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The Arrow of Gold

Joseph Conrad

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Mills’ eyes, but that I am sure was only because of his perfect and delicate sympathy.  He could not have been concerned otherwise.

The intruder devoured the cutlets—if they were cutlets.  Notwithstanding my perfect liberty of mind I was not aware of what we were eating.  I have a notion that the lunch was a mere show, except of course for the man with the white hair, who was really hungry and who, besides, must have had the pleasant sense of dominating the situation.  He stooped over his plate and worked his jaw deliberately while his blue eyes rolled incessantly; but as a matter of fact he never looked openly at any one of us.  Whenever he laid down his knife and fork he would throw himself back and start retailing in a light tone some Parisian gossip about prominent people.

He talked first about a certain politician of mark.  His “dear Rita” knew him.  His costume dated back to ’48, he was. . . Read More

Community Reviews

When I read Conrad, I feel like I'm in his world. He's truly a writer, and he has such heart. His native language is Polish, and I don't know enough to know why he chose to write in English, but I feel lucky that he did. Hunter Thompson said he learned to write by typing pages from Conrad's books on

I never thought I would say this about a Conrad novel, but this one's an overwrought drawing-room romance. There's still some amazing writing in it, but there's not much story. It reads like a first novel, which is weird, because it's supposedly one of his later ones. My guess is he dug out an old m

The experience of reading a Conrad novel is the same every time. You start it, think it's going to be so turgid, get muddled with the characters, wonder if there's going to be a plot, and suddenly you find you're totally hooked,and desperately involved, knowing it's going to end badly but hoping it

Suppose you wanted to write a novel about your experience falling in love with a woman adored by everyone for her strange beauty and charm, but older and more experienced than you. Also, suppose you were Joseph Conrad. Then the novel would not just be a romance novel, but also about a political intr

I love Conrad and have read most of his major novels, but I never got around to this one until now. It's considered one of his lesser works, and now I know why. It's supposedly a romantic tale of adventure, but there's an awful lot of sitting around talking, eloquently and at great length, about fee

For all of Conrad's ability to suspend time in exacting commentary of supreme emotion and internal ambivalence, almost nothing happens in this novel until the very last chapter, and then it is anti-climactic. The elevation of almost ridiculous bourgeois erotic love and sentiments twisted by greed, f

This may sound weird, but the story itself I found to be a slow read at times, however the author is almost like a painter of words. He has such a unique and special gift of being able to put you into a scene with his descriptive words! I really have never read a book that kept my attention solely b

Monsieur George's new girlfriend turns into a disappointment.

In the last chapter, "Second Note", the author says discusses a book saying that it "might appear merely a lot of vapid verbiage in the morning." That's what this books seemed to be. I couldn't follow the story until the third part! It was not what I was expecting, since Joseph Conrad was a sea capt

The Arrow of Gold is a non-political book about politics, and a study of a woman that offers no great insights into femininity. The first of those points is intentional and the second is not. It might have been a better book if the opposite had applied, i.e. if it had been a book about political iss

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