I struggled with this book for months. At times, I was loathe to continue with it, and would put the book aside for weeks at a time. But I persisted, if only because I had read about 30 years ago another work of Joseph Conrad whose setting was the Dutch East Indies. And for me, Joseph Conrad (a Pole by birth who didn't learn English til late in life) held a certain fascination because of his previous life as a merchant seaman.
"THE HEART OF DARKNESS", which is set in the Belgian Congo at the time it was being cruelly exploited by King Leopold, reminded me in many respects of the movie 'Apocalypse Now' with the shady, mysterious character Kurtz the ivory trader bringing to mind Colonel Kurtz who abandoned civilization and his Army career to become fully assimilated into the ways of the hinterland. The overriding themes are of desolation, horror, fear, and exploitation. I felt in reading this story that it was the land itself that brought to the surface the greedy appetites of people from outside (i.e., Europe) who came to the land to both conquer and exploit the land and its indigenous peoples. Knowing that was enough to make me want to know how the story was played out.
Once again, I've got to my last Netgalley book, until more approvals come through. Only this one is one of those silly protected PDFs that I have to read on desktop, so it only gets 10-20 pages at a sitting before my eyes go squiffy. That's ok, it's an academic work anyway and not the sort of thing you stay up all night to read.
I plan to push myself to finish Don Quixote at last, but apart from that and a short story collection I ought to finish up, I'm free to just choose books from my A-list and enjoy!
I've gone through the 4 pages of books in that collection and the above are the front runners to start next. Too many to do all at once.
So, which should I read? I'll probably start 2 of them over the next couple of days.