I was so excited about joining the Classic Club, as explained on Deb Nance’s Readerbuzz, that I started early and read (actually listened to) Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim in December, rather than waiting for January, as instructed.
I was very disappointed in my first attempt on whittling down my list of 100 classics (the first twenty of which I posted my first Classic Club post). I received the original list in high school, and it has been an on-going “project” ever since. Deb had spun the spinner, and #14 was the number of choice, Lord Jim on my list.
Most of the book was an audio slog. It was not the fault of the narrator’s calm, unexcited voice; it was the writing of the story. Jim, himself, was just too upright and uptight–too “good” to be true, and he was wracked with guilt over things that were just “human nature,” never cutting himself any slack, until Marlow (the narrator of the novel) and I just wanted to say, “Get over it man, and get on with it!”
It had its moments. How could it not with pirate attacks, shipboard fires, ships sinking, tropical islands complete with beautiful maidens, corrupt rulers, double crossings and backstabbing, an on and on…? Through it all stood the upright Lord Jim–totally blessed and fortunate, and yet totally miserable. Whatever could happen to a man of the sea did happen to Jim. The ending was predictable, for an unhappy man like Jim could not put up with a happy ending.