Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

3.41 (312,663 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Audio cassette
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Marlow voyages into the wildness and jungle of the Belgian Congo to meet Kurtz, a company agent, and having found him, realizes that Kurtz has won supremacy over the natives through unrestrained violence. The story explores the workings of the subconscious, and addresses political imperialism.
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Product details

  • Audio cassette | 2 pages
  • 106.93 x 139.95 x 17.02mm | 131.54g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Penguin Audiobooks
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Abridged
  • Abridged edition
  • 014180209X
  • 9780141802091

Review Text

Joseph Conrad's novella is a famously dense and difficult work. Dealing with the issues of colonialism, human depravity and madness, it is a book that demands to be read and re-read closely. It is not a natural candidate for the audiobook format, but this version succeeds admirably. David Threlfall reads the story beautifully, in a way that hooks the listener from the outset. He resists the obvious temptation to make the narration melodramatic, while at the same time imbuing it with enough feeling and intelligence to engage one's attention to the full. The story, set at the end of the 19th century, is narrated by Marlow, a sailor who takes a job with a Belgian company trading in ivory in Africa, and is given the task of captaining a steamship down the Congo to the Company's trading stations. In the months before setting out, Marlow observes the extreme cruelty of the Company's treatment to the African natives. At the same time, he becomes fascinated by stories he hears of an employee called Kurtz, the chief of one of the Company's stations. As the narrative unfolds, the feeling of oppression and unease grows. Marlow's eventual meeting with Kurtz, a man both physically ill and morally bankrupt, is a gripping one. The description of their encounter, which contains lines like 'If anybody had ever struggled with the soul, I am the man', and 'He had kicked himself loose of the earth, confound the man', may, like much of the narrative, seem odd to the modern ear, but Threlfall reads with such ease and naturalness that it never jars. For those who haven't read the book, this audiobook is a marvellous introduction. For those who have, it will be a revelation, giving new life and freshness to a 20th-century classic. (Kirkus UK)
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Rating details

312,663 ratings
3.41 out of 5 stars
5 22% (67,796)
4 29% (89,830)
3 27% (85,631)
2 14% (43,506)
1 8% (25,900)
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