An Island Tale

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Author: Joseph Conrad (Josef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski)
Published: 1914
Language: English
Wordcount: 117,883 / 339 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 62.9
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,372
Added to site: 2005.10.29 11802
More Info:

Cut off from civilization except for the monthly passing of a trading vessel, Axel Heyst and Lena, the girl from a traveling Ladies' Orchestra, live a strange life on the deserted South Sea island of Samburan. They live undisturbed until the sinister descent upon the island of those ill-omened messengers of the outside world, "plain Mr. Jones" and Ricardo. Then for the first time the tenderness and pathos of this strange romance is unveiled to the reader.

Show Excerpt

ion slightly in order not to have that particular performer hidden from me by the little man with the beard who conducted, and who might for all I know have been her father, but whose real mission in life was to be a model for the Zangiacomo of Victory. Having got a clear line of sight I naturally (being idle) continued to look at the girl through all the second part of the programme. The shape of her dark head inclined over the violin was fascinating, and, while resting between the pieces of that interminable programme she was, in her white dress and with her brown hands reposing in her lap, the very image of dreamy innocence. The mature, bad-tempered woman at the piano might have been her mother, though there was not the slightest resemblance between them. All I am certain of in their personal relation to each other is that cruel pinch on the upper part of the arm. That I am sure I have seen! There could be no mistake. I was in too idle a mood to imagine such a gratuitous barbarity. It may have been playful


Average Rating of 3.5 from 2 reviews: ****
John Costello

I read this title as a young man and it made quite an impression. Conrad can really set the scene and strike the chord.


The futility of life, the futility of love-- Conrad's writing is often dark and melancholy, and this is one of the ideas that it seems to convey in the novels 'Victory' and 'Lord Jim'. However both plot and characterization are strong. The denouement is poignant and remains in the reader's memory for a long time.

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