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Heart of Darkness and the Congo Diary - Joseph Conrad I admit it: I'm not sure I "get" this book. I mean, I get it, in general terms, as in I understand what Conrad was going for with the metaphors and the symbolism and all, and the darkness and the darkness and the darkness... But understanding in concept isn't really the same thing. And in the interest of honesty, I'm just saying that up front.

So I'm not really sure how I feel about this book.

Kenneth Branagh performed this audiobook, and "performed" is exactly the right term. I could listen to Branagh all day long, reading the phone book, a Chinese take-out menu, grocery lists, whatever, and I would love every minute of it.

Here, he took what, on paper, likely would have been tediously dry description and exposition, and breathed life into it. But, and here is why I'm torn on this, I know that I enjoyed his performance more than the story. A few times, I felt myself focusing more on Branagh's performance than on what he was actually saying, or what it meant. I heard the words... but I didn't HEAR them. If that makes sense.

But then there were other times when it caught me up in the story, and I could see it perfectly. I actually loved the descriptiveness, though again that may have more to do with Branagh's reading than with Conrad's writing. I don't know.

So, I'm running straight up the middle here, and giving the book a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, and going with a 3 star rating. If I was rating based on the performance, it'd be a definite 5, but I don't feel like the story itself would have deserved it.