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HEART OF DARKNESS (non illustrated) [Kindle Edition]

Joseph Conrad
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (695 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Marlow sits at the Thames River in the evening with several other people and begins telling the story about how he entered into the dark continent out of nowhere. No one wants to listen but he continues anyway.
Marlow expressed a desire to go to Africa to his Aunt who got him a position as a captain of a steamboat of an ivory company. The previous captain Freslaven died in a scuffle with the natives and Marlow took his place. A few days later, Marlow travels to Africa and gets to the first station where he meets the accountant who keeps track of the funds in Kurtz’s company. The man is interesting to Marlow since he’s been on the continent for three years, yet he keeps himself clean and well dressed. Marlow finds the blacks being poorly treated and ordered to do meaningless work by the whites. Marlow continues down the river on his steamboat with a crew of several whites and about 20 to 30 blacks. As he travels down the river, he comes across this shack where he picks up wood, and a note cautioning him to travel carefully. He continues down the river and becomes surrounded by savages in the fog. Marlow is frightened but the savages don’t do anything... until the fog rises. The savages attack and Marlows men fire back. The arrows of the savages have little effect on Marlow’s men or his boat. And the guns of Marlow’s men have little effect on the savages since they fire too high. Only Marlow’s helmsman dies. Marlow blows the whistle and mysteriously, all the savages retreat in fear. Marlow shortly reaches the inner station where he is greeted by the Russian Fool who seems to survive in the heart of the continent by not knowing what’s going on around him. Kurtz is very ill and needs to be taken back to England, but he does not want to go. In fact, he is the one who ordered the attack on the steamboat so that they couldn’t take him back to England. Kurtz is worshipped by the natives and completely exploits them. Kurtz tries to escape to the natives but Marlow catches him and takes him back to the steamboat head back for England. While still on the river, Kurtz dies saying, “The horror, the horror.” Marlow returns to England. He visits Kurtz’s intended who is still in mourning a year after Kurtz’s death. She still remembers Kurtz as the great man he was before he left, and Marlow doesn’t tell her what he had become before he dies. Marlow gives Kurtz her old letters and leaves. (non illustrated)

Editorial Reviews


As powerful a condemnation of imperialism as has ever been written Observer Once experienced, it is hard to let Heart of Darkness go. A masterpiece of surprise, of expression and psychological nuance, of fury at colonial expansion and of how men make the least of life ... endlessly readable and worthy of rereading Telegraph


As powerful a condemnation of imperialism as has ever been written Observer Once experienced, it is hard to let Heart of Darkness go. A masterpiece of surprise, of expression and psychological nuance, of fury at colonial expansion and of how men make the least of life ... endlessly readable and worthy of rereading Telegraph

Product Details

  • File Size: 302 KB
  • Print Length: 118 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1936594145
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,407 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
101 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knows our own Hearts of Darkness? April 12, 2003
By Kali
I was once one of those students forced to read this book at school. I was dragged kicking and screaming to its pages and read it only because I did not want to flunk my English Literature class. I was riveted from the first page, right up to the last paragraph. It is quite simply Conrad's finest book, (yes, I read his other books after this one.) However be aware, this is not everyone's cup of tea. There will be some people who will read this book and think, "Oh God, you have to be kidding!" However if you can get passed this mentality then you are in for a real literary treat.
The story is simple enough, a young Englishman; Marlow (this character appears in Conrad's story "Youth") goes out to Africa to seek his fortune. He is at first idealistic, and full of himself. However he quickly realises that Africa is full of petty bureaucrats who have no idea how to make use of this dark jewel they have acquired. Like Colonists before them, they proceed to ravage and plunder the land of its natural resources. Enter Kurtz, an Ivory Trader who has gone Native. He has become a Renegade, living with his Black mistress in the heart of Africa's interior; systematically turning his back on his supposed civilised self.
Marlow meets Kurtz after an eventful trip up the Congo and finds himself curiously attracted to this strange man who is [very ill], and obviously going insane. Kurtz in turn is an embarrassment to his employers who would rather see him dead than returned to "civilization." Of course this is unspoken, and the hypocrisy of human natures sticks out like a sore thumb in this novel, especially as Kurtz is one of the best Ivory Traders on the Congo route.
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338 of 376 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How To Make a 75 Page Story Into a 400 Page Book December 7, 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would like to address myself specifically to the Norton Critical Edition of this book. The difficulty that many readers face when they pick up a classic, pre-twentieth century novel is that they are not conversant with the history of the times in which it was written. Heart of Darkness can be enjoyed purely as a well written novella, but then you miss so much of what Conrad is trying to say not only regarding the thin veneer of man's social persona (ala Lord of the Flies) but about the evils of 19th century imperialism. What is the story of Colonialism? Do Conrad's derogatory remarks about Blacks make him a bigot? What were Conrad's overall views on life? What were Conrad's personal experiences in the Congo? What did readers think of Heart of Darkness when it was written, and what do the critics think of it today?
The Norton Critical Edition gives you 325 extra pages of material written by Conrad and others that provide answers to the above questions. You don't have to read all of these many articles, of course, but a good sampling of them will make your immersion in this famous story all the more enjoyable and meaningful.
This is a story that everyone should read, and the Norton Critical Edition provides the best format for the reading experience.
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125 of 139 people found the following review helpful
No-one seriously interested in English literature can afford not to read this book. As a central device, the parallel journey into the heart of Africa and the dark centre of the human experience, remains as powerful as ever. The writing in the opening pages, depicting the men and the Thames and the wide possibilities that rise with every outgoing tide, remain as evocative as anything in English. Conrad's subject is barbarity, a theme as relevant now as then. His dark view of the colonial instinct also stands as a warning at this very hour. With "Lord Jim" a thicker, but in many ways easier book to read, Conrad poses the great existential question that was to dominate personal politics throughout the 20th Century, the taking of personal responsibility, the search for personal redemption - as one character puts it: "How to be - Ach! How to be?" With "Heart of Darkness" he articulates what Michael Ignatieff has described as "the seductiveness of moral disgust." Faced with the darkness around him, the character Kurtz advises "exterminate the brutes." His final, dread epiphany, his message from the heart of his own darkness "The Horror! The Horror!" is as chilling now as it was a century ago - a century that has seen more horror than even Conrad could have imagined.
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172 of 194 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Into the dark June 19, 2001
By sid1gen
Several people I am acquainted with have questioned my reading of "Heart of Darkness," using as argument the fact that they read it "in high school." Apparently, for these very well-read souls, if the book was in their high school reading list, then it should never be approached again. Well, both the poem of "El Cid" and the novel "Don Quijote" first revealed their wonders to me when I was in high school, and now that I have read them again (and "Don Quijote" complete this time), they have just proved to be timeless classics with something to tell a person of any age. "Heart of Darkness," by Joseph Conrad, is a classic that, given its length, invites several readings, particularly if one goes beyond the "high school-depth" sadly evident in those acquaintances of mine. The different, dark, alien world of the Congo as barely seen through Marlow's eyes, juxtaposed with the author's subtle-but-powerful condemnation of a system that promotes exploitation of those seen as "inferior," is one of this novella's most important, and often missed, commentaries. Marlow is the English sailor who does not, and cannot, understand anything that is not English, from the nameless city across the Channel (Brussels, most probably), to the ghost-like figures that people his employer's offices, to the multi-coloured map that shows how Africa has been carved, to the multi-coloured Russian whose language Marlowe cannot recognize and believes is cypher, to the river itself, to the native inhabitants of the land he is invading. This trip up the Congo river that Marlow tells his shipmates about while on the Thames is a journey after a man's voice, his treasure of ivory, and his report on the natives. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book and excellent service!
Published 1 day ago by Thomas R. Schulte
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a tough read but in the end, I found it worth the effort
A bit of a tough read but in the end, I found it worth the effort. The author's descriptive prose is some of the best I've read. Read more
Published 1 day ago by JimK
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Published 1 day ago by F. Ayd
1.0 out of 5 stars whether I liked it or not
Oh my goodness. Seriously, this is given to teenagers to evaluate in English class? I'm an adult and have read tens of thousands of books and am a very fast reader. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Not at all what I expected. This is not the fault of the author.
Published 22 days ago by Shaun N. Dowd
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential literature which provides a deeper perspective and...
Quintessential literature which provides a deeper perspective and interest into
Kubrick's "Apocalypse Now" and 19th and 20th century colonization by major world... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Carluccio Viscera Demarra
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I need for class..thanks
Published 27 days ago by derudd
4.0 out of 5 stars ... and is a tale of one man (Kurtz) with good intentions failing to...
Known as Conrad's classic it lives up to expectations and is a tale of one man (Kurtz) with good intentions failing to corruption while another (Marlow) must go up the river... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Matt Jarvis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A deep dark short read.
Published 1 month ago by Rob
4.0 out of 5 stars A Reminder of Human possibilities of Depravity
I was moved to read this short novel as I was reading King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robert Cornwall
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