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Almayer's Folly: A Story of an Eastern River Hardcover – 1 Dec 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Dec 2001
£64.57
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: IndyPublish.com; First Edition Thus edition (1 Dec. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588275388
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588275387
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,949,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The human heart as recorded in Mr. Conrad's pages is the human heart of an immense number of men in all ages and in all climes." --Ford Madox Ford

The human heart as recorded in Mr. Conrad s pages is the human heart of an immense number of men in all ages and in all climes. Ford Madox Ford" --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

Almayer's Folly, Joseph Conrad's first novel, is a tale of personal tragedy as well as a broader meditation on the evils of colonialism. Set in the lush jungle of Borneo in the late 1800s, it tells of the Dutch merchant Kaspar Almayer, whose dreams of riches for his beloved daughter, Nina, collapse under the weight of his own greed and prejudice. Nadine Gordimer writes in her Introduction, "Conrad's writing is lifelong questioning . . . What was 'Almayer's Folly'? The pretentious house never lived in? His obsession with gold? His obsessive love for his daughter, whose progenitors, the Malay race, he despised? All three?" Conrad established in Almayer's Folly the themes of betrayal, isolation, and colonialism that he would explore throughout the rest of his life and work. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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This excellent short novel is very representative for Joseph Conrad's work. Its main theme of the foolish, dangerous and deadly dreams of colonialists was also treated in his short story `An Outpost of Progress' (in 'Tales of Unrest') and in his masterpiece `Heart of Darkness'.

The main character in this story dreams of finding a mysterious treasure in order to be able to return to his homeland and live for the rest of his life in `untold wealth'.
For the indigenous, he is not more than another `white man that comes to us to trade, with prayers on his lips and loaded guns in his hands.' He shows `the same manifestations of love and hate and of sordid greed chasing the uncertain dollar in all its multifarious and vanishing shapes.'
He is bitterly confronted with `the savage mood which civilization could never destroy'.

For Conrad, `no two beings understand each other', so certainly not the `savage' and the `white man'.
More, the `uncompromising sincerity of Malay kinsmen' stands in sharp contrast with `the sleek hypocrisy of white people with their vivid but foolish dreams'.

This novel has not the same high standard as `Heart of Darkness', but should not be missed.
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Format: Paperback
Joseph Conrad was one of the most remarkable characters in the history if literature. He was born in the city of Berdichev, today in the Ukraine and during his lifetime part of the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union, but always regarded himself as Polish (even after becoming a British citizen) rather than Russian or Ukrainian. All his novels were written in English, even though this was not his first language (Polish) or even his second (French). Although he lived for most of his adult life in Britain, most of his novels are set abroad, often outside Europe, in parts of the world which he had visited during his career as a seaman.

"Almayer's Folly", published in 1895, is his first novel, set in a part of Borneo which at that time was part of the Dutch East Indies. The title character Kaspar Almayer is a Dutch trader. At least, Almayer is regarded as Dutch because of his white skin and European heritage, but in fact he was born in the Indies and has never actually visited Holland. In his youth he was regarded as a young man of promise, and became first the protégé then the son-in-law of a successful Australian trader named Tom Lingard, marrying Lingard's adopted Malay daughter. Over the years, however, the prosperity of the business has faded and Almayer now finds himself running an unsuccessful trading post in a remote jungle location on the east coast of Borneo.

Almayer's marriage has also been unsuccessful, and he and his wife have come to despise one another. The one great love of his life is his beautiful mixed-race daughter Nina.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Conrad's first novel is also one of his best. The writing has an easy flow and the story is involving. It's amazing how a man that only started learning English when he was 22 years old, and who was a practitioner at an entirely different craft (seamanship) can write like this.
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Format: Paperback
SPOILER ALERT,SPOILER ALERT.This tale of the misfortunes of the manager of a Malay trading post and his failing dreams born of avarice, leading to his mental breakdown and subsequent demise,is not as dark as you'd expect ,as you never feel any sympathy for the main character.END OF SPOILER ALERT.
The novel is the template for much of Conrad's best work, based on what I assume was the first hand observation of colonialism in the southern hemisphere and the effects of a tropical climate and culture on the men who pioneered trade there.
At the start his writing style is slightly less convoluted than his later works ,but the seeds of his luscious and verdant verbosity are evident in his scenic descriptions and draw you into the torpid rain forest just as in later works they are used to draw you into the tortured psyches of his doomed characters.
If your thinking about reading Conrad then this is the place to start as some of his more well known work can be hard going for the uninitiated or those who are more acquainted with modern fiction with a less lively use of vocabulary.If you've read earlier works you will not be disappointed.
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