Victory by Joseph Conrad
Set among the islands of the Malay Archipelago, ‘Victory’ is the story of Axel Heyst, a ‘utopist’ who shuns human society in favour of a solitary existence on the island of Samburan. On a rare trip away from his island solitude, Heyst visits Schomberg’s hotel in Sourabaya where he encounters an English girl who is part of a travelling ladies’ orchestra. He rescues her from a wretched existence and takes her back to Samburan. Schomberg, who had designs on the girl, is furious, and later he exacts his revenge by directing three villains to Samburan in pursuit of the fortune that Heyst is rumoured to have there. Their arrival in Heyst’s private paradise triggers a train of events which quickly reach a violent conclusion.
I have to say I thought this was an outstanding book. I never cease to be amazed by the standard of Conrad’s writing and his storytelling ability. A terrific and compelling yarn.