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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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
... the incoherent, confused, rudimentary impressions of her travels inspiring her
with a vague terror of the world, she said rapidly, as one speaks in desperation: “
You do something! You are a gentleman. It wasn't I who spoke to you first, was it?
“But I wasn't deceived. I could see you were angry with that beast of a woman.
And you are clever. You spotted something at once. You saw it in my face, eh? It
isn't a bad face—say? You'll never be sorry. Listen—I'm not twenty yet. It's the
... I've never wished to forget anything till you came up to me that night and
looked me through and through. I know I'm not much account; but I know how to
stand by a man. I stood by father ever since I could understand. He wasn't a bad
He wasn't a bad chap. Now that I can't be of any use to him, I would just as soon
forget all that and make a fresh start. But these aren't things that I could talk to you
about. What could I ever talk to you about?” “Don't let it trouble you,” Heyst said.
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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