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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Turning with that finished courtesy of attitude, movement, voice, which was his
obvious characteristic, he had said with delicate playfulness: “Come along and
quench your thirst with us, Mr. McNab l'' Perhaps that was it. A man who could ...
For indeed a waxwork figure would have seemed more useful than that woman
whom we all were accustomed to see sitting elevated above the two billiard-
tables— without expression, without movement, without voice, without sight. “Why
, she ...
In the quick time of that music, in the varied, piercing clamour of the strings, in the
movements of the bare arms, in the low dresses, the coarse faces, the stony eyes
of the executants, there was a suggestion of brutality—something cruel, ...
The murmuring noise of conversations carried on with some spirit filled
Schomberg's concert-room. Nobody remarked Heyst's movements; for indeed he
was not the only man on his legs there. He had been confronting the girl for some
She was looking down, very still, without colour, without glances, without voice,
without movement. It was only when Heyst addressed her in his courteous tone
that she raised her eyes. “Excuse me,” he said in English, “but that horrible
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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