Saturday, August 4, 2007

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

This is the first book I read this year that I didn't enjoy. The blurb on the back sounded like a good enough set up, but Conrad failed to deliver. It's a frame story, but the frame doesn't enhance the book at all. More than that, the so called "heart of darkness" isn't really that terrifying.

The main character takes a steam boat into then unexplored Africa in search of an ivory trader named Kurtz. Turns out Kurtz doesn't live up to his reputation as the ass-kicking, elephant-hunting, all-around frontiersman that Marlow, the protagonist, builds him up to be.

The book just kind of peters out and ends without a discernible climax. Thankfully it was only a shade over a hundred pages long.

Also, Conrad comes off as a bit of racist in his depiction of the Africans in this book. He doesn't seem to have a problem with poaching elephant tusks either.

3 comments:

Christopher said...

No way. This is a good book.

Alyson said...

Another one of the books I didn't read in high school because (1) it's boring and (2) I succumbed to the dreaded senioritis. The only thing I remember about this book is when in class discussion, one girl suggested that the significance of the sun setting in the east at the very close of the book was just that he was changing time zones.

Nihil Novum said...

I just bought this. I'm going to read it and love it just to piss you off, Kelly. Take that!