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Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard ()

Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century (47)

Revolution in the Republic of Costaguana threatens a silver shipment from the Gould mines, but the heroic Nostromo agrees to bury the silver so that it won't be found.  But the corruptive power of the silver is too much for even the previously trustworthy Nostromo in Conrad's pessimistic tale of Central American colonialism.

Now I love Heart of Darkness (read Orrin's review), my beloved Grandfather gave me Lord Jim (read Orrin's review) when I was a kid and I was even pleasantly surprised by The Secret Agent (read Orrin's review), but I have never been able to get in to Nostromo, despite numerous attempts.  I get the whole metaphor deal, the silver represents all of the wealth that colonists have torn out of the Third World and Nostromo ("our man") is corrupted by this shipments, just as the West has been corrupted by Imperialism. Yeah, yeah, yeah...  I guess the first problem is that I think that's a crock of hooey and colonialism was the best thing that ever happened to these places, but I also really just find the novel to be lifeless.

I believe that both David Lean and John Huston died while trying to adapt the story for the movies, perhaps one of these masters could have sold me on the story.  As is, I just didn't like it.


Grade: (D+)


Book-related and General Links:
    -Bio (American Institute of Polish Culture homepage)
    -Lycos Guide to Joseph Conrad
    -Conrad's Darkness (V. S. NAIPAUL, NY Review of Books)
    -English 455: Colloquium on Joseph Conrad (Dr. Richard Ruppel: Department of English)
    -ESSAY : Conspiracy and Concealment in Nostromo (Hong-Shu Teng)
    -ESSAY : Joseph Conrad Never Jumped  (Frank Kermode, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW of  Joseph Conrad: The Three Lives by Frederick R. Karl, Moralist of Exile (V.S. PRITCHETT, NY Review of Books)
    -REVIEW of Culture and Imperialism  by Edward W. Said  Lost Paradises (MICHAEL WOOD, NY review of Books)
   -Literary Research Guide: Joseph Conrad (1857 - 1924 )


Sadly, your supposed review is just an opinion (and a rather sad reflection on the one giving it) and of no use to anyone but yourself.

- Christopher Ryan

- Dec-20-2003, 06:50