Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review: Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

Title: Lord Jim
Author: Joseph Conrad
Publisher: Broadview Press
Paperback: 455 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Joseph Conrad's classic novel about a man's lifelong efforts to atone for an act of instinctive cowardice set the style for a whole class of literature.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5

Lord Jim is a story about Jim, a guy who spends his entire life trying to make up for an act of cowardice on the sea. It's told through the perspective of Marlow, a man who meets Jim during his trial and who tries to help Jim get his life back together afterwards. I get that this novel is important, as it created a sort of genre within literature, but I could not get into this book. There were moments when I found myself engaged with what was going on, but for the most part, this book bored me.

The language is beautiful, but I hated the way the book is structured. It's told in third-person, but narrated by Marlow. I think it would have been much easier to follow and so much more interesting of it was told in third-person from Jim's perspective, or just told in first-person by Marlow.

I had a hard time relating to the characters (especially Jewel, Jim's romantic interest), and the story was only okay. Yes, this is a "classic" and I'm sure that if read carefully, you could find a great amount of symbolism, political commentary, blah, blah, blah. I just didn't find it interesting or enjoyable.