- Paperback: 78 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 11, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1503275922
- ISBN-13: 978-1503275928
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 673 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Heart of Darkness Paperback – September 11, 2018
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To start, there are many editons of this book being reviewed here. Some reviews mentioning the formatting, illustrations, etc may have absolutely nothing to do with the edition you are thinking of purchasing. I "bought" the free Kindle edition with a beige and dark green cover. It is a fine edition and true to the original text.
Otherwise, there's not much I can say about Heart of Darkness that hasn't already been said by 1000+ reviewers. I will say that the density of the language isn't entirely to torture you. This was a common style in 1899, when this novella was written. It does seem to me, though, that the prose is easier to hack your way through the farther you get into the story. Also, give Conrad a break on some of his language and depictions regarding the African natives. He was caged by the knowledge and beliefs of Victorian England in his world view. He's making a good point. Trust me.
It's not an easy read, but with insight and maturity on the part of the reader, Conrad still has something to say.
Just as a 5K is 3 miles, Heart of Darkness is divided into 3 parts. For me, the first part of the story was initially hard to get into because I found it difficult to adjust to Conrad’s dense writing style, and I found myself confused by Conrad's use of one narrator to begin the story and then the shift in point of view to the character of Marlow telling his own story. I read something about an interview and something about a river boat captain, but few things made sense. By the second part, I thought I was beginning to understand. Marlow’s predicament with his broken down boat and the puzzle pieces began to come together. To grasp the meaning, I looked at reviews and others’ critiques of the story, and I realized I might not be understanding what was going on. I moved into part 3 with a tentative understanding. The plot, muddy and dark, became tinted grey. Marlow finally meets the man I'd read about in pages before -- Mr. Kurtz, a man spoken of with a weird sense of awe. Marlow, this idealist, comes to understand that some really bad things are happening in his world. He wakens to the realities of duplicity and greed and how a wild land can corrupt a man. Emotion seeps into part 3 as Marlow comes to understand. He says, “I was, so to speak, numbered with the dead. It is strange how I accepted this unforeseen partnership, this choice of nightmares forced upon me in the tenebrous land invaded by these mean and greedy phantoms.” Heart of Darkness is about a man, broken by his experience and what he sees and learns in the Congo.
To experience Heart of Darkness is to come away asking yourself who you are and what has your life shaped you to be? And just as running a 5K gives you a new identity of Runner, reading Heart of Darkness gives you a new identity of Self.