Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
I knew that this book was the inspiration for the masterpiece of a movie, Apocalypse Now, but I had never been inspired to read it. Then, I read the book The Dead Do Not Die where the author extensively uses the Heart of Darkness to give his story, “Exterminate the Brutes”, context, and illuminate the racist attitudes in Britain and Europe at the time.
This book still holds up as a worthy classic to read as many, many parts of the world are still shaking off the shackles of colonialism, and tending to old wounds inflicted on them by Empire. It's also a short classic book at only 111 pages. Conrad's writing style is unique as he learned English, his third language, in his 20s. He draws you in immediately with his lyrical, some have likened it to a Shakespearean, style.
The story starts off with Marlow sitting on a boat telling his story of his trip to Africa. The reader is one of these listeners to this tale. Marlow tells of his job where he is sent up a river to retrieve Kurtz. This trip has a major impact on Marlow as he sees the ugly underside of the British empire, and how it affects natives.
Rating: ★★★★★ Book #99 in my My 2019 Reading Challenge