52 in 52 Week 11: Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad



Click image to view full coverI read Heart of Darkness several years ago and was blown away by the brutality and brilliance of it. Lord Jim had somewhat of the same effect. I think what most impresses me about Conrad is that English is not his native language!


I was at dinner with a friend that said she tried to read Lord Jim but was lost when it took him two pages to describe how the boat went through the water. I laughed because it is true, but what a beautiful description!


Conrad paints a picture and makes a point. I loved this book. I couldn't put it down when it rushed to its final conclusion. 

It also has a special place in my heart because the main character (and narrator) are around Malay people, and even the title is a translation of what the Malays called him, Tuan Jim which warms my heart since I was often called by my Malay friend Puan Carol (the feminine version of Tuan)



For those of you that read this and don't know, I live in Malaysia for two years and was able to learn the language and love the people! 


I think the fictional village of "Putusan" is actually in Indonesia. some think on the Island of Borneo, but from the description in the book, I am convinced it is Sumatra. I went there last summer and even drove through a Bugis Village (one of the people groups in the book) on Belitung Island, Sumatra!  So, it was fun to read of places and people that I know a bit about.


I don't want to ruin the plot because it really unfolds slowly.  I recommend it!


I listened for most of it but read the last 20% or so. I think Frederick Davidson narrates with great voices for the different characters, but the actual narrator voice often sounds so "haugty." It bothered me more for David Copperfield because he is so truly humble (Unlike Uriah Heep the Creep), but Marlowe strikes me as someone who probably has a haughty English gentleman's voice. So, it wasn't so bad this time around. 
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