'I am glad that I am alive, if, for no other reason, because of the joy of reading this book.'-Jack London. First published in 1915, "Victory" follows the character Axel Heyst, a Swede who renounces the world and lives on a remote island in the Malay Archipelago. He is shaken from his self-imposed isolation, however, after a chance encounter with Lena, a young Englishwoman in a touring ladies' orchestra. Axel comes to her aid when she is accosted by a loutish hotel owner. They seek refuge on his island, and Axel begins to see the value of life as a relationship with Lena unfolds. All too soon, however, three men set on revenge for the hotel owner, arrive on the island. The events that follow spiral into a devastating tragedy, and Conrad ultimately compels readers to decide on what constitutes defeat or victory in this characteristically descriptive, powerful narrative.
About the Author
Polish author Joseph Conrad is considered to be one of the greatest English-language novelists, a remarkable achievement considering English was not his first language. Conrad s literary works often featured a nautical setting, reflecting the influences of his early career in the Merchant Navy, and his depictions of the struggles of the human spirit in a cold, indifferent world are best exemplified in such seminal works as Heart of Darkness, Lord JimM, The Secret Agent, Nostromo, and Typhoon. Regarded as a forerunner of modernist literature, Conrad s writing style and characters have influenced such distinguished writers as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William S. Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, and George Orwell, among many others. Many of Conrad s novels have been adapted for film, most notably Heart of Darkness, which served as the inspiration and foundation for Francis Ford Coppola s 1979 film Apocalypse Now.