Happy New Year! Welcome to 2016 and the start of a brand new year ready to be filled with family, friends, and books (lots of books)! My cousins and I are participating in Popsugar’s 2016 Reading Challenge and I started the year off right by staying in my pjs to read “A book under 150 pages”.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad makes the cut at 110 pages. This book was selected because I want to complete the challenge by reading books from the very large collection of books I own, but have never read, and I also wanted to start some momentum with a smaller book. I picked up this book a few years ago when it was mentioned in an interview with Ann Patchett that many people were reminded of this novel when reading State of Wonder (one of my favorite books of all time). ***I own a signed copy of this book!***
The similarities are quite clear, both stories involve characters setting off on a mission by boat through a jungle trying to find someone who is very difficult to find and conflict ensues (thus making a story). I enjoyed this novel simply because of how similar it was to Ann’s book. I also enjoyed this story because although it’s a novel, the author had very similar experiences while working for a Belgian trading company for three years. One can judge the narrator, or author for that matter, to be racist and they would have a great deal of evidence to support that conclusion. In fact, I would not disagree; the way the Africans in the book were described was quite difficult to read at times. That said, I enjoyed reading because it offers me a viewpoint into ideas different than my own and a glimpse back into the era of colonization. Joseph Conrad wrote what he knew and that’s reflected in this book. It would be interesting to read from his contemporaries that had different viewpoints for example, Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa by David Livingstone.
Happy New Year and happy reading!!!