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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... seemed to be a follower of the clean-shaven man, and apparently had
travelled on deck with native passengers, sleeping under the awnings. His broad,
squat frame denoted great strength. Grasping the gunwales of the launch, he
Another man, more directly below Heyst, sprawled on his back from gunwale to
gunwale, half off the after thwart, his head lower than his feet. This second man
glared wildly upward, and struggled to raise himself, but to all appearance was ...
The sound of a thin stream, partly breaking on the gunwale of the boat and partly
splashing alongside, became at once audible. It was greeted by a cry of
inarticulate and savage joy. Heyst knelt on the string-piece and peered down.
The man ...
... reflecting his feelings, partook of purring and spitting. They had been thirty
hours tugging at the oars, he explained, and they had been more than forty hours
without water, except that the night before they had licked the dew off the
The forceful stream from the pipe broke like shattered glass on the boat's
gunwale. Its loud, fitful, and persistent splashing revealed the depth of the world's
silence. “Great notion, to lead the water out here,” pronounced Ricardo
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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