This novella tells the story of Marlow, a man commissioned to bring back Kurtz from the "heart of darkness" that was the African jungle. Marlow becomes fascinated with the stories of Kurtz and longs to discover why Kurtz retains a hold on the hearts and minds of those who know him. I'd like to refer to this as a "vitamin" or "medicine" book. It's good for me, but it doesn't mean that I enjoyed the process. This was the type of book that I can appreciate for what it represents... a struggle between light and dark, the natural world versus civilization, colonized people versus the imperialists, etc. you get the picture. However, it was a struggle for me to get into and read. I'm not really too certain why. It reminds me of how I felt after reading "The Old Man and the Sea"- I understand why it was written and can appreciate the message, but I didn't like reading it.
Heart of Darkness is my favorite classic book. I loved the unveiling of the terror of the ivory coast to the naive Englishman who went to see what the shipping company was really about. Kurtz's last line "the horror, the horror" will stay with me forever.
Leigh reviewed Heart of Darkness: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources, Criticism (Norton Critical Edition) 3rd Edition on + 376 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Stay away from this book! Perhaps because of the time in which it was written, you'll need a dictionary to decipher practically every sentence. I had to look up literally at least one word per page, often many more. The story (because of this?) did not flow and seemed to digress more often than not. (What is it with men writing nautical journey stories and digression? Melville's _Moby Dick_, Simmons' _The Terror_?)
I know it's a classic, but honestly, save yourself the four weeks of your life and watch "Apocalypse Now" instead; it's the same thing.
Ashley F. reviewed Heart of Darkness: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources, Criticism (Norton Critical Edition) 3rd Edition on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I had to read this for a college literature class and it was a horrible read in my opinion... short book but took me a long time to understand what he was actually saying. I found myself drifting off and thinking about something else while reading this then having to go back and reread. After the professor explained to us what was actually going on it was more enjoyable but still difficult to read.
Joshua T. (JRT) reviewed Heart of Darkness: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources, Criticism (Norton Critical Edition) 3rd Edition on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was one of the main inspirations for the movie APOLCALYPSE NOW!!! A classic study of human intentions, temptations, and strength in weakness. Conrad lays seige to the meaning of life, chokes its gizzard, and lies down with it to die. A must read!
Conrad's writing is amazing. I loved his vivid descriptions of the river and the forest. Many a deep and profound message shows up within these pages. The book causes you to think about life and death, light and darkness and the absolute recesses of human darkness and depravity. I highly recommend this as a book everyone should read at least once in their life.