Thursday, September 17, 2015

Lord Jim - Joseph Conrad

Lord Jim
Title: Lord Jim
Author: Joseph Conrad
Publication Date: 1900
Pages: 455
Genre: Historical / Classic / Fiction
How I Found It: 100 Best Novels list
Date Completed: 8/19/15

Summary: After a disastrous and haunting decision at sea, Jim escapes from social life to the jungles. There, he becomes "Lord Jim" to the natives until his character is tested again.

What I Thought: Look. I don't like Joseph Conrad's work. I recognize it's skill and importance in the canon of Western literature. But I do not personally enjoy it. The fact that I still have two of his novels left before I can concur the 100 Best Novels list tears me up. 

I had hoped that my disdain for Heart of Darkness would be limited to that novel and not all of Conrad's work. My hopes have been significantly diminished as I did not enjoy this novel any more - and possibly less - than the little novella. 

To me, Conrad's prose, while skilled, is overly confusing. I have a hard time keeping track of what is going on. Point of view shifts and lack of dialogue increase my struggle. Perhaps if the same story were told in a voice to which I could better relate, I would appreciate it more. 

Probably not, though.

I think the root of my struggle with Conrad lies at its core. The turn of the century adventure novel is not something with which I am very familiar or in which I am very interested. Conrad's works certainly delve beyond that surface genre and deal with much heavier topics, yet I struggle with those as well. I find his characters unrelatable and his subject matter too distant for me to connect. 

I can face it. I simply don't have what it takes to appreciate Conrad. And I'm ok with that.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Only if forced
Other Books By Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness

A Reduced Review: What fresh Conrad torture is this to which I have subjected myself?

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