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Victory: An Island Tale

Joseph Conrad

Book Overview: 

Recollections of the life of Axel Heyst, one-time manager of the liquidated Tropical Belt Coal Company in a fictitious island in the Pacific. After retreating from society in response to his professional failures, the misanthrope is drawn back by a romantic affair.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I am sure she pinched your arm most cruelly," he murmured, rather disconcerted now at what he had done.

It was a great comfort to hear her say:

"It wouldn't have been the first time. And suppose she did—what are you going to do about it?"

"I don't know," he said with a faint, remote playfulness in his tone which had not been heard in it lately, and which seemed to catch her ear pleasantly. "I am grieved to say that I don't know. But can I do anything? What would you wish me to do? Pray command me."

Again, the greatest astonishment became visible in her face; for she now perceived how different he was from the other men in the room. He was as different from them as she was different from the other members of the ladies' orchestra.

"Command you?" she breathed, after a time, in a bewildered tone. "Who are you?" she asked a little louder.

"I am staying in this hotel for a few days. I just dropped in casu. . . Read More

Community Reviews

(view spoiler)[Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

Axel Heyst, the "Swede," is running away, but since it is himself he wants to escape from, that is clearly an unattainable goal. Growing up with his crank of a father, a widower, in London Town, the elder Heyst, writes little books of his unpopular philosophy , making a small profit, from the few...more

Victory by Joseph Conrad is a dark, psychological thriller.

Like all of Conrad’s work, his mastery of the English language is immediately evident and he uses descriptive language of which D.H. Lawrence would be envious, especially when describing the villains. Victory is also reminiscent of Shake...more

I enjoyed this novel from the pen of Joseph Conrad - it may be my favorite of his works although Conrad has the knack for writing consistently good novels that makes it hard to rank them. Victory's most striking formal characteristic is its shifting narrative and temporal perspective with the fir...more

Now and then, we must leave the literature of our day and delve deeper--in time and in literary style. Joseph Conrad has survived time as a classic, because his work is of classic quality. I submerged into Victory as into cool, deep water, to emerge refreshed and moved by the literary experience....more

I will in all likelihood remember "Victory" as one of the more inconsistent reads I've ever encountered, not in terms of tone, style or plot but in terms of my fluctuating interest in the tale Conrad spun and what he wanted to say with it. Often I felt myself pushed away by a lumbering pace and w...more

My victory over ‘Victory’ by Joseph Conrad was last-gasp and hard-fought. Unfortunately, I am not going to build any triumphal arches to commemorate it.

I feel like a veteran. For a few weeks I have been bombarded with boredom. Stabbed with a bayonet of disappointment. Outflanked by the characters...more

If you feel like reading a complex psychological novel that will make you ponder the meaning of life, this is a book for you. Not that you will be provided with any definite answers, mind you. Victory strikes me as a rather ambiguous work, one that is (intentionally left) open to interpretations....more

I read pretty much everything Conrad wrote back in the 80's but having booked a holiday in Indonesia I had to take one of his far-eastern novels. Great to read about the "dead-calm Java Sea" while looking out over the dead-calm Java Sea. Anyway,
1. No-one writes better than Conrad in English. Some...more

CONTEMPLARE, SENZA MAI FARE RUMORE

1919, di Maurice Tourner (il padre di Jacques), cinema muto.

Ho deciso di leggerlo perché in un’intervista Joan Didion diceva che prima di iniziare un nuovo romanzo rileggeva sempre Victory di Conrad.
I have never started a novel, I’ve never written one without r...more

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