Heart of Darkness - Book

Oxford University Press

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Reading Level: Grades 10-12 

Lexile Level: 950L

Setting: Colonial Congo, 1890

Genre: British Literature, World Literature

Page Count: 272

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In this classic short novel, Charles Marlow is a young man desiring adventure in exotic lands. With the help of an influential aunt, Marlow is assigned to be captain of a Belgian trading company's steamer in the Congo Free State (modern-day Zaire) of Africa. As he prepares to journey up the Congo River to the company's inner station, he hears tales about the station's manager, Mr. Kurtz, an ivory trader who has amazing power over the natives of the region. Determined to meet this man, Marlow begins his journey. Instead of excitement and glamour, Marlow finds horror, and far up river, he encounters the mysterious Kurtz. Here, he sees what can happen when a man believes himself no longer accountable to society or God.

Content Warning: This title is recommended for mature readers!

Book Awards:
#158 on the Big Read List (UK’s top 200)   •   Great Books of the Western World   •   
The Great American Read #83 (Top 100)   •   100 Best Novels Written in English #32

Extra Information

Oxford University Press
Recommended Grade Level:
Colonial Congo, Africa, 1890
British Literature, World Literature
Page Count:
187 pages
Joseph Conrad
Lexile Level:
Book ISBN: