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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... was in something of the jack-ashore spirit that I dropped a fivefranc piece into
the sauceboat; whereupon the sleepwalker turned her head to gaze at me and
said “Merci, Monsieur,” in a tone in which there was no gratitude but only surprise
If so, they were failures. The enchantment must have been an unbreakable one.
The manager—the man who heard the exclamation—had been so impressed by
the tone, fervour, rapture, what you will, or perhaps by the incongruity of it that he
... as pleasant as possible, and that they were ready to assist him in his plans,
and so on, and after receiving Heyst's thanks —you know the usual kind of
conversation—he proceeded to query in a slow, paternal tone: “Are you
interested in ?
This meant ruin for Morrison; and when Heyst hailed him across the street in his
usual courtly tone, the week was nearly out. Heyst crossed over, and said with a
slight bow, and in the manner of a prince addressing another prince on a private
Polite attention, what's due from one gentleman listening to another, was what he
showed; and, as usual, it was catching; so that Morrison pulled himself together
and finished his narrative in a conversational tone, with a man-of-theworld air.
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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