Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

Audiobook CD - 2002
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Tells the story of Marlow as he travels up river in deepest Congo to find Kurtz, an ivory agent as consumed by the horror of human life as he is by physical illness.
Publisher: Falls Church, VA : In Audio, [2002].
ISBN: 9781584722571
Branch Call Number: FIC Conra
Characteristics: 4 audio discs (3 hr 45 min)
Additional Contributors: Cosham, Ralph


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Oct 15, 2010

Listened to it twice!

Mar 05, 2010

Oh dear, I always feel so guilty when I don't care for a classic.

I'm not sure how much difference there was between Joseph Conrad and his protagonist Marlow, but it is very difficult for my twenty-first century sensibility to get around the casual racism and misogynism which is further compounded by Marlow's unrelenting contempt for his fellow white men both in the Congo and in England. In fact, the only people he has any admiration for are Kurtz and Kurtz's "intended". We are told repeatedly about Kurtz's specialness, magnetism and great plans, but no details as to why this should be so, other than his talents as a musician, painter, and thinker. Furthermore, when Marlow meets Kurtz's fiancée, he waxes lyrically on her character and motives, all based only on a fleeting interview.

There are some wonderful descriptive moments; I particularly liked the image of two station employees dragging their shadows behind them. Also, the ending, which I will not give away, has a certain poignancy. However, I have no plans to tackle this again.

I should point out that this particular audio edition won awards, no doubt deserved. Otherwise, I might have loathed this book.

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