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Summary

"...he seemed to stare... with that wide and immense stare embracing, condemning, loathing all the universe. I seemed to hear the whispered cry, 'The horror! The horror!'"

On a becalmed yawl in the Thames estuary, Marlow tells a tale of Africa. His job there is to find the enigmatic Kurtz, but his journey further and further upriver reveals the brutality of the white Imperialists who run the country. Established as one of the great English novels, and a story of mythic power, Heart of Darkness is rich in meaning – allusive, enthralling, and haunting.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

Public Domain (P)2010 Naxos Audiobooks

What listeners say about Heart of Darkness

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    4 out of 5 stars

Symbolic of culture and human nature

Not for the faint of Heart complex and every reading gives a new meaning to the text

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Stunningly boring but… somewhat poetic

This… was not what I had expected to hear. I was looking forward to a dark tale of a horrible adventure where danger lurks around every corner, in the wilds of Africa - the so called heart of darkness. Instead I get something horribly boring, with the most dragged-on ending (chapter 13) that I have ever read. It’s a rather poetic diary with a lot of pretty descriptions and interesting wordings, sadly the first 2 hours are spent talking about preparations for the journey to come. And what a journey it turns out to be… Yes there is death and madness, as I was expecting and looking forward to. But my God is it tedious to listen to, when so little actually happens to the protagonist and his followers! Amazed and proud of myself for listening through the whole thing, I shall now finally move on and put this utter nonsense of a book behind me.

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The horror the horror

What do you think is the ultimate revelation when one goes down or up river - now is the chance to find out !

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Historically illuminating, but anticlimactic.

Great quality audio, a measured, considerate performance which doesn't feel rushed. The book's reputation more than likely precedes it if you are reading this, but I felt spends a long time building up the mystery of Mr Kurtz for not a great payoff. This is still a particularly illuminating criticism of colonialism directly informed by the author's experiences.

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Audible - Heart of Darkness

I really wish I hadn't bought this through Audible, the .aa file format is very restrictive and the whole process rather painful. I have since bought direct from Naxos, which although more expensive is easier & also in a more user friendly format. Never again.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ilana
  • 18-06-16

The Horror! The Horror!

I had expected to more or less hate this novel because of the difficult subject matter and because so many readers before me have, but the narrator, David Horovitch helped me appreciate the beautiful writing from the start, and so I was hooked. The story of Robert Marlowe travelling by steamship into the heart of the Congo and witnessing the horrific treatment of black slaves is not an easy one to take in, but it became positively bizarre when the character of Kurtz was introduced. I can certainly see how Marlon Brando's Kurtz in Apocalypse Now was based on the fictional one (that famous line: "The horror! The horror!"). Conrad is considered a racist by some, and I have yet to read more about the man or his work to form a more informed impression, but if he is considered so because of this specific book, I'd have to say I disagree. While the language he uses to describe the black natives is predictably disturbing to the modern reader, the character of Marlowe, while he doesn't intervene to help the slaves, also observes their treatment with palpable horror, and Conrad seems to make a strong case against colonialism. A book I'll eventually have to revisit to make sense of Kurtz (can one ever make sense of a madman??). Next time I'll take in Kenneth Branagh's version to compare between two great performances.

10 people found this helpful

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  • A Dog
  • 29-07-13

A Near Perfect Audiobook

What did you love best about Heart of Darkness?

I'm not always a fan of Conrad's storytelling; I wrote a one star review of a _Lord Jim_ audiobook based on Conrad's obtuse refusal to get on with the story, but _Heart of Darkness_ is worth the effort, even in book form. As an audiobook, it grabs (and requires) your attention, but is a surprisingly easy listen.

I first read this book in high school in the 1970s. It was a difficult read, but, even then, I thought it was worth the effort. When I reread it a few years ago, I was surprised by how short it was, and picked up on some things I had missed the first time. Coming back to it on audiobook was great pleasure and, once again, I picked up on things missed the last time. In this book, Marlow's narration works. The story is interesting, and you'll always pick up on new things.

This is a short book (at 4 1/2 hours, less than a third of the length of _Lord Jim_) but it is memorable. Like _Animal Farm_ and _1984_, this is great, must read novel. Like Captain America in _The Avengers_, it pretty much lives up to it's legend. You will *not* regret getting this audiobook.

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  • S
  • 24-05-15

Great Performance !!

This version is just as nicely done as Kenneth Branagh's version - I enjoy them both!!

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  • Joshua Davidson
  • 16-08-16

Best 2 bucks I've spent on audible.

I read reviews before purchasing. There were people that complained about the reading and quality. I am just a working guy who listens to audiobooks at lunch and on my commute. I thought that the reading was great. I would buy this audiobook again.

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  • Claymon Gross
  • 30-03-15

Audible is Amazing

Truly a gift one should give to themselves and the ones they love, great literature.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 10-05-11

Fell short on only 2 words, but not any two words.

A great reading of a great book. However, I felt that the way Mr Horovitch read the last words of Mr. Kurtz-though having a very great voice in fact-was not how it should have been read, lacking a certain depth that is all together necessary. Even still, I did enjoy his reading of it and could over look(hear?) this dissapointment and still enjoy listening to it several times over. Though perhaps this may be more appropriately to Mr. Conrad's credit.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Dana
  • 04-12-10

subpar

One of the great works of modern fiction in English, narrated by a reader who does not appear to understand the story. Seems to miss every irony.

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  • Brad Lake
  • 30-12-16

hard to follow the story line

I heard great things about this book but it was very hard to keep up with the story line while driving.