reviewed by MICHAEL KITTO on Jul 06 2012

The blend of feeling like a shipmate listening to the tales, and the fact that Marlow struggles to talk about the torments, makes this an excellent representation of the duality of human nature. While it was a fantastic book, the writing style did make it difficult to enjoy this book as much as I wanted.

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Sarah Reads Too Much

Below average
Reviewed by Sarah Reads Too Much on Apr 07 2014

The language is beautiful...And while a good part of the adventure was exciting, I still had trouble getting into the rest of it. I think this will require a reread at some point, but I'm not terribly excited about that prospect and will likely put that off for quite a while.

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The Lit B***h

Below average
Reviewed by The Lit Bitch on Jul 13 2011

...as is true with Victorian Lit, the books are long and wordy and a little dry. It was a little hard for me to get into at first and it was a little boring-ish for me, you have to be in the mood for some heavy literature, reading, and psychology with this book.

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So Many Books, So Little Time

Below average
Reviewed by DeniseF on Nov 20 2011

My first thought was, 'wait, what?' It was very anticlimactic. I am glad to be able to say that I have read this book but I did not really enjoy it at all.

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Bianca Pellet

Good
Reviewed by Bianca Pellet on Aug 03 2014

Naturally, some of this anticipation would be lost on subsequent readings; however, the quality of the description and overall craftsmanship of the writing make excellent reasons to reread, before one even considers the deep moral and existential questions raised by the storyline and characterisation.

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Of Books and Boys

Below average
Reviewed by Wendy on Feb 22 2014

Plot? Hardly any. Interesting characters? None. Fine writing? Only if you consider it to be noble to tell a limited story with as many words as possible.

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http://splendidlabyrinths.blogspot.com

Good
Reviewed by Ad Blankestijn on Nov 14 2012

This novella is the absolute masterwork of Polish-born English author Joseph Conrad. The story is narrated by Charles Marlow, who accepts an assignment from a Belgian trading company as captain of a river boat in Africa.

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Curled Up with a Good Book and a Cup of Tea

Below average
Reviewed by Shan on Feb 12 2014

This book was a mixed bag for me, one I should have read for a university course but took the opportunity to skip. While I’m glad I finally read it, it’s not going to become a favourite of mine.

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A Traveler's Library

Good
Reviewed by Craig Martin on Oct 12 2009

It’s tough reading at times, with long sentences bursting with imagery and hints through a sharp use of vocabulary and tone. It rewards, if you can call it that, with a slow, meandering journey up a river and an ending that doesn’t really satisfy the readers’ narrative impulses. For that, I love it.

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Reader Rating for Heart of Darkness
75%

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