21 of 21 people found the following review helpful: Eagle Ocean, Conrad takes to Terra Firma, March 1, 2005
Nostromo is one of Conrad's finest works and is also one of the few which is set upon land. It was published in 1904 and concerns primarily the corrupting influence of money or in this case silver. The novel is set in the fictional South American country of Costaguana. We learn of a local legend in the province of Sulaco about the disappearance of two thieving `gringos' who haunt the mountains due to their greed. We meet Charles Gould, who controls a silver mine and is trying to save it from the corrupt government. It is a time of political unrest and the dictator Ribiera flees. In this atmosphere, Gould becomes obsessed with saving the silver from the mine and emplys Decoud and Dr Monygham to aid him. They turn to Nostromo, a popular hero of sorts, who sails with the Decoud to hide the treasure but disaster strikes and they collide with an enemy boat. They arrive on an island and Decoud remains to protect it. However, he goes insane alone on the island and shoots himself before drowning, tied to a great quantity of silver. As the novel progresses we focus on Nostromo's unwise romance with his friend Viola's daughters. It contains very perceptive portraits of both heroes and anti-heroes and of the guilt that punishes the selfish, the greedy and the foolish. Many consider it to be Conrad's most important novel.
Not a walk in the park but, you will be happy you took the time to read.
It reminds me of the time I had my first sailboat I named it "Earls Pride" and me da bought me a fine looking mesh ball cap that said the same over the bill, I still have the hat and I do not think any amount of time will pass that will bring the hat back into fashion, its just plain ugly. Tacky and ugly and you will have to pull it off of my cold dead head if ever want to posses the...thing.
My friend Deemont called me one time and wanted to know if I would take his new girlfriend and himself sailing, I said yeah. So we met at Eagle Creek Reservoir and the wind was so strong that I judged it not safe for all of us to sail together for my craft was small, 13 ft. stem to stern. So we discussed the situation and Deemont laughed and told me how he met his new gal. The story goes she worked for a phone soliciting company and one of her employees called him and he used profanity and hung up on her, well her boss was appalled and call Deemont back to set him straight and well...he asked her out and that's how they met. I don't recall her name but I do know she was wearing Daisy Duke style shorts, she drew the long straw (turned out to be the short straw as fate would have it) and we went for a sail. I only raised the Jib sail since the winds were so severe, well we probably made it 100 yards from the docks, the wind shifted we turtled the "Earls Pride" (rolled it over mast down) well we gathered all our stuff and I coached her on the entire routine of righting a turtled sailboat, but then the wind would catch us and back over we would go. On and on this continued, occasionally we would right the craft and sail for a while (at which time I figured out from my keen powers of observation she had no underclothes under her daisy dukes) finally we just headed for shore drug the boat up on the beach where Deemont stood laughing.He had driven down to the next boat launch to find us, and helped us walk it along the shore back to the dock and later confessed to me that he was not so much concerned about our drowning but whether she was keeping her dukes in place and me the same. I don't know why especially since Nostromo took place on dry land but everytime I read this novel I think of this little adventure on Eagle Ocean.