Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £12.99

Buy Now for £12.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Joseph Conrad's searing tale of one of the strangest and most memorable journeys ever taken. Quite simply the scariest book ever written, this is a searing tale of one of the strangest and most memorable journeys ever undertaken - to the heart of a geographical and psychological wilderness from which no-one returns unscarred. For this isn't simply a journey up an uncharted river into a geographical wilderness; rather, it's a trip deep into our collective subconscious.

This story - about what happens when so-called "civilized" human beings go off the rails - was the inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola's movie Apocalypse Now.

Conrad himself had undertaken such a river journey as a ship's captain back in 1889 when he was in his early 30's and before he took to writing full time. Back then, the Congo Free State, as this area of Africa was known, was a Belgian colony under the personal control of King Leopold II. Atrocities were commonplace, to the point where the international community finally had to sit up and take notice; in a report published in 1904, over 3 million people were said to have died as a direct result of European intervention in the area.

It has long been argued whether Heart of Darkness, which first appeared in 1902, was in any way influential in bringing Leopold's violent regime to the public's attention; but whether or not, it remains a searing indictment of human rapacity - and depravity.

Public Domain (P)2013 Creative Content

What listeners say about Heart of Darkness

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    28
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Darkly poetic masterpiece, congenial narrator

The congenial interpretation by David Rintoul hits the nail; he manages to enrich this masterpiece of thoughtful poetry by providing it with a deeply reflective, rich sonorous voice - this one of those audiobooks that make you longing for more as soon as you have finished it, or maybe just start over again?

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

Incredible story, chilling and emotional performance. I've found a new favorite book. Absolute must read/hear.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Corrupt

Another audiobook riddled with corruption. I take for example a rapid succession from the beginning: the men here are on charge, not 'Change (this latter explaining why they are present quite specifically), and 1900 years ago the Romans here have legionnaires (which are almost 1900 years more recent than 1900 years ago) not legionaries, and indeed here we have Falerian wine rather than Falernian (Falernian being in much esteem with the Romans, but Falerian wine is just nothing, really). Nonsense, corrupt, bin.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Spectacular

The writing is complex yet the narrator made it accessible. David Rintoul is absolutely superb. I have just downloaded another book he has narrated as I enjoyed listening to him so much.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Imago1
  • Imago1
  • 17-02-15

Best Narrator

After listening to all of the previews I selected this narration. I was not disappointed. The emotion with which the narrator spoke allowed me to have a better connection to the text. I have read this book multiple times and found that listening allowed me to perceive and comprehend parts of the text that I had previously glossed over. It was like a new experience altogether. I highly recommend listening to this version.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David J. Langrock
  • David J. Langrock
  • 19-04-15

Amazing prose, breathtaking story.

Joseph Conrad is simply one of the best writers in the English language. He is both efficient and opulent at the same time. This text is fascinating and it manages to be sympathetic with the protagonist while utterly condemning the empire and culture he represents. The narrator was fantastic as well! I will listen to this one over and over.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-05-19

Excellent

Captivating story, clear and engaging narration. For those wondering, this version is not edited for political correctness.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Will Y.
  • Will Y.
  • 08-12-19

Loved It

Evocative prose brings to life the descriptions and interpretations of the narrating character. I felt as if the story itself was a jungle I was traveling deep within. The narrator was fantastic, like I was actually listening to the character recount the story.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel Apple
  • Daniel Apple
  • 25-05-19

Great story, well read.

The reader transforms this great story into a first person experience that should not be overlooked.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stacey D Bray
  • Stacey D Bray
  • 06-01-19

Great narrator, hard-to-follow story.

All of the other options for readings of this book had horrible ratings of the narrators, so I can definitely confirm this one had a very good narrator, but the story itself is so hard to follow without listening to it twice just to understand what's going on.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel
  • Daniel
  • 05-05-15

Masterfully performed

A true classic and a masterful and intensely felt performance by the narrator David Rintoul.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Max
  • Max
  • 14-08-21

A classic 'must-read'; better as Audiobook

Before listening to the audiobook, I only remembered vague bits and pieces of this story, most likely via the obscure pop-culture this book has built up over the years. My initial attempt to properly revisit the story was by simply reading it. Perhaps it is because English is not my first language; perhaps it is because I lack a deeper understanding of those finer details that make english literature what it is; I found myself not quite grasping the story as I was reading. I then switched to the audiobook and all became clear. It helps, greatly, to hear the narrator set the tone and decide upon the ways the story 'should' be read,

Overall, with only its 4+ hours, I would say this is definitely a must-read and absolutely a (cult-)classic. There are some descriptions which are now entirely outdated but that is something anyone can expect from a story like this. It is a child of its time.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Donald Stark
  • Donald Stark
  • 06-03-21

Powerful but dated

The themes of evil in the hearts of mankind will always be relevant, but some of the context was quite dated.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for WAYNE YUNGHANS
  • WAYNE YUNGHANS
  • 23-12-20

Incredibly luxurious Prose

I suppose I expected something of a travelogue of the Congo. This is not that. What this is is a meandering story that is weak on plot but infused with amazing descriptions. Again those descriptions are not of the flora and fauna of the Congo. They are, instead, riveting and insightful descriptions of the characters' souls. Conrad's writing is amazing. And the narrator is just as amazing. He is perfect for this piece. As one who luxuriate in verbiage, I enjoyed the book.