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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Both these com. modities represent wealth; but coal is a much less portable form
of property. There is, from that point of view, a deplorable lack of concentration in
coal. Now, if a coalmine could be put into one's waistcoat pocket—but it can't !
I can't deceive myself any longer. You see it,-don't you?” Morrison had pulled
himself together, but one felt the snapping strain on his recovered self-
possession. Heyst was beginning to say that he “could very well see all the
bearings of this ...
thick paw, he would approach some table where the topic of the hour was being
discussed, would listen for a moment, and then come out with his invariable
declaration: “All this is very well, gentlemen; but he can't throw any of his coal-
dust in ...
The answer he got was: “Can't tell. It's none of my business,” accompanied by
majestic oscillations of the hotel-keeper's head, hinting at some awful mystery.
Davidson was placidity itself. It was his nature. He did not betray his sentiments.
“Oh, you know I am here looking for a friend,” said Davidson hopefully. “Won't you
tell me—” “I've told you.” “Eh?” A mist seemed to roll away from before Davidson's
eyes, disclosing something he could not believe. “You can't mean it!” he cried.
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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