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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... driven into the hillside, and actually some coal got out. These manifestations
shook the soberest minds. For a time everybody in the islands was talking of the
Tropical Belt Coal, and even those who smiled quietly to themselves 22
Belt Coal, and even those who smiled quietly to themselves were only hiding
their uneasiness. Oh, yes; it had come, and anybody could see what would be
the consequences—the end of the individual trader, smothered under a great
He confronted our open grins or quiet smiles with a serious round face. Heyst
had taken the girl away to Samburan; and that was no joking matter. The
loneliness, the ruins of the spot, had impressed Davidson's simple soul. They
marvelled Davidson in his quiet, slightly panting voice. “What do you think of that
?” I thought she must have had some interest of her own to serve. She was too
lifeless to be suspected of impulsive compassion. It was impossible to think that ...
... happen, Mrs. Schomberg came in, silk dress, long neck, ringlets, scared eyes,
and silly grin—all complete. Probably that lazy beast had sent her out to see who
was the thirsty customer waking up the echoes of the house at this quiet 56 VII ...
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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