In Victory (1915) Conrad returns to the Malay Archipelago, to the setting of his first mature novel, Lord Jim, and in Axel Heyst he creates a hero who is in many ways similar to Jim, a noble altruist destroyed by his ideals. Heyst is emotionally crippled by the influence of his dead father, a sceptical philosopher who has bequeathed to Heyst an attitude to life summed up in the father's dying words: 'Look on - make no sound.' Despite this injunction Heyst allows himself to become inextricably involved with an English Cockney girl whom he rescues from Giancomo's Travelling Ladies' Orchestra and carries off to his isolated retreat on the island of Samburan. His action incurs the fatal wrath of Schomberg, the island's innkeeper, who sends in pursuit of Heyst three demonic strangers whose invasion of his island paradise leads rapidly to the novel's violent and tragic close.
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... of that aged and distinguished-looking invalid, who early on the passage held
a long murmured conversation with the friar, and after that did nothing but groan
feebly, smoke cigarettes and now and then call for Martin in a voice full of pain.
Who was to look after her I don't know, but I saw the devoted Martin taking the
trunks ashore with great care just before I landed myself. I would perhaps have
tracked the ways of that man of immense sincerity for a little while but I had some
“Martin Ricardo, secretary. You don't want any more of our history, do you? Eh,
what? Occupation? Put down, well—tourists. We've been called harder names
before now; it won't hurt our feelings. And that fellow of mine—where did you tuck
Would you try to put us out? I dare say you could do it; but you couldn't do it
without getting badly hurt—very badly hurt. We can promise him that, can't we,
Martin?” The secretary retracted his lips and looked up sharply at Schomberg, as
if only ...
“He's a gentleman,” testified Martin Ricardo with a sudden snap of the lips, after
which his moustaches stirred by themselves in an odd, feline manner. “Oh, I wasn
't thinking of that,” said plain Mr. Jones, while Schomberg, dumb and planted ...
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - DanielSTJ - www.librarything.com
Conrad managed to develop characters, imperfect, that all drove themselves forward on their own agendas to the story's conclusion- facilitating and enabling it along the way. He manages to keep the ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Cecrow - www.librarything.com
In the first part we get an outsider's view of Axel Heyst's character, actions and motives without being certain who he is or what actually drives him. I found this off-putting until the second part ... Read full review