Heart of Darkness is a short and vividly brutal account of colonial enterprise that has as much in common with the jaded Evelyn Waugh of Black Mischief as it does with any of Conrad's direct contemporaries in late 19th and early 20th century. It has managed to retain the fascination of readers and scholars to a far greater extent than his other fine works, such as the more conventionally novelistic tale of South American political chicanery and greed in Nostromo and the substantially more page-turning thriller The Secret Agent. It is accompanied in this volume by the tales with which it has been published since 1902: the autobiographical short story Youth, and the less personal but more substantial tale of an old man's fall from fortune, The End of the Tether. Though these stories differ considerably in style and content from his later novels, much of his reputation rests upon the words contained in this volume.
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