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Tales of Unrest [Kindle Edition]

Joseph Conrad
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $5.98
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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joseph Conrad was a Polish novelist who lived most of his life in Britain and didn't learn English until age 21. The young Conrad lived an adventurous life involving gunrunning and political conspiracy, and apparently had a disastrous love affair that plunged him into despair. He served 16 years in the merchant navy.In 1894, at age 36, Conrad reluctantly gave up the sea, partly because of poor health and partly because he had decided on a literary career.

Product Details

  • File Size: 351 KB
  • Print Length: 216 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008478LZW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,138 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mental Unrest September 5, 2007
In these tales, people are put under heavy mental stress by fatal accidents, hostile environments or insoluble doubts. Their reactions become uncontrollable.
The short stories give a good picture of Conrad's themes, story building with surprising outcomes and view on mankind: `Morality is not a method of happiness'.

In `Karain: a Memory', a Malay war-chief makes an odyssey trying to kill a woman who left her native village with a white man. He becomes haunted by the spirit of his dead brother.
In `The Lagoon', the adduction of a woman turns into a fatal accident. `There is no light and no peace in the world; but there is death - death for many. I left him in the midst of the enemies; but I am going back.'
In `An outpost of Progress', two lonely `progressive' colonialists become haunted by their hostile environment; `a suggestion of things vague, uncontrollable, and repulsive, whose discomposing intrusion tries the civilized nerves.'
In `The Return', a marriage turns sour on the impossible `certitude of love and faith'.
In `The Idiots', a less successful offspring puts a marriage under extreme pressure.

These sometimes furiously written stories with their high evocative power of landscapes, feelings and conflicts should not be missed.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probing the Murky Waters ot the Soul September 11, 2004
By Plume45
Format:Library Binding
his anthology of 216 pages provides an excellent introduction for new readers to Polish-born Joseph Conrad, who deftly paints on an English canvass. Having selected five of his tales the editors present readers with settings in both the exotic tropics of Malaysia and Africa, as well as the chilly social milieus of socialite London and pastoral France. Perhaps the editors chose the word UNREST for their title, because all the protagonists experience psychological malaise from a diversity of causes.

KARAIN. This Malay chieftain feels cursed by his past, so he desperately seekst a new English charm to ward off his fatal stalker.

THE IDIOTS. A simple French peasant couple are cursed by bearing children who are severely mentally retarded.

OUTPOST OF PROGRESS. The title is sheer irony, since a useless African trading station is run by two ineffectual English agents. The men are pursued by their failed pasts, general laziness, incompetence, extreme heat and company indifference.

THE RETURN. A young socialite husband returns home to discover a note from his wife, explaining that she has left him for another man. In this most psychological of the tales, the wronged husband undergoes a series of intense emotions and decisions, ultimately defying the very Society he represents.

THE LAGOON. A native is pre-grieving the death of his beloved wife, unburdening his soul before his only white friend. Although this represents Conrad's first published short story, curiously it concludes this particular anthology. Prepare to explore the murky waters of the human heart and soul.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Milestone in novella November 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Absolutely marvellous and modern writing. The Return is still a milestone in novella writing.Conrad is a visionary empathic writer for all time.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is not the Conrad you are looking for... September 22, 2013
So... back into my "reading through Conrad" project. This was a book of short stories. In Conrad's defense, these were all written very early in his career, some earlier than books that were published before this collection. He was still figuring it out, I think.

These stories are, mostly, mediocre, and forgettable. Two stand out:

The first, "THE RETURN" was not good, but the whole time I was reading it, I could not help think it could have been a great story, if it were written by someone else. It would make an excellent play, and deals with some powerful things that, sadly, never rise above Conrad's writing.

The second, "AN OUTPOST OF PROGRESS" was excellent, and gives us a real glimpse of Conrad at his finest.

I remember liking Conrad, when I had only read one of his books(HOD). I am hoping more is coming, on the caliber of that first exposure, and of this story. Sadly, after three novels and a book of short stories, I am not particularly looking forward to picking up the next one on the list.
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