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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,956 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph Conrad Narrator: Ralph Cosham Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9781455172696
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Inspired by an actual attempted terrorist attack in nineteenth-century London, The Secret Agent offers a chillingly prophetic portrait of contemporary terrorism, even famously inspiring the Unabomber. The literary precursor to the espionage novels of such writers as Graham Greene and John le Carré, Conrad’s intense political thriller resonates more strongly than ever in today’s world, where a handful of fanatics can still play mad politics and victimize the innocent.

Mr. Verloc is a double agent who operates a seedy shop in Soho, where he lives with his wife, her mother, and her idiot brother. When Verloc is assigned a dangerous act of sabotage, it has disastrous repercussions for his own family. Conrad paints a corrupt London underworld where terrorists and politicians, grotesques and foreign diplomats, fanatics and fashionable society are surprisingly intermingled. As Conrad brilliantly explores the confused motives that lie at the heart of terrorism, his savagely ironic voice is concerned not just with politics but with the desperate fates of ordinary people.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The most brilliant novelistic study of terrorism.”

    New York Times

  • “Conrad weaves the themes of spying, politics, and moral tumult into a humdinger of a novel.”

    Independent

  • The Secret Agent is an astonishing book…It is one of the best—and certainly the most significant—detective stories ever written.”

    Ford Madox Ford

  • “One of Conrad’s supreme masterpieces…one of the unquestioned classics of the first order that he added to the English novel.”

    F. R. Leavis

  • One of Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gabe | 2/19/2014

    " I have not enjoyed or been so impressed by a book in a long ass time. I suspect I will eventually read it again "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin Brock | 2/15/2014

    " Starts of slow, but eventually picks-up near the end. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mauri | 2/15/2014

    " Read for Novel class, fall 2009. Bo-ring. *ducks* "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin | 2/11/2014

    " This is a strange book in the way that is seems to be many things at the same time - a murder mystery, a love story, a family drama. In that sense, it is somewhat ahead of its time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 2/11/2014

    " A bit of work, but worth the effort. Strange, sad, and a little scary. "The Professor" is an amazing character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yooperprof | 2/8/2014

    " Cleverly plotted depiction of nihlism and anarchism amidst the fog of late 19th century London. I did enjoy many of the in-depth descriptions of psychological states. Both conspirators and law enforcers are carefully portrayed, and with ample attention to detail - think of Henry James writing a Dan Brown novel. But I was also dismayed by more than a few passages of turgid prose. And maybe it's just my personal taste, but Conrad really does overdo the irony bit. "

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

    " The first great spy thriller; the granddaddy of George Smiley and the like. Great! Could have done without the film with Bob Hoskins and Robin Williams, however. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gareth Evans | 2/5/2014

    " It reads like the plot of an opera. The action takes place mainly off stage, bur the explosive, emotional drama is assigned to individuals and duets. The characters are believable and the tragedy of the Verlocs' lives is convincingly conveyed. It took me a long time to get to grips with Conrad's prose style, but having got there, the story unfurled in a highly satisfactory way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James MacIntyre | 2/3/2014

    " At times Conrad produces some amazing description of the characters and their thoughts and behaviours. Didn't love the book as, which the exception of the last 50 pages, often not much is happening. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erika S | 1/31/2014

    " A postmodernist half a century before postmodernism existed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caitlin Simmons | 1/29/2014

    " Great representation of terrorism, and how it does not quite fit into the definition of a criminal act, but instead one of war. I also enjoyed the relationship portrayed between law enforcers and law breakers. Enjoyed a woman in power, capable of killing as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Neil | 1/28/2014

    " Not my favorite as far as Conrad is concerned. Decent. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen Mendeck | 1/26/2014

    " Did you like Anthem by Ayn Rand? If so, this should be right up your alley. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tyler | 1/21/2014

    " not as good as nostromo and the plot is interesting but not so interesting - his capability at the writing craft is astounding and disheartening for someone who wants to write "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Floydsalerno | 1/20/2014

    " This book is a puzzle in words! There is so much hidden within the pages it blows the mind. BUT... if your not the type of person who normally looks beyond the black and white of the pages: it'll just be a good story of human relationships and troubled politics. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jack Skinner | 1/18/2014

    " I read this book as part of my history course revision, and it may be due to this that I didn't really get into this book. It's a good stand alone book, there are some very interesting characters and a number of important themes running throughout and it was very useful in terms of my course, however it did took some effort to continue reading in places. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renate | 1/17/2014

    " had to pass this on to a friend cuz of allergies... but I really liked it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joseph Longo | 1/16/2014

    " This is a great novel filled with vivid, tortured characters. It is suspenseful and well plotted. Though it was published around 1920 and deals with anarchist living in London, it seems to capture the paranoia and angst of living in a major city today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 1/16/2014

    " Anarchists and socialists and... lazy bums. A fun read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephen | 1/15/2014

    " Good story, but it is a Victorian novel. It is a very good Victorian novel but all the references to England and Empire are kind of lost on the modern reader. The part that redeems the story is the good old fashion murder mystery in it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 blake | 1/14/2014

    " A pretty cool Conrad story, and refreshing in that it's not about some guy on a boat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher | 1/8/2014

    " This was a book I enjoyed a long time ago and decided to try on my new Kindle. The irony is that the revolutionist he tries to present as off base I agree and enjoy their views. What does that make me? It is a good story, it will keep you reading and for a classic, feels not to heavy and not to discriptive to the point of wordy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary Dale | 1/8/2014

    " A tragic story in all counts. Well written and poignant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joshua Steele | 1/6/2014

    " I was led to read this after finishing Paul Berman's "Terror and Liberalism" and cannot think of a more sinister character in literature than the Professor in "The Secret Agent". A bit formulaic at times but Conrad's prose pushed me through . . . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dad | 1/4/2014

    " This is different and then not so different from his stories of a white man in a dark man's world. You just read a lot of despair in Conrad's work and even home in London you have the have's and have nots. Worth a read if you are looking for a different angle on Conrad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kev Mullen | 12/28/2013

    " A book that continues to change to change my life, because once it changed it so radically. I may just be recovering from the experience and ready to rediscover it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ralph | 12/26/2013

    " A bit hard to get into it, but Chapter 11 is one of the finest things I ever read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stuart King | 12/26/2013

    " Dark, atmospheric and sophisticated. Like Greene on a bender. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin | 12/25/2013

    " This is a strange book in the way that is seems to be many things at the same time - a murder mystery, a love story, a family drama. In that sense, it is somewhat ahead of its time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 12/19/2013

    " To be honest, the first time I began reading this book, about a year before I finished it, I didnt very much like it. I was only able to read the first chapter. However, when I recently picked it up and read beyond Chapter 1, I realized how good a book it actually is. I thought it was a pretty good story, which was only added to by some of the philosophical questions that Conrad addresses throughout his piece. This book is not for the light reader. It's incredibly dense for a book that's a little over 200 pages and takes focus. But if you think you're ready for it, it's a good read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura | 12/18/2013

    " unsurprisingly, i hated every second of this book. conrad suxxxxxxxxxxxx, tell everyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim | 12/18/2013

    " One of my most favorite books ever. Well written, no formulas here. Real people, real characters, surprises. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh | 12/17/2013

    " Before John le Carre and Ian Fleming, spies and agents were a pretty unglamorous bunch. The first half is more a who-got-offed than whodunit, and Mrs. Verloc gradually takes over as a warm, human character beneath the politics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sylvia | 12/17/2013

    " It is always amazing how different can a book feel the second time you read it. I read this novel like 15 years ago and seemed dull. This time i found so many things, all that narrative mechanism used by the author in order to construct a character and his context. Conrad took a real fact and made it into a real fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phil Barker | 12/14/2013

    " I can see this getting updated and filmed, a rather inefectual anarchist cell bundles a terrorist attack in London... you would probably get islamicists instead of anarchists. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Petie | 12/5/2013

    " The beginning of this book is a bit boggy in places; but, once you get past the intensity of description of the different anarchists' philosophies and the interview at the embassy, the pace of the plot quickens and from there on the brilliance of Conrad's insights sear out from some of the most casual moments of life he captures on the page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erica | 12/2/2013

    " Sympathy is a form of fear. An anarchist plot against time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Howlett | 11/29/2013

    " Trying to read one "book that everyone supposedly has read and I never did" book for one of my usual modern fodder. This was pretty cool when taken in context of its time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Talib Tirmizi | 11/29/2013

    " I personally dislike Conrad's style of writing, but maybe that's just part of his appeal, and an element to his writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Manish | 11/24/2013

    " More of a treatise on anarchism, revolution and terrorism than a novel. Apparently, this work of Conrad was heavily analyzed and quoted in the aftermath of 9/11. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Derek Baldwin | 11/13/2013

    " Anarchism and terrorism in London a long time ago. Great stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt Stewart | 11/12/2013

    " You couldn't find a more ironically detached narrator than in this book. A precursor of things to come. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin | 11/7/2013

    " This book started off at a painfully slow pace but once a terrorist bomb was set off in the heart of London the pace really picked up and the characters started dropping like flies making for an overall pretty interesting read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy | 11/2/2013

    " The creepiest Conrad story. I like it because the characters are so odd and all so devious. No good guys. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 11/2/2013

    " This was slow moving at first, and it didn't help that I read it in bits over several months. It actually didn't catch my interest much until the last half. Very typical scene of husband and wife totally not in touch with each other towards the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ross Armstrong | 10/31/2013

    " Classic Conrad tale of a sleazy pornography peddler who is involved with anarchists in turn of the century England. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clay | 10/28/2013

    " Interesting story and characters, but I found the writing circuitous and longwinded. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 10/27/2013

    " Very good short book about the tracking of a spy near the end of the 19th century. Good spy novel from the detective's and spy's perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Howard | 10/25/2013

    " Conrad from 1907 with themes of espionage and terrorism but it's no epic. Instead it focuses on a handful of strongly-drawn characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerry | 10/11/2013

    " I reviewed this book on my blog, Hungry Like the Woolf. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 10/4/2013

    " There are moments of perfection in this book but not enough to out-weigh the tedium of pointlessly long descriptions. It's only a short but it felt like it took forever to get through. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Greg | 9/24/2013

    " I originally read the novel in the Summer of 1985 and really liked it back then, but the reread was just OK. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clay | 9/23/2013

    " Interesting story and characters, but I found the writing circuitous and longwinded. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 daniel smith | 9/14/2013

    " I actually liked this book of Conrad's more than Heart of Darkness. It's darker, ironically. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lobug | 8/16/2013

    " I couldn't finish it. I was just slogging. It was well-written, but just so boring to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 8/3/2013

    " This book was great in my opinion. It points out the contradictions and pointless ambitions of political revolutionists especially that of anarchists in particular. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sloane Pitman | 7/31/2013

    " Tightly controlled and wordy--typical early 20th century prose style. Hard to get into, but turns the common idea of espionage novels on its head. Ends up really wonderful and masterful. Definitely a better Conrad read than Heart of Darkness! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Geoffrey | 7/24/2013

    " Oh man--I'm not a big Conrad fan, but this one is SO GREAT. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Klay Kubiak | 7/12/2013

    " not quite as good as lord jim, but a damn fine novel by one of my all time favorites. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amber | 6/3/2013

    " For a Joseph Conrad novel, no where near as bad as Nostromo. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caitlin Simmons | 4/26/2013

    " Great representation of terrorism, and how it does not quite fit into the definition of a criminal act, but instead one of war. I also enjoyed the relationship portrayed between law enforcers and law breakers. Enjoyed a woman in power, capable of killing as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 3/9/2013

    " It had that sort of oddly formal feeling... he would describe the most seedy things and make them sound like an English tea party. Good though, I liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sally | 2/27/2013

    " Reading this as part of Multnomah County Library's "Read the Classics". I'm looking forward to the discussion at the library. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 2/1/2013

    " So many writers have copied this book that it almost seems like a formula novel. Conrad invented it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 1/27/2013

    " Anarchists and socialists and... lazy bums. A fun read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meakin Armstrong | 1/5/2013

    " Thought I'd re-read... ok, falls apart a bit toward end... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amber | 1/4/2013

    " For a Joseph Conrad novel, no where near as bad as Nostromo. "

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

    " For some reason, I liked this better than the other crap Conrad wrote. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alisha | 12/18/2012

    " Dark, disturbing and hopeless, this book has much to say about humanity's faults and little to say about possible redemption. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Luke Low | 12/18/2012

    " Love this book. Some really great turns of phrase, although Conrad gets a little over excited about demonstrating his grasp of the English language for the most of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gareth | 11/14/2012

    " Superb novel that's startlingly contempory to our own time of terrorist cells and self-interested authority figures. Well drawn characters and a lot of dry humour that which again feels quite modern. A great entry point for readers new to Joseph Conrad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edith | 10/9/2012

    " One of the free ebooks in my Kobo. It was good. And strange. I liked how it was written, one character per chapter. But not something I would have read if not on my Kobo. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin Brock | 10/4/2012

    " Starts of slow, but eventually picks-up near the end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cyril | 10/3/2012

    " a pessimistic look at a collection of imbeciles in early twentieth century London "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 michael | 9/29/2012

    " anarchists, communists, terrorists! what's NOT to like about this novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 9/20/2012

    " I'm still not sure what I think of this book. Some interesting suggestions about terrorism, anarchy and class relations (or class warfare) in very early 20th century... but I wasn't really sold. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob Roy | 9/20/2012

    " While a fun read in it's own right, the discussion by 1800's anarchists about what is terrorism and how best to accomplish it reads honorably like today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Floydsalerno | 9/15/2012

    " This book is a puzzle in words! There is so much hidden within the pages it blows the mind. BUT... if your not the type of person who normally looks beyond the black and white of the pages: it'll just be a good story of human relationships and troubled politics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juan Hovez | 9/3/2012

    " Ossipon = an anagram of "poisson." Insert fishbowl metaphor discussion here. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melanie | 9/2/2012

    " Ugh, something happened. I do not know what, or why, and neither do I actually care. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phil Barker | 7/14/2012

    " I can see this getting updated and filmed, a rather inefectual anarchist cell bundles a terrorist attack in London... you would probably get islamicists instead of anarchists. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ebony morey | 6/1/2012

    " Politics, anarchy, terrorism, a simplistic secret agent and a proud women's atttempt to shelter her adored autistic brother. Conrad excelled himself in this haunting exploration of modernism in this dystopian satire. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K. Smith | 5/15/2012

    " not as good as Heart, but the writing style is still excellent "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe Hofmann | 5/2/2012

    " Well, I finally made it through a Joseph Conrad novel. Very dark, sacrificial lambs and all that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin Brock | 4/19/2012

    " Starts of slow, but eventually picks-up near the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 3/9/2012

    " Not what I expected. I thought this would be a James Bond-type spy novel. Instead it is a story of a man who agrees to perform an act of terror simply because his main source of income (petty espionage for a foreign embassy) will end if he refuses. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 2/21/2012

    " In true Conrad fashion, the plot is very slow in developing so that when the horror comes you are surprised. Enjoy the character development in this story of greed and dissimulation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon Wright | 2/15/2012

    " Completely different than I expected, but interesting on a completely different plane. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 gaby | 1/23/2012

    " hate hate hate conrad. always have, and i guess i always will!! even though this was a spy book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Francesco Capone | 1/18/2012

    " A shock when you finish the book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 blake | 12/11/2011

    " A pretty cool Conrad story, and refreshing in that it's not about some guy on a boat. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin Brock | 10/14/2011

    " Starts of slow, but eventually picks-up near the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamey | 10/10/2011

    " I thought this book was okay. But it didn't move me in any particular fashion. I don't quite understand why it's considered one of Conrad's most masterful works, but maybe it just wasn't for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nate | 9/24/2011

    " Red this in 10th grade for US History I of all classes. Anyway. i didn't get it all when i read it. I just found the whole thing confusing. I'm sure by now it would be pretty amazing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin | 9/6/2011

    " This book started off at a painfully slow pace but once a terrorist bomb was set off in the heart of London the pace really picked up and the characters started dropping like flies making for an overall pretty interesting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin Brock | 9/6/2011

    " Starts of slow, but eventually picks-up near the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James MacIntyre | 8/5/2011

    " At times Conrad produces some amazing description of the characters and their thoughts and behaviours. Didn't love the book as, which the exception of the last 50 pages, often not much is happening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sloane Pitman | 8/2/2011

    " Tightly controlled and wordy--typical early 20th century prose style. Hard to get into, but turns the common idea of espionage novels on its head. Ends up really wonderful and masterful. Definitely a better Conrad read than Heart of Darkness! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elisabeth | 7/12/2011

    " A little slow, but a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nabilah | 7/6/2011

    " Decent plot with awesome ending accentuated by great writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dad | 6/18/2011

    " This is different and then not so different from his stories of a white man in a dark man's world. You just read a lot of despair in Conrad's work and even home in London you have the have's and have nots. Worth a read if you are looking for a different angle on Conrad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clay | 6/4/2011

    " Interesting story and characters, but I found the writing circuitous and longwinded. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gwen | 3/31/2011

    " A very interesting novel. It has some fascinating ideas and I'm glad I read this. I don't think I'll ever read it again though! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh | 3/27/2011

    " Before John le Carre and Ian Fleming, spies and agents were a pretty unglamorous bunch. The first half is more a who-got-offed than whodunit, and Mrs. Verloc gradually takes over as a warm, human character beneath the politics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 3/9/2011

    " Mix the world's first spy/terrorism novel with Conrad's incredible command of language and you have a well-paced, engaging and deeply philosophical novel. A very good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J | 3/4/2011

    " Conrad was writing about Terrorism long before 9/11. Someone should make an Apocalypse now of this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 2/5/2011

    " Good book, Hitchcock stole a scene from it. I guess one thing I don't get is, why do people decide to kill shit after reading it? It's not that kind of book, I don't think. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 1/30/2011

    " What a bleak view of humanity - a very depressing book, though well worth the read due to the characterizations and story-line. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lucian | 1/16/2011

    " Perhaps I was not yet a sophisticated reader to appreciate this book properly when I read it, but until I reread it, I can only say that I remember it as the weakest of the books by Conrad that I have read. "

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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

Ralph Cosham (1936–2014), a.k.a. Geoffrey Howard, was a British journalist who changed careers to become a narrator and screen and stage actor. He performed in more than one hundred professional theatrical roles, and several of his narrations were named “Audio Best of the Year” by Publishers Weekly. He won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and in 2013 he won the coveted Audie Award for Best Mystery Narration for his reading of Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.