Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad

Cover ImageFinished 3-12-08, rating 2/5, fiction, pub. 1902

Joseph Conrad was born in the Ukraine in 1857 and lost his parents at a young age.  He went on to serve as a French seaman and later became a captain in the British Merchant Navy.  The most fascinating fact of his life is that he learned English at 21!  And this acclaimed novelist did not begin his writing career until he was 37 (there is hope for me yet). 

This is the story of Marlow, a seaman sent to rescue a boat deep in the Congo.  He was working for an ivory company and they also want Marlowe to bring back Mr. Kurtz, one of the company’s best representatives.  Marlow journeys to the heart of the Congo and slowly loses his mind along with everyone else he meets along the way.  By the completion of his journey he discovers the enigmatic Mr. Kurtz, who has become a savage.

My husband and I read this book aloud to each other over the span of a few weeks.  The beautiful language and words, while wonderful on paper, were a challenge to read aloud.  We both loved the writing, but were a bit disinterested in the story.  It was an interesting look at human nature, but not one I really enjoyed.

Steve recommended Joseph Conrad and I thank him 🙂  I will give Conrad another shot because his writing is challenging and wonderful.  Next time I’ll read it myself and see if that makes a difference.

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