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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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 ...
Roughly speaking, a circle with a radius of eight hundred miles drawn round a
point in North Borneo was in Heyst's case a magic circle. It just touched Manila,
and he had been seen there. It just touched Saigon, and he was likewise seen ...
He let himself go for the mere relief of violent speech, his elbows planted on the
table, his eyes bloodshot, his voice nearly gone, the brim of his round pith hat
shading an unshaven, livid face. His white clothes, which he had not taken off for
It wasn't necessary. The company was formed without him, and his nomination of
manager in the tropics came out to him by post. From the first he had selected
Samburan, or Round Island, for the central station. Some copies of the
This slight deviation added some ten miles to Davidson's round trip, but as that
was sixteen hundred miles it did not matter much. “I have told my owner of it,”
said the conscientious commander of the Sissie. His owner had a face like an
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