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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It was in a little hotel in the Island of St. Thomas in the West Indies (in the year '75
) where we found him one hot afternoon extended on three chairs, all alone in the
loud buzzing of flies to which his immobility and his cadaverous aspect gave a ...
He was out of everybody's way, as if he were perched on the highest peak of the
Himalayas, and in a sense as conspicuous. Every one in that part of the world
knew him, dwelling on his little island. An island is but the top of a mountain.
On the nights of full moon the silence around Samburan—the “Round Island” of
the charts—was dazzling; and in the flood of cold light Heyst could see his
immediate surroundings, which had the aspect of an abandoned settlement
invaded by ...
The company's object had been to get hold of all the outcrops on tropical islands
and exploit them locally. And, Lord knows, there were any amount of outcrops. It
was Heyst who had located most of them in this part of the tropical belt during his
islands talking of a “great stride forward for these regions.” The convinced wave
of the hand which accompanied the phrase suggested tropical distances being
impelled onward. In connection with the finished courtesy of his manner, it was ...
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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