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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The reader therefore won't be surprised to hear that one morning I was told
without any particular emotion by the padrone of the schooner that the “Rich man
” down there was dead: He had died. in the night. I don't remember ever being so
Morrison, you understand, was not proud of the episode, and he was afraid of
being unmercifully chaffed. “An old bird like me! To let myself be trapped by those
damned Portuguese rascals | I should never hear the last of it. We must keep it ...
As a matter of fact, many of us did not hear of this death till months afterward—
from Schomberg, who disliked Heyst gratuitously and made up a piece of sinister
whispered gossip: “That's what comes of having anything to do with that fellow.
He offered to pay for his passage; but when Davidson refused to hear of it he
seized him heartily by the hand, gave one of his courtly bows, and declared that
he was touched by his friendly proceedings. “I am not alluding to this trifling
This was not what Schomberg had expected to hear. He called brutally: “Boy!”
The Chinaman approached, and after referring him to the white man by a nod the
hotel-keeper departed, mutvering to himself. Davidson heard him gnash his teeth
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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