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I had expected to more or less hate this novel because of the difficult subject matter and because so many readers before me have, but the narrator, David Horovitch helped me appreciate the beautiful writing from the start, and so I was hooked. The story of Robert Marlowe travelling by steamship into the heart of the Congo and witnessing the horrific treatment of black slaves is not an easy one to take in, but it became positively bizarre when the character of Kurtz was introduced. I can certainly see how Marlon Brando's Kurtz in Apocalypse Now was based on the fictional one (that famous line: "The horror! The horror!"). Conrad is considered a racist by some, and I have yet to read more about the man or his work to form a more informed impression, but if he is considered so because of this specific book, I'd have to say I disagree. While the language he uses to describe the black natives is predictably disturbing to the modern reader, the character of Marlowe, while he doesn't intervene to help the slaves, also observes their treatment with palpable horror, and Conrad seems to make a strong case against colonialism. A book I'll eventually have to revisit to make sense of Kurtz (can one ever make sense of a madman??). Next time I'll take in Kenneth Branagh's version to compare between two great performances.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Heart of Darkness?
I'm not always a fan of Conrad's storytelling; I wrote a one star review of a _Lord Jim_ audiobook based on Conrad's obtuse refusal to get on with the story, but _Heart of Darkness_ is worth the effort, even in book form. As an audiobook, it grabs (and requires) your attention, but is a surprisingly easy listen.
I first read this book in high school in the 1970s. It was a difficult read, but, even then, I thought it was worth the effort. When I reread it a few years ago, I was surprised by how short it was, and picked up on some things I had missed the first time. Coming back to it on audiobook was great pleasure and, once again, I picked up on things missed the last time. In this book, Marlow's narration works. The story is interesting, and you'll always pick up on new things.
This is a short book (at 4 1/2 hours, less than a third of the length of _Lord Jim_) but it is memorable. Like _Animal Farm_ and _1984_, this is great, must read novel. Like Captain America in _The Avengers_, it pretty much lives up to it's legend. You will *not* regret getting this audiobook.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Not for the faint of Heart complex and every reading gives a new meaning to the text
I really wish I hadn't bought this through Audible, the .aa file format is very restrictive and the whole process rather painful. I have since bought direct from Naxos, which although more expensive is easier & also in a more user friendly format. Never again.
1 of 13 people found this review helpful