Flash Review: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad


Narrated by Kenneth Branagh

Audible Studios, 2010.

Running time: 3hrs 51mins

To begin with, this was a very hard novella to rate. “Why”, you ask?

Every time I started reading, the world drew me in. The vivid description, the dark moody landscape and atmosphere, there was something compelling about this journey into the unknown, the sense of imminent, shapeless danger. An all-pervasive gloom, an overhanging evil seemed to touch the heart of the narrator and consequently the reader. Where the book failed is to keep my attention when closed. It never stayed with me. With a cast of uninspiring characters, it made it hard to identify with them. I know that it was written sometime around the end of the 19th century and Africa was still considered a place where primitives and almost sub human’s roamed, fought, hunted and lived. But even so I still couldn’t get passed how the people of that land were depicted.

Kenneth Branagh’s narration of the book was superb, it matched the sombre sepulchral tone of the character and setting; that was a definite plus and the only reason I upped this novella’s rating. This was a 2.5 stars for me. It was okay.

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Samuelson Obigbesan, Sam for short, 27, attained a BA at the university of Greenwich in creative writing/media, where he moved straight into a master’s degree at the university of Surrey, yet again in creative writing and English literature. Currently working as a project developer and podcaster for a charity in Hereford; where he has written and produced a play as part of the young writers’ group with Pentabus theatre company. He has also co-written “Side-Tracked”, a radio play as part of a workshop group with Extant theatre company. In 2017 one of his poems found its way into an anthology as part of a competition organised by Seeing Ear. Oh, he is also blind. Sam reads voraciously and writes reviews, on goodreads, search for Sam Obigbesan, you can also find him raving about the latest fantasy/science fiction and other audiobooks on twitter @samobigbesan and the same for audible. If you would like to listen to a couple of short stories and you don’t mind a trip into the past, feel free to visit https://soundcloud.com/samobigbesan