The writing group started by David Cranmer selected HEART OF DARKNESS as the second read. The idea was that, since it wasn’t a full novel, to read half one week, half the next. That was the intention. It didn’t work out like that for me and, one suspects, maybe not for anyone else. I’ve not seen any thoughts on the read so far, though it’s entirely possible I missed someone. I’m not completely sure of all the participants.

Here goes.

It took me two weeks to get halfway through the tale. I don’t necessarily attribute that to any failing of the story itself. I don’t actually own a Kindle reader, but the Kindle app for PCs. Any reading has to be done on the computer. Away from that, I have other reading obligations I’ve taken on, not to mention just stuff for my own enjoyment. When I arose this morning, I started reading and finished the last half in a rush. Could not read fast enough.

One thing I noticed was that the racism didn’t seem as overt as other books of the same period. In fact, Marlowe comes to realize that after the death of the helmsman in an attack on the ship that a bond had grown between the two men. Which just reinforces an idea I’ve had for years. And not me alone.

Any form of bigotry, whether racial, religious, or sexual inclination, relies on a separation to keep it going. Being around anyone that fits these three groups for any length of time makes any intelligent person come to realize that we’re not that different from each other. That’s all it takes.

As for the idea that this tale was the basis for APOCALYPSE NOW, I have no thoughts on that one because – horrors! – I’ve not seen that film. I’m not particularly fond of straight war movies. The only two I can remember enjoying were PLATOON and THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI. I go out of my way at times to avoid them.

One final thought. Despite the slow start, I enjoyed this one. I’ve already downloaded LORD JIM and will get to it in due course.

David, I’m ready for the next one. Just let me when and what.