Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Nostromo - Joseph Conrad

Title: Nostromo
Author: Joseph Conrad
Publication Date: 1904
Pages: 336
Genre: Classic / Historical / Fiction
How I Found It: 100 Best Novels
Date Completed: 6/10/16

Summary: In a fictional South American country, silver mining and revolution converge with personal conflict.

What I Thought: I just don't like Joseph Conrad's work. That's all I really have to say.

I've discussed it at length on the blog before. After all, this is the fourth Conrad novel to be on the Modern Library list. Seriously, those librarians are out to get me Parks and Recreation style

But, as of the completion of Nostromo, I am free!! I plan to never read another Conrad work for as long as I live. I'm that serious about this.

Here's the thing. Conrad was not a bad writer. Not by any means. As with so many books from this challenge, I truly do understand why his work was so popular and rose to such acclaim. From a modern perspective, the market is so saturated with adventure novels that it no longer seems especially special, but in its day, it was ground breaking in many ways.

The problem is, I just don't enjoy the books. I thought after reading The Secret Agent that there was hope for this last book. I thought maybe I'd escape with an even Conrad score - two for, two against. But, Nostromo joins its esteemed peers Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness as a book that I could not wait to finish. And not in the good I-couldn't-put-it-down way. It was the terrible just-push-through-and-get-over-it way.

As with most of Conrad's work, I struggled to follow the plot. I'll take partial responsibility for this. When I'm not into a book, I don't put forth as much effort in following along; though I think that's a pretty normal response, it doesn't excuse it. My own responsibility aside, however, I simply have a hard time with Conrad's writing style. For whatever reason(s), I cannot connect with the characters and I do not care about the plot. It's a bad combination.

If you are a Conrad fan, I apologize for continually bashing this author over the past few years. Ultimately, one of the beauties about literature is that there is something for everyone. Conrad is not for me. And I'm good with that.

Quote I Loved: "The material apparatus of perfected civilization which obliterates the individuality of old towns under the stereotypes conveniences of modern life had not intruded as yet."

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Will I Re-Read: No.
Other Books By Joseph Conrad: Lord Jim / Heart of Darkness / The Secret Agent

A Reduced Review: Another Conrad adventure story - another Conrad book I simply did not enjoy.

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