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Almayer's Folly

Joseph Conrad

Book Overview: 

Almayer’s Folly is about a poor businessman who dreams of finding a hidden gold mine and becoming very wealthy. Kaspar Almayer is a white European. He agrees to marry a native Malayan captured by Captain Tom Lingard, his employer, believing the marriage will bring him riches even though he has no love for the woman. They have one daughter named Nina. Almayer relocates with his wife to Malaysia where he hopes to build a trading company and find gold mines. His hopeless daydreams of riches and splendor cause his native wife to loath him.

Almayer, desperate, hopes to find his salvation in Dain Maroola, a Malayan prince, who arrives on the island one day. Maroola agrees to work with Almayer and Lakamba, the Rajah, to send an expedition in search of the gold mines. In fact, Maroola is interested only in Nina with whom he has fallen in love. They then plan to secretly leave the island.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ll of strong and uncontrolled passions, had lost the power to discriminate.  It seemed to Nina that there was no change and no difference.  Whether they traded in brick godowns or on the muddy river bank; whether they reached after much or little; whether they made love under the shadows of the great trees or in the shadow of the cathedral on the Singapore promenade; whether they plotted for their own ends under the protection of laws and according to the rules of Christian conduct, or whether they sought the gratification of their desires with the savage cunning and the unrestrained fierceness of natures as innocent of culture as their own immense and gloomy forests, Nina saw only the same manifestations of love and hate and of sordid greed chasing the uncertain dollar in all its multifarious and vanishing shapes.  To her resolute nature, however, after all these years, the savage and uncompromising sincerity of purpose shown by her Malay kinsmen seemed at. . . Read More