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Which Book Would You Read?

To celebrate Joseph Conrad, we’d like to ask, which book would you read?

The Secret Agent

Author: Joseph Conrad

ISBN: 9780141199559

Set in early twentieth-century London and inspired by an actual attempt to blow up the Greenwich Observatory, The Secret Agent is a complex exploration of motivation and morality. The title character, Adolf Verloc, is obviously no James Bond. In fact, he and his circle of misfit saboteurs are not spies but terrorists, driven less by political ideals than by their unruly emotions and irrational hatreds.

Verloc has settled into an apparent marriage of convenience. Family life gives him a respectable cover, while his wife hopes to get help in handling her halfwit brother, Stevie. Instead Verloc involves Stevie in one of his explosive schemes, an act that leads to violence, murder, and revenge.

Darkly comic, the novel is also obliquely autobiographical: Joseph Conrad’s parents were involved in the radical politics of their time, and their early deaths left him profoundly distrustful of any sort of political action.

14,9 GELBuy the Book

Eyeless in Gaza

Author: Aldous Huxley

ISBN: 9780099458173

Written at the height of his powers, Aldous Huxley’s highly acclaimed Eyeless in Gaza is his most personal novel. Huxley’s bold, nontraditional narrative tells the loosely autobiographical story of Anthony Beavis, a cynical libertine Oxford graduate who comes of age in the vacuum left by World War I. Unfulfilled by his life, loves, and adventures, Anthony is persuaded by a charismatic friend to become a Marxist and take up arms with Mexican revolutionaries. But when their disastrous embrace of violence nearly kills them, Anthony is left shattered—and is forced to find an alternative to the moral disillusionment of the modern world.

A young man growing into manhood during war and economic turmoil is beset by doubts about politics and people. But in his blind wanderings to find an acceptable way of life, he is seduced by them for pacifist motives.

10,9 GELBuy the Book


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