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I read this book recently and must say that it's great and very moving. It was quite hard going at times and I found it difficult to get a momentum going. I'm not sure whether it was the author's style or just the fact that the words were very small. The author does a great job of exercising your imagination throughout the course of the book as you find yourself constantly anticipating the next twist. Even when I guessed where the story would go, the author's versatile prose made it a very rewarding read. The book is set in very swashbuckling times in South East Asia, and it describes an era of eccentric european traders, adventurers and sailors. As for the main character, Jim. He is someone that any self respecting man, or woman, should build up an immense amount of respect for during the book. His circumstances, life and attitude are described in an immaculate way and the story is amazing. It's a classic. By the way 'Apocalypse Now', the film by Francis Ford Coppola, is based on Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'.
«Lord Jim» was the first novel by J. Conrad I've read and now I feel like reading all the rest of his best writing. Why? Firstly, the novel is a masterpiece by all accounts, powerful and healthy in terms of both content and structure. It treats of ethical issues - the field, which most of the pop stars of fiction, living in our age of an almost non-discriminating tolerance, are apt to ignore. I would place «Lord Jim» in the same league with such meaningful novels of all times as “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” by L.Tolstoy, “Crime and Punishment” by F. Dostoyevsky and “All the King's Men” by R.P. Warren. Secondly, Conrad was reportedly a favourite writer of Graham Greene. This fact alone was good enough for me to open the book. I've read and immensely enjoyed most of the novels by Greene and now that I see that our literary preferences overlap, I am looking forward to explore the other white spots on my map of the Conrad Planet. All things considered, it was a marvellous beginning for me. …Jim’s brilliant career as a seaman comes to sudden halt, when a perplexing incident happens to his ship, and Jim and other three white crewmembers flee the ship in fear, leaving hundreds of passengers to their fate. After a long turmoil of an inquiry, Jim is stripped not only of an opportunity to resume his career, but, more importantly, of his good name. The shadow of his misadventure haunts him wherever he goes and undermines all his attempts to start from scratch over and over again. Eventually, on advice of a friend, he goes on a risky mission to a far-off region – out of this world… That’s about all I’ve chosen to say about the plot here, and I’ll only add that the closing 50 pages or so are the most gripping reading I've had for years. Essentially, it is a story of an adventurous young man who did not hesitate to come to grips with his fate and eventually prevailed upon it (even though he had to pay a disastrous price) for he doubtlessly treated his opponent by doing his best in every small or big thing. Lord Jim may set an inspiring example for all who side with him. I do. As I am now putting the book on the shelf, I know it won't be gathering any dust there, for it is very difficult to take your leave of almost every character: each of them - and everyone of us - has a mystery for others to reveal or, perhaps, to guess and let it be. You may find Conrad’s style a bit cumbersome at times, but I assure you won't miss your reward in the end.