Tuesday, July 20, 2010
July 20, 2010
HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
This is the tale of Charles Marlowe, who is currently working as a ferryboat captain in the depths of Africa. The story of Marlowe's attempt to get Kurtz, an ivory trader, back to the mainland is told by an unnamed narrator to other's on a journey into the 'heart of darkness' that is the African Congo.
I have another reading group blog which has been going over the pros and cons of this book for quite a while. It appears that there are those who think it could easily be one of the top ten books every written, others think it doesn't even belong on a 'list'. I have to admit that I am with the latter group. While I can see the 'coming of age' 'cautionary tale' draw that this story could hold, I just didn't think I could 'feel' the point. It may be a girl/guy thing as the majority of people I have spoken to who like this book happen to be male. Maybe it is the arc of falling into degradation that I don't like. I like cautionary tales to have a point and I honestly saw none within this story. One of the lines for which this book is most remembered aptly sums up my final impression as I finished; "The horror! The horror!".
If you have read this tale and believe my review to be out of line, please post a reply as I would like to know what people who love this story have to say.
I also reread a tale that I loved.
THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU by H.G. Wells
This iconic story of man wanting to be God. Tells that tale of a shipwrecked Englishman, Edward Prendick, who finds himself lost in a world of rewritten beings of Dr. Moreau's medicine.
Written within the times of anti-vivisection leagues and Darwinism's beginnings this book is another cautionary tale, albeit one with strong moral implications. The very idea of changing beings to fit ones own needs is extremely scary, especially today when the change to 'make the perfect baby' actually exists. I think this tale still speaks loudly today as a warning that we should not mess with what already exists. As an aside, I am not a very religious person, so God does not play a big part in my conclusion, I think that humans believe they are much bigger and better than they actually might be and messing around with mother nature is not a very good idea.
Well, I am off to Comic Con tomorrow and will be posting updates daily (if I'm not too exhausted) of what I see as far as literature is concerned in my "other books" blog. I also have a few advance reading copies of books to read and review which should show up in the next week or so.
Until next time, Good Night and Good Reading!