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Extended Audio Sample Nostromo Audiobook, by Joseph Conrad Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,157 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph Conrad Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Craig Black Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2010 ISBN: 9781455198054
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Joseph Conrad’s multilayered masterpiece tells of one nation’s violent revolution and one hero’s moral degeneration. Conrad convincingly invents an entire country, Costaguana, and sets it afire as warlords compete for power and a fortune in silver.

Señor Gould, adamant that his silver should not become spoil for his enemies, entrusts it to his faithful longshoreman, Nostromo, a local hero of sorts whom Señor Gould believes to be incorruptible. Nostromo accepts the mission as an opportunity to increase his own fame. But when his exploit fails to win him the rewards he had hoped for, he is consumed by a corrupting resentment.

Nostromo, relevant both as literature and as a brilliant social study, ambitiously brings to life Latin American history and the politics of an underdeveloped country. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I’d rather have written Conrad’s Nostromo than any other novel.”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • “In Nostromo…Conrad has achieved something which is not in the power of any English contemporary novelist to touch…he accomplishes artistic feats beyond his rivals.”

    Edward Garnett, The Speaker

  • “[An] involved, philosophical novel…With characteristic eloquence, Conrad has focused on the dramatic action of the revolution to explore challenging themes: capitalism, imperialism, revolution, and social justice.”

    Library Journal

  • “Most certainly…one of the great novels of the language.”

    F. R. Leavis, literary critic

  • “Often praised as one of Joseph Conrad’s greatest novels, Nostromo tells the tumultuous history of the fictional country Costaguana. Conrad’s ‘perfectly incorruptible’ Nostromo, a heroic symbol within the community, eventually reveals the novel’s dark irony. British actor John Lee approaches his narration with a steady tone and expert attention to the text. What is especially masterful in Lee’s reading is his array of accents for Conrad’s collage of characters—from the English and Italian transplants to the passionate native inhabitants. All are wonderfully portrayed by Lee, especially the polyglot Decoud, a Europeanized Costaguaneran whose accent fluctuates between French and Spanish. Lee takes Conrad’s dense and descriptive language in hand to produce an epic listening experience.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cairnraiser | 2/20/2014

    " Slow and sometimes difficult to follow buildup. The last third of the book picks up the pace somewhat and takes the form of one of the classic tragedies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sid Stone | 2/19/2014

    " what more can you want...political instability, resource exploitation, and and developing country. By far one of my favorite books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caracalla | 2/13/2014

    " the two stars is for the pretty accomplished prose. Otherwise, the political perspective was plain moronic and the character psychology was antiquated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grant | 2/6/2014

    " South American adventure story, with lots of main characters (which leads to a certain loss of focus). Interesting insights into neo-colonisalism and development economics c. 1900. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sophie | 1/26/2014

    " I think this suffered from being read piecemeal through Daily Lit; I never really got into it. It seemed a bit disjointed and lacked emotion. Perhaps it just felt old-fashioned. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gerald Camp | 1/13/2014

    " Great book, though I felt the many lengthy descritive passages got a bit tedious. Outstanding ploy, however. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Enid | 12/22/2013

    " Heart of Darkness all over again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bria | 12/15/2013

    " I should have known from the time period that this was gonna be one of those books with words. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brigitte | 12/3/2013

    " One of the most superb political thriller I ever read. Only the death os Martin De coud is not quite credible "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Luke | 11/14/2013

    " Builds slowly to become a riveting look at the corrupting influence of a silver mine on a fictional Sth American country. It explores the notion of the cost of wealth to the soul of individuals and the community. Characters well developed and tension built superbly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joaquin | 11/13/2013

    " For a novel that plods grimly towards an inevitable tragic conclusion, this book has a marvelously light touch (especially for its age), fantastic language, and characters that keep you hoping that this time they'll get away (spoiler: not a chance pal, but you knew that already.) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nate | 11/12/2013

    " worth struggling through the first 75% for the last quarter. And, trust me, that's saying a lot about both parts. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tania Le | 11/8/2013

    " I've read literally thousands of books in my lifetime and this is the only one I just cannot manage to read. I get to about page 20 and give up every time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 11/3/2013

    " Conrad's most well known for Heart of Darkness, but this book truly explores that dark heart. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brad | 10/8/2013

    " Audio book version. Frank Muller is the narrator. Great job by him, great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harold | 7/31/2013

    " Great novel about a "Banana republic", a lot of suspense. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 6/29/2013

    " I should like Conrad more than I do. I really should. But he's just so dense and confusing that any pleasure I get from his stories is so hard-won that I forget they're pleasures. This story was typical Conrad - depressing, heavy, cynical, astute, and murky. It was sprinkled with occasional, almost accidentally funny moments, though, which I greatly appreciated. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joaquin | 5/24/2013

    " For a novel that plods grimly towards an inevitable tragic conclusion, this book has a marvelously light touch (especially for its age), fantastic language, and characters that keep you hoping that this time they'll get away (spoiler: not a chance pal, but you knew that already.) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sid Stone | 5/24/2013

    " what more can you want...political instability, resource exploitation, and and developing country. By far one of my favorite books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Asyoulikeit | 3/31/2013

    " most certainly i can resonate with Scott Fitzgerald on this. it demands patience however "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick\ | 2/11/2013

    " Business first, humaity last. Suffering. Death. Resolution, of sort. Good story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia Michell | 1/30/2013

    " A must read for all all. Lots of historical process about a South American mining community at the start of the 20th century and some stunningly evocative characters, not least of all, our incorruptible hero, the title of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gareth Wiles | 1/22/2013

    " Difficult, trying prose - and worth it, too. Does everything have to be simple and straightforward? Put the effort in, and you'll be glad you read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlie | 1/14/2013

    " Most readable Conrad book that I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 1/4/2013

    " this was my first time reading joseph conrad. it was a bit difficult to get into, but in the end i really enjoyed it. hopefully i can work myself into reading more conrad :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret Langstaff | 11/21/2012

    " What a pleasure to be carried along by a great story and in the hands of a master writer. Life is too short to read mediocre books! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chip | 10/18/2012

    " Long book. Slow reading. Beautiful sentences. And very fine story of greed. Labored reading at times, so slow going. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/16/2012

    " I wasn't very interested in the setting or the story at the beginning. The last 1/3 was interesting, however, so I'm glad I stuck with it. Conrad is always a good writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 4/22/2012

    " Started off a bit slow, especially since I love Conrad, however grew to be a great book. Funny how many different areas of the world, fictional or no, these seaside stories take place. SE Asia, Africa, S America. Must read for Conrad fans. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anthony | 4/3/2012

    " The book was alright. I wasn't jumping for you because part of it was difficult to follow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 12/21/2011

    " Never really made much sense...too political at times, but there were some parts I liked. Kind of rushed through it because I had to finish it for my senior paper. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Shilstone | 6/25/2011

    " Joe, in his masterful prose style, tells his tale of 19th century South American exploitation and rebellion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dad | 5/22/2011

    " I read this as part of my Advanced Placement English class during my senior year at Roy High School.
    This book had a lot of symbolism. Everything there was meant to be "dark." I still remember it after 40 years. It kinda gave me a creepy feeling. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary | 5/22/2011

    " This book was a real challenge for me. Book group wanted to read a classic and someone picked this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher | 5/21/2011

    " One of my favorite books due to the contemplative nature of the narrative and its dialogue concerning the human experience. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tanya | 5/19/2011

    " Worst high school assignment ever... but maybe it was the teacher and my group rather than the book... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gretchen | 5/18/2011

    " So boring. I can see why people think it was amazing... but really, what a bore. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ctb | 5/16/2011

    " Achebe is wrong! This book exposes and condemns European racism and colonization, not condones it. It even, in 1898, takes a stab at sexism. Conrad was a genius. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Oskari | 5/15/2011

    " A simple novella plotwise. The language is powerful, scenery oppresive and the themes intellectually brutal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deepti | 5/12/2011

    " Brilliant, although you need multiple reads to uncover it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steffi | 5/11/2011

    " Good start. By the end you get a bit drowned in the heavy 19th-century writing style. There are some good excerpts and thoughtful moral messages, if you can manage to pick them out from the rubble of words... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/10/2011

    " the sentences! the sentences! The very end makes no sense to me, though. Think he screwed that up. I also don't see what was so great about Kurtz. Seems to me that might have been shown better. But the rest is beautifully written, sentence after sentence. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chip | 7/4/2010

    " Long book. Slow reading. Beautiful sentences. And very fine story of greed. Labored reading at times, so slow going. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 8/4/2009

    " Started off a bit slow, especially since I love Conrad, however grew to be a great book. Funny how many different areas of the world, fictional or no, these seaside stories take place. SE Asia, Africa, S America. Must read for Conrad fans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gerald Camp | 12/31/2008

    " Great book, though I felt the many lengthy descritive passages got a bit tedious. Outstanding ploy, however. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 8/29/2007

    " Never really made much sense...too political at times, but there were some parts I liked. Kind of rushed through it because I had to finish it for my senior paper. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anthony | 9/26/2003

    " The book was alright. I wasn't jumping for you because part of it was difficult to follow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Asyoulikeit | 6/3/2003

    " most certainly i can resonate with Scott Fitzgerald on this. it demands patience however "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grant | 8/20/2002

    " South American adventure story, with lots of main characters (which leads to a certain loss of focus). Interesting insights into neo-colonisalism and development economics c. 1900. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harold | 3/11/2002

    " Great novel about a "Banana republic", a lot of suspense. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cairnraiser | 6/21/2001

    " Slow and sometimes difficult to follow buildup. The last third of the book picks up the pace somewhat and takes the form of one of the classic tragedies. "

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About the Author
Author Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad (Józef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski) (1857–1924) was born in Ukraine. Raised by an uncle after the death of his parents, he educated himself by reading widely in Polish and French. At age twenty-one he began a long career sailing the seas on French merchant vessels, after which he went to London and began writing, using the romance and adventure of his own life for his incomparable sea novels.

About the Narrator

John Lee has read more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is also an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.