Written by Joseph Conrad
Recommended For: A scheming writer/ lover of description and symbolism.
Easy/ Hard Reading Rating: Hard
Over All Rating: 3/5
‘Heart of Darkness’ is about Marlow as he tells a story to five sailors sailing just as the sun goes down and deepens into darkness. He tells of his adventures as he sailed up the Congo River, his expiernces of how they treated the Africans as slaves and the curious and interesting character of the man called Kurtz. The book is mostly a study on the character of Kurtz, deep symbolism rings throughout the story, with great description (the best I have ever read) and an engaging story.
I enjoyed this book a lot for its great insightful comments on life, and the themes and studying of characters throughout. Because of all the great description, I felt lost in the story itself and got a little caught up in the description passages. I didn’t really understand what was so great about this Kurtz, that everyone seemed to be in awe of. I think it is a book to be enjoyed slowly, so that you can take it all in. Every page is jam packed.
No fear can stand up to hunger, no patience can wear it out, disgust simply does not exist where hunger is; and as to superstition, beliefs, and what you may call principles, they are less than chaff in a breeze. Don’t you know the devilry of lingering starvation, its exasperating torment, its black thoughts, its somber and brooding ferocity? Well, I do. It takes man all his inborn strength to fight hunger properly… pg. 38 of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.
…The stretcher shook as the bearers staggered forward again, and almost at the same time I noticed that the crowd of savages was vanishing without any perceptible movement of retreat, as if the forest that had ejected these beings so suddenly had drawn them in again as the breath is drawn in a long aspiration. – pg. 55 of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.
Suggested Age for Enjoyable Reading: 14 and up for reading aloud, 15/16 and up for reading alone. (There are some gruesome scenes in how they treat their slaves and just let them get sick and die disgustingly, and it is a hard to read book with many long words.)
If you enjoyed, you will also enjoy: I have not read anything like this, but it would liken (in symbolism) to The Holy War by John Bunyan the most, although in a way it is nothing like it *sigh*.