#8. Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)

Book: Heart of Darkness , by Joseph Conrad

Genre: Classic fiction

Where I got it: Audio download from http://www.booksshouldbefree.com

Length: 4 hours 38 mins playing time

Briefly, it’s a narrative about a journey up an unnamed river in an unnamed African country, generally understood to be the Congo River when that area was claimed as the Belgian Congo.  The story considers the relationship between coloniser and “native”, the effects of greed and brutality, and how we all chase after dreams.

Comments: This was hard going.  I’m not a lover of the sea, or boats, or of fiction about boats and ships, seas and rivers.  But apart from that, the story just didn’t engage me at all. It was only about half-way through, when the Africans launch an attack on the boat, that it became anyway interesting – and that bit of liveliness didn’t last for long.  I never could fathom why Marlowe was so fascinated by Mr Kurtz, who seemed a total jerk from the outset.  The narrative was hard to follow, boring, obscure in some places, and very obvious in others.  But at least I persevered, and now it’s no longer on my TBR list!

Challenges: Back to the Classics Challenge, for the category A Nineteenth Century Classic (1899); Audiobooks challenge.