Lord Jim, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


'To the white men in the waterside business and to the captain of ships he was just Jim - nothing more. He had, of course, another name, but he was anxious that it should not be pronounced.' Lord Jim tells the story of a young, idealistic Englishman - 'as unflinching as a hero in a book' - who is disgraced by a single act of cowardice while serving as an officer on the Patna, a merchant-ship sailing from an Eastern port. His life is blighted: an isolated scandal assumes horrifying proportions. An older man, Marlow, befriends Jim, and helps to establish him in Patusan, a remote Malay settlement. There he achieves a kind of peace, but his courage is put to the test once more.

Lord Jim is one of the most profound and rewarding psychological novels in English. Set in the context of social change and colonial expansion in late Victorian England, it embodies in Jim the values and the turmoil of a fading empire. In his introduction and notes to this new edition Jacques Berthoud explores the social and cultural dynamics that inform the novel.

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Classic, now almost immortal, literary enhancement of the 19th Century colonial, adventure & coming-of-age novels. Having dishonoured himself by cowardice at sea, the protagonist Jim finally lands in the small, withdrawn realm of Patusan, where his wilful heroism lifts a local tribe from misery & oppression, only to choke its future all the more completely when his past & demons catch up with him. Shows the West's colonial paternalism in both its most radiant, exalted light & in its most ineradicable flaws - all by exposing the composite nature of humanity itself, of a single man, himself flawed, in fullest strength & despairing frailty.

Review by

I struggled a lot to get through this book and I liked it less the more I read. It is a very interesting book, however, in terms of its themes and philosophy. Jim is an incredibly human character, who must live with the shame and guilt of his mistakes in a very stratified world of British seamanship and imperialism. My primary compliant is that this is a very psychological novel but the author never really gets into the main character's head.

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