Customer Reviews for

Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Average Rating 3.5
( 193 )
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5 Star

(69)

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(49)

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(37)

2 Star

(21)

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(17)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

The Most Mind Expanding Book You Can Read

My English teacher told us near Halloween of 2008, that we had to read a book called Heart of Darkness. He said it would expand out mind and we would feel smarter after reading it. I didn¿t believe him and I didn¿t believe any book could make ME feel smarter. I had alre...
My English teacher told us near Halloween of 2008, that we had to read a book called Heart of Darkness. He said it would expand out mind and we would feel smarter after reading it. I didn¿t believe him and I didn¿t believe any book could make ME feel smarter. I had already heard from people in my grade that it was boring and hard, yet from my trusty English teacher, I heard it was very good. I started reading the book with a positive attitude and found it quite confusing after the first couple pages. Then, by the end of the first chapter I found myself wanting to read more. I found it to be intriguing how each sentence can be perceived in different ways. As I kept reading the book, I got more and more interested. Joseph Conrad had to be a brilliant man to write a book filled with such meaning and context to each sentence. The book had flashbacks which did confuse me at first but as soon as my wonderful English teacher explained it I understood. I compare Joseph Conrad to Shakespeare, because in Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad had an underlying meaning to his sentences, like Shakespeare did in Romeo and Juliet. This book wasn¿t exactly easy, but it was a challenge and it made me actually use my brain. It made me think about how Conrad wrote the book and how he was feeling while he wrote this. I asked myself all these questions and pondered on what I believe is the main message in this book is. I believe that the main message that he is trying to perceive is that man kind is scared of the unknown and no matter if we are ¿civilized¿ or not we are still animals. The Europeans thought that they needed to ¿civilize¿ the natives because they didn¿t understand technology or Christianity, but really the Europeans were the ones who needed to be civilized. The Europeans were taking land from the natives and taking their ivory at whatever cost. They would kill for money; I don¿t think that¿s very civilized or Christian. I really believe that the message that we are all animals was the main perceived message that Conrad tried to get to his audience.
I really did enjoy this book and I would recommend it to anybody who wants a challenge. Even if you aren¿t that good at reading I would subject that you read it and if you have any questions to go to a teacher (if you¿re in school) or get Spark Notes, to help you understand some of the difficult parts in the book. It¿s very rewarding and if you are looking for a wonderful intriguing, mind expanding book, then I definitely recommend Heart of Darkness.

posted by Sprenkle on January 17, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Very Dense

I greatly enjoy classic literature, but this book was too dense to stimulate me.
Although the plot/storyline could be excellent, the author writes this book with too much description about extremely minor details that make it difficult to get through. He takes 2+ pages...
I greatly enjoy classic literature, but this book was too dense to stimulate me.
Although the plot/storyline could be excellent, the author writes this book with too much description about extremely minor details that make it difficult to get through. He takes 2+ pages just describing two women knitting.
This book is definitely not for younger readers or readers who need excitement.

posted by Cassandraa22 on September 16, 2009

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  • Posted October 11, 2013

    Heart of Darkness is one of those "frame stories" - in

    Heart of Darkness is one of those "frame stories" - in other words, it's a story within a story.




    The main character's name is Marlow and he is sitting on a boat with three of his friends. In the boat, Marlow is telling his friends about the time he led a steamboat through the Congo River into the heart of darkness. There was a lot of colonization going on in Africa at the time, all from different nations. Along the way, Marlow stops at these different trading ports and sees white men utilizing the black natives to harvest Ivory. It wasn't a pretty site and Marlow saw a lot of people dying.




    Marlow's goal, however, was not to go and witness those tragedies. It was to hunt down a man by the name of Mr. Kurtz. Mr. Kurtz tends to change every man he ever talks to. Not only is he very influential, but he has also harvested more ivory than any of the other agents in the entire Congo region.




    The language of the book is little bit tough, but all in all I give the book 3 stars. It's good enough to read all the way through, but I doubt I'll ever read it again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2005

    Heart of Darkness left me in the dark

    This is a book for people who enjoy the classic man vs. nature theme. It was an ok book nothing spectacular to me. The theme is quite basic, theres not much in the ways of twists and turns.

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