'I rang the bell before a mahogany door on the first floor, and while I waited he seemed to stare at me out of the glassy panel - stare with that wide and immense stare embracing, condemning, loathing all the universe. I seemed to hear the whispered cry, 'The horror! The horror!' '
On a boat in the Thames estuary, Marlow tells his travelling companions of his reconnaissance expedition for a Belgian trading company to its most remote outpost in central Africa, which brought him on the trail of the elusive Kurtz, a brilliant idealist gone rogue. His account relates not only the perils he encounters on his quest, but also the deterioration of his state of mind as he is confronted with a world that is hostile and alien to him.
Renowned for its stylistic boldness and dramatic descriptions, Heart of Darkness is a stark yet subtle examination of the powers of the subconscious and the workings of western imperialism.