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realjimbob

REALJimBob

Fortysomething, photographer slacker, working in IT, living in Greenwich; failed polymath; drinks and eats too much, reads too little...

Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad An odd novel, made even odder by its narration style. The entire novel is narrated by one man, he is listening to another man, Marlow, tell the story of his journey into the 'Heart of Darkness', presumably some time before the story is told. Sort of a second-hand tale round a campfire, but instead it's told on a boat on the Thames. At some points, Marlow quotes other people in the story and you have the narrator quoting Marlow quoting somebody else - confusing...

The story itself is Marlow's journey to Africa as an employee of an ivory collection business. While out there he starts to hear of an almost mythical figure, called Kurtz, who he begins to fixate on to the point of hero-worship. Eventually, as you just know it going to happen, Marlow is called upon to captain a voyage up-river to find out what happened to Kurtz and his ivory. Eventually you find that he's 'gone native' and is almost being worshipped by the natives - in a way this mirrors the state that Marlow himself has developed. However, Kurtz is no longer the man he expected.

Obviously, any book should be read within the social context of it's time, but the underlying tones of racism and colonialism in this novel seem to raise the hackles of many a reviewer...