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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... himself from time to time on his elbow would talk about himself and go on
talking, not exactly to me or even at me (he would not even look up but kept his
eyes fixed on the deck) but more as if communing in a low voice with his familiar
... of that aged and distinguished-looking invalid, who early on the passage held
a long murmured conversation with the friar, and after that did nothing but groan
feebly, smoke cigarettes and now and then call for Martin in a voice full of pain.
... voices, the rattling of dominoes and the sounds of strident music. The orchestra
was rather smaller than the one that performed at Schomberg's hotel, had the air
more of a family party than of an enlisted band, and, I must confess, seemed ...
I must have been idle indeed to take the trouble to remark on such slight
evidence that the voice was very charming and when the performers resumed
their seats I shifted my position slightly in order not to have that particular
performer hidden ...
of voices, the rattling of dominoes, through a blue atmosphere of tobacco smoke.
I believe that those people left the town next day. Or perhaps they had only
migrated to the other big café, on the other side of the Place de la Comédie. It is
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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 - LibraryThing
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