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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He vanished from my ken only to drift into this adventure that, unavoidable,
waited for him in a world which he persisted in looking upon as a malevolent
shadow spinning in the sunlight. Often in the course of years an expressed
sentiment, the ...
His most frequent visitors were shadows, the shadows of clouds, relieving the
monotony of the inanimate, brooding sunshine of the tropics. His nearest
neighbour—I am speaking now of things showing some sort of animation—was
an indolent ...
vegetation, broken shadows of bamboo fences in the sheen of long grass,
something like an overgrown bit of road slanting among ragged thickets towards
the shore only a couple of hundred yards away, with a black jetty and a mound of
... and all—the complete Heyst, even to the kindly, sunken eyes on which there
still rested the shadow of Morrison's death. Naturally, it was Davidson who had
given him a lift out of his forsaken island. There were no other opportunities,
I always do—about half a mile off.” “Seen anybody about?” “No, not a soul. Not a
shadow.” “Did you blow your whistle?” “Blow the whistle? You think I would do
such a thing?” He rejected the mere possibility of such an unwarrantable
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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