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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This was one of those things that don't happen—unheard of things. He had no
real inkling of what it meant, till Heyst said definitely: “I can lend you the amount.”
“You have the money?” whispered Morrison. “Do you mean here, in your pocket?
... and he satisfied his lust for silly gossip at the cost of his customers. It was he
who, one evening, as Morrison and Heyst went past the hotel—they were not his
regular patrons—whispered mysteriously to the mixed company assembled on
patrons—whispered mysteriously to the mixed company assembled on the
verandah: “The spider and the fly just gone by, gentlemen.” Then, very important
and confidential, his thick paw at the side of his mouth: “We are among ourselves;
As a matter of fact, many of us did not hear of this death till months afterward—
from Schomberg, who disliked Heyst gratuitously and made up a piece of sinister
whispered gossip: “That's what comes of having anything to do with that fellow.
Perhaps she was really listening, but Schomberg must have been finishing his
sleep in some distant part of the house. The silence was profound, and lasted
long enough to become startling. Then, en,throned above Davidson, she
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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