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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Two loafers were carrying his dunnage behind him. I told the dockmen at our
moorings to keep all fast for a minute. The gangway was down already; but he
made nothing of it. Up he jumps, one leap, swings his long legs over the rail, and
I've never cared for a lot of dunnage; I believed in going about flying light when I
was at sea. I came back and found him strolling up and down the deck, as if he
were taking a breath of fresh air before turning in, like on any other evening.
... faintly, in a voice which did not seem to belong to the earth, his henchman, in
extremely loud and terrestrial accents, was fussing about their belongings in the
boat, addressing himself to Pedro: “Come, now—pass up the dunnage there!
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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