The classic novel that inspired Apocalypse Now
A European trading concern hires Marlow to pilot a boat up the Congo River in search of Kurtz—a first-class ivory agent and the manager of the company’s highly profitable Inner Station—who is believed to be on his deathbed. With a handful of pilgrims as his passengers and a crew of cannibals, Marlow steams his way into the African interior. The terrifying discovery he makes at the end of his journey and the horrors he witnesses along the way have thrilled and disturbed readers for more than a century.
A searing indictment of imperialism and a haunting exposé of mankind’s savage nature, Heart of Darkness is Joseph Conrad’s masterpiece.
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“As powerful a condemnation of imperialism as has ever been written, and still a deeply unsettling read more than a century on.” —The Guardian
“Few works have entertained, excited and troubled minds as much. . . . A mesmerizing tale.” —The Telegraph
Joseph Conrad (1857–1924), born to Polish parents in a region of the Russian Empire that is now part of Ukraine, was orphaned at eleven years old and joined the French merchant marine at sixteen. He sailed to the West Indies, Australia, and Borneo, and spent six months captaining a steamer on the Congo River, an experience that inspired his best-known work, Heart of Darkness. One of the great prose stylists, he wrote all of his novels—including the masterworks Lord Jim, Nostromo, and The Secret Agent—in English, his third language.