Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard

Front Cover
Harper & Brothers, 1904 - Latin America - 480 pages
Set in the South American republic of 'Costaguana, ' it is an exciting, complicated story about capitalist exploitation and revolution on the national scene and about personal morality and corruption in individuals. Charles Gould's silver mine helps to maintain the country's stability and its reactionary government. Gould's idealistic preoccupation with the mine warps his character and makes him neglect his gentle wife, Dona Emilia. When the revolution comes, Gould puts a consignment of silver in the charge of Nostromo, the magnificent, 'incorruptible' capataz de cargadores ('foreman of the dock workers'). A chance happening makes Nostromo decide to bury the silver and pretend that it was lost at sea. He is eventually killed on the island where his riches are buried, when he is mistaken by his fiancee's father for a prowler. ... Conrad's characterization is strong, his narration is complex and oblique. The story starts halfway through the events of the revolution and proceeds by way of flashbacks and glimpses into the future.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - m.belljackson - LibraryThing

Conrad's vivid and evocative descriptions of the land, sea, and sky can be overwhelming, even when read in short sections from DailyLit. This is his third book in a row that I've read (Outcast of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TerriBooks - LibraryThing

I read Nostromo for the book group at the library. I suppose it was good for me, but I didn't enjoy it. It seemed to take forever to get to the point, and then it wasn't clear to me what this book is ... Read full review

All 5 reviews »

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 126 - Imagine an atmosphere of opera-bouffe in which all the comic business of stage statesmen, brigands, etc., etc., all their farcical stealing, intriguing, and stabbing is done in dead earnest. It is screamingly funny, the blood flows all the time, and the actors believe themselves to be influencing the fate of the universe.
Page 61 - A vague idea of rehabilitation had entered the plan of their life. That it was so vague as to elude the support of argument made it only the stronger. It had presented itself to them at the instant when the woman's instinct of devotion and the man's instinct of activity receive from the strongest of illusions their most powerful impulse.
Page 443 - There was something inherent in the necessities of successful action which carried with it the moral degradation of the idea.
Page 423 - Antonia could not possibly have ever loved a being so impalpable as himself), the solitude appeared like a great void, and the silence of the gulf like a tense, thin cord to which he hung suspended by both hands, without fear, without surprise, without any sort of emotion whatever.
Page 90 - ... by her imaginative estimate of its power she endowed that lump of metal with a justificative conception, as though it were not a mere fact, but something far-reaching and impalpable, like the true expression of an emotion or the emergence of a principle.
Page 475 - Nostromo!" Mrs. Gould whispered, bending very low. "I, too, have hated the idea of that silver from the bottom of my heart." "Marvellous! — that one of you should hate the wealth that you know so well how to take from the hands of the poor. The world rests upon the poor, as old Giorgio says. You have been always good to the poor. But there is something accursed in wealth. Senora, shall I tell you where the treasure is? To you alone. . . . Shining! Incorruptible!
Page 434 - There is no peace and no rest in the development of material interests. They have their law, and their justice. But it is founded on expediency, and is inhuman; it is without rectitude, without the continuity and the force that can be found only in a moral principle . . . the time approaches when all that the Gould Concession stands for shall weigh as heavily upon the people as the barbarism, cruelty and misrule of a few years back.
Page 442 - It had come into her mind that for life to be large and full, it must contain the care of the past and of the future in every passing moment of the present.
Page 422 - In our activity alone do we find the sustaining illusion of an independent existence as against the whole scheme of things of which we form a helpless part.
Page 63 - French blood, giving him the temperament of a Puritan and an insatiable imagination of conquest. He was completely unbending to his visitor, because of the warm introduction the visitor had brought from Europe, and because of an irrational liking for earnestness and determination wherever met, to whatever end directed. "The Costaguana Government shall play its hand for all it's worth - and don't you forget it, Mr.

Bibliographic information