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Heart of Darkness

Narrated by: David Rintoul
Length: 4 hrs and 6 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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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

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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

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Amazing

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

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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.

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  • 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.

15 people found this helpful

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  • 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

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  • Will York
  • 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

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  • 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

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-05-19

Excellent

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

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  • 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.

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  • Daniel
  • 05-05-15

Masterfully performed

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

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  • Jeremy
  • 17-10-20

Rintoul’s is the best rendition on Audible

This narrator alone catches the casual, weary and sardonic tone that Conrad’s writing surely needs. He gives every word, every nuance, its due weight. I’ve read the book many times, but to hear David Rintoul perform it is to hear it as if for the first time — as if one were actually listening to Marlowe in the darkness, managing with difficulty to put his bleak and troubling memories into precise language. It’s spellbinding. Download this one. You won’t regret it.

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  • LoveAGoodBook
  • 04-09-20

Well done

An amazing literary journey, a masterpiece of internal deliberation and perception enhanced by a compelling narrator who assumes the role of Marlow and brings his confused loyalty and wounded civility into the open. David Rintoul delivers a gripping narrative, pausing and inflecting the voice was though actually sitting on the boat himself, gesturing like a Buddha in the dark and he purges his soul of the osmotic horror of his misadventure. It drips with symbolism and dimly disclosed understanding that becomes more grim and desperate as Marlow penetrates deeper into the jungles that Kurtz has seemingly conquered. It leaves you as exhausted as Marlow must have been safer his final interview with The Intended. Against nature, man is a fragile thing indeed.

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  • Jason
  • 01-09-20

Such anticlimaticism

The performance: excellent. The writing: evocative. The build upv suspenseful. The climax: non-existent. The conclusion: abrupt. I was really enjoying the build up. It was leading me to wonder at all manner of possibilities. Next thing I knew the suspense was over and I didn't realize we'd hit the climax. Even more abruptly was the conclusion. No where in any of the climax or conclusion was there any sense of the horror and suspense that the first few hours tried to portray. It's like watching a scary movie only to find out the monster is a person wearing a costume holding a sign that says "I'm scary. Be terrified."