0433 | Nostromo | Joseph Conrad

0433 | Nostromo | Conrad

Context: Got lost near the coast at Qatif and ended up on a sewage farm while reading this

Supposedly Conrad’s most complex novel, I will admit only that it is his most boring. I seem to have a jinx when it comes to not only reading Latin American authors but also books based there. I positively can’t stand them… at least so far.

Nostromo is some hero guy who ends up saving a bunch of silver bullion from falling into the hands of rebels when a military coup engulfs the fictitious Costaguana (Coast of Guano?) Quite why he’s a hero, I’m not sure, except that he does things that risk his life and earn him the respect of the privileged class who are desperate to hold on to the power they’ve consolidated by controlling the silver that is the country’s only major resource.

Eventually, it all goes horribly wrong, so there’s some redemption there. But I found it long, drawn out, superficially complicated, over-elaborate, melodramatic and, well, Latin really. It’s only redeemed by the fact that he did do some work on character development and the legacy of this novel (i.e. what everyone but me thinks of it!)

OPENING LINE

In the time of Spanish rule, and for many years afterwards, the town of Sulaco—the luxuriant beauty of the orange gardens bears witness to its antiquity—had never been commercially anything more important than a coasting port with a fairly large local trade in ox-hides and indigo.

99TH PAGE QUOTE

This far into the book, some of the plot might be revealed. If you want to see the quote, click show

CLOSING LINE

This might reveal the ending. If you want to see the quote, click [spoiler]In that true cry of undying passion that seemed to ring aloud from Punta Mala to Azuera and away to the bright line of the horizon, overhung by a big white cloud shining like a mass of solid silver, the genius of the magnificent Capataz de Cargadores dominated the dark gulf containing his conquests of treasure and love.[/spoiler]

RATING

0433 | Nostromo | Conrad | 59% | Okay

Key: Legacy | Plot / toPic | Characterisation / faCts | Readability | Achievement | Style Read more about how I come up with my ratings

  • Irina February 22, 2014, 7:36 am

    I know Conrad is one of the most revered writers of all time but “Heart Of Darkness” the only book by him I ever read scared me off of his work for good. No amount of high praise will lure me into picking up another one of his novels! 59% is still pretty low but at least you were brave enough to try it 🙂

    Reply
    • Arukiyomi February 22, 2014, 10:48 am

      Heart was the first book I read by him and, like you, it almost put me off completely. In fact, unless it was for the 1001 list, I probably wouldn’t have read another. The best so far is The Secret Agent. Try that one and see how you do with it.

      Reply

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