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Book Beginnings on Fridays

September 18, 2010

Great news! I finished Main Street. And it was AWESOME. So awesome I’m going to have to wrap my head around it for a few days before I review it. This book was so amazing on so many different levels, and it had so much stuff going on. It will be a real challenge to review. Those of you who’ve read it and loved it, I look forward to hearing from you on what your experience was like.

In the meantime, I had a tough moment today when I went to grab book #67 off the shelf and saw what it was. The scream of pain and suffering was probably heard on the moon.

Those of you who remember my tedious and painful trip through Joseph Conrad’s overly verbose epic Lord Jim (review is here) can understand why I’m not jumping up and down to read another of his novels.  I mean, come ON. The guy took two pages to get the simplest concepts across, such as “how are you?” I wish I was kidding. Suffice it to say it was not a fave, even though Conrad managed to pull it together for the last 1/3 of the book and actually included some coherent plot elements such as Suspense and Tragedy along with the blither.

This will be my first ‘second’ read on the Modern Library’s list. By that I mean the second book written by an author who was already featured on the ML list. And from the looks of the list, I better be prepared for a bunch more coming my way…yeah, I’m talking to you, DH Lawrence and Henry James! We’re going to be best friends by the time I hit #1! Or else!

Anyway,  for Becky at Page Turners’s Friday meme Book Beginnings on Friday, here are the first few sentences of Joseph Conrad’s second chance to redeem himself, #67, Heart of Darkness.

The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest. The flood had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide.

It’s not looking good for Joe.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2010 2:36 pm

    Conrad is an interesting one; I have found that I like his shorter works better. A friend of mine was reading ‘Lord Jim’ on vacation and he had a devil of a time getting into it.

    I read ‘Heart of Darkness’ and was not impressed. That said, I liked “The Return” and I really enjoyed “The Secret Sharer.” Based on your reviews and comments, if you can get beyond some of the language, I would recommend “The Return” …it’s short, so the pain is small and can be offset by the benefits.

  2. September 18, 2010 3:58 pm

    Oh noooooooooooo, that is not good news about “Heart of Darkness”. I’ll have to check out some of his shorter stuff in the future to see if maybe he gets to the point quicker when the book is smaller. 🙂

  3. Jillian permalink
    September 18, 2010 6:06 pm

    Oh goodness, that novel doesn’t sound at all good. 😆

    Awesome job hitting your first ‘second’ read!

  4. September 19, 2010 5:50 am

    Conrad was very boring and heavy for me when I was in high school. I do not know whether my views have changed even at middle age!

  5. September 20, 2010 12:42 am

    Nope, its not looking good at all. I half like that, but i think that i might find it a bit hard to get into

  6. September 20, 2010 12:47 pm

    I read “Lord Jim” years ago and it took me about a year to get through it…long, dull, tedious. I really didn’t like it much, until the end. But “Heart of Darkness” is an entirely different matter. I’ve read it several times and really enjoyed it. It’s dark and ominous and thought-provoking. Plus it’s short.

    Also, you might want to rent “Apocalypse Now”, which is a modernized version. A different story in many respects, but it’d be fun to watch it and read HOD at the same time, I think.

  7. September 21, 2010 2:47 am

    Thanks guys for all your comments. I feel better knowing that I wasn’t the only person who nearly crumbled into dust reading “Lord Jim”.

    So far “Heart of Darkness” is not as bad. There’s kind of a creepy, foreboding feeling about it I like. Can’t explain it.

  8. gina c permalink
    September 21, 2010 6:28 pm

    Please try to give H of D a chance. I also recommend the short story “Youth” by Conrad, to give you some backstory on Marlow.

  9. September 21, 2010 6:42 pm

    Thanks Gina. I’m also hoping Conrad’s shorter fiction might be more readable. 🙂 I am enjoying H of D so far, but am having a tough time keeping up with who’s talking/narrating. I had the same problem in parts of “Lord Jim”, too. Everything’s in quotes!!!

  10. September 23, 2010 12:51 am

    I also wanted to let you know that your Lights Camera Blog Action feature is up today. Thanks for joining in!

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