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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With his system of trading it would have been strange if he had; and all these
debts entered in the pocketbook weren't good enough to raise a milrei on—let
alone a shilling. The Portuguese officials begged him not to distress himself.
... his brig and disappeared from our ken; but we heard that he had written a letter
or letters to Heyst, saying that London was cold and gloomy; that he did not like
either the men or things, that he was “as lonely as a crow in a strange country.
Davidson, a good, simple fellow in his way, was strangely affected. It is to be
noted that he knew very little of Heyst. He was one of those whom Heyst's
finished courtesy of attitude and intonation most strongly disconcerted. He
himself was a ...
small and wizened—which was strange, because generally a Chinaman, as he
grows in prosperity, puts on inches of girth and stature. To serve a Chinese firm is
not so bad. Once they become convinced you deal straight by them, their ...
The girl must have been miserable indeed to follow a strange man to such a spot.
Heyst had, no doubt, told her the truth. He was a gentleman. But no words could
do justice to the conditions of life on Samburan. A desert island was nothing to it ...
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