As a rule books I do not like are rather few and far between. Whether this is because I stick to books that have been recommended to me by trusted sources or whether I am wholly unadventurous when it comes to literature, I have yet to decide.
I am starting to write this particular ramble when I am a mere 13 pages off finishing Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. This is a short story of a similar length to Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men but unfortunately this is where the comparisons end. I downloaded it for the old ereader as A. it was free and B. my American roommate had recommended it. Up until this point her recommendations have been pretty flawless; American Gods, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared to name but two. That is not to say she raved about The Heart of Darkness but a little bit of me feels I haven’t gained a great deal from reading it.
My indifference to the protagonist, I imagine, was not quite what Conrad had in mind, but then again I regularly felt that he may be either wasn’t writing it for any audience other than himself or maybe he just wasn’t writing it for this particular audience. Initially I was very much enjoying the description, the setting of the scene in London but it rapidly lost me. I feel the actual story, which is clearly a classic in its own right (Apocalypse Now) was lost amongst the sheer descriptivism.
I could sit and write about the symbolism of the darkness and the fog, the levels of evil as Marlow progresses further into the ‘Heart’ as well as the moral ambiguity throughout in regards to slaves, rebels, criminals and all the other terms used to describe those ‘working’ for the ‘Company’ however my lack of enjoyment of the book makes me feel less inclined to do this.
But this is me trying to stick to my current rule of writing at least a short segment on each book I read.
Before I forget, I did learn a couple of things from this book. The most exciting thing being that the word I thought to be ‘conflab’… as in ‘they were having a conflab about the meeting tomorrow’ is actually ‘confab’ and stems from the word confabulation meaning ‘To talk casually; chat’.
Thank you HoD.