by Joseph Conrad
This work is somewhat of a literary classic, for reasons that evade me. The book had a number of problems, but the most central was it making the moment by moment pace of events overly murky and being highly dull in its plot. Frequently there was a struggle to figure out what was happening, burdened even more by a lack of caring over what developments occurred. The ambition of the piece in seeking to create an entire unique country to dramatize elements of corruption, violence and history is certain promising. It’s not followed through effectively, though, and there’s a sense the book tried to do too much at once, tell too many stories, and as a result spread itself out too thin.
There’s also something about Conrad’s whole tone of writing that has bugged me in all his material I encountered, some basic assumptions he makes on tone that distance me from the text. For some reason even when his characters aren’t doing anything widely implaussible I find it difficult to accept his characters as written, there’s a basic issue in their format that’s fundamentally jarring.
Worse than: Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Better than: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert