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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Out there he was by profession a hotel-keeper, first in Bangkok, then somewhere
else, and ultimately in Sourabaya. He dragged after him up and down that
section of the tropical belt a silent, frightened little woman with long ringlets, who
... affection of a self-appointed protector towards Heyst. 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.
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
as he went. Davidson sat alone with the billiard-tables as if there had been not ...
“Make inquiries of the devil!” replied Schomberg in a hoarse mutter. Davidson's
purpose in addressing the hotel-keeper had been mainly to make Mrs.
Schomberg safe from suspicion; but he would fain have heard something more of
I only know him as a hotel-keeper.” “I never knew him even as that—not till this
time, when you were so obliging as to take me to Sourabaya. I went to stay there
from economy. The Netherlands House is very expensive, and they expect you to
What people are saying - Write a review
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