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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Often in the course of years an expressed sentiment, the particular sense of a
phrase heard casually, would recall him to my mind so that I have fastened on to
him many words heard on other men's lips and belonging to other men's less ...
He was asking everybody about everything, and arranging the information into
the most scandalous shape his imagination could invent. From time to time he
would step up, his blinking. cushioned eyes, his thick lips, his very chestnut beard
She did not even move her eyes; but she answered him freely, though her very
lips seemed made Df wood. “They stayed here over a month. They are gone now.
They played every evening.” “Pretty good, were they?” To this she said nothing; ...
... and even glanced at his wife; but he was baffled by the natural placidity of the
one and the acquired habit of immobility in the other. “Have you sent out the
drinks?” he asked surlily. She did not open her lips, because just then the head
Her lips did certainly move. But what sort of word could it have been to make the
girl jump up so swiftly? Heyst, at his table, was surprised into a sympathetic start.
He glanced quickly round. Nobody was looking towards the platform; and when ...
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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