I was aware of Joseph Conrad's reputation as a towering figure of English literature, but until The Secret Agent, had never considered reading any of his books, as I feel more comfortable with contemporary writing. In a roundabout way it came to me by recommendation from someone whom I barely know and is an acquaintance of my wife. It was described to me as the greatest book that he had ever read. So I bought the book more out of curiosity than a personal preference.
Initially, I found it difficult coming to terms with Conrad's somewhat dated writing style. The book I believe was written in 1907, so that came as no real surprise. But what was surprising is that Conrad was originally from Poland so English was his second language. To have such a command of the English language is truly amazing.
I can't say that I enjoyed every page, or the writer's somewhat meandering style, but what I did find quite exhilarating was how the writer delved into the personalities of a fairly disparate, dystopian group of people; their intricacies and insecurities, and how each character fitted into what was basically a fairly simple, although very tragic plot.
Overall I found the book thought provoking. I'm glad that I persevered. Well worth the read. Four stars.
- Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; 1 edition (26 May 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0241259525
- ISBN-13: 978-0241259528
- Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1.9 x 18 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 181 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews