Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad was a Polish-British writer regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. He is best known for his novels 'Heart of Darkness' and 'Lord Jim', which explore complex themes of morality, colonialism, and human nature.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Heart of Darkness

    This classic novel follows the journey of a seaman who travels up the Congo River into the African interior to meet a mysterious ivory trader. Throughout his journey, he encounters the harsh realities of imperialism, the brutal treatment of native Africans, and the depths of human cruelty and madness. The protagonist's journey into the 'heart of darkness' serves as both a physical exploration of the African continent and a metaphorical exploration into the depths of human nature.

    The 25th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Lord Jim

    The novel revolves around a young, idealistic British seaman, who commits a crime of cowardice at sea. He abandons his ship, leaving hundreds of passengers to their fate. He is publicly censured for this act and spends the rest of his life in shameful obscurity in the South Seas, trying to repress the guilt of his past and regain his lost honor. His quest for redemption leads him to a remote island where he gets a chance to prove his courage, but his tragic flaw ultimately leads to his downfall.

    The 140th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Nostromo

    Set in the fictional South American country of Costaguana, the novel explores the turbulent political and social changes of the era through the eyes of Nostromo, a respected and resourceful Italian expatriate. Nostromo's loyalty and heroism are tested when he is tasked with hiding a cache of silver from a revolutionary government. As the political landscape shifts, he finds himself caught in a web of moral dilemmas and life-altering decisions. The novel is a profound examination of power, corruption, and the human condition.

    The 194th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Secret Agent

    "The Secret Agent" is a dark political satire set in London in the late 19th century, revolving around a secret agent who is also a shopkeeper, his anarchist friends, and his family. The story unfolds as the agent is coerced by his foreign employers to orchestrate a bombing in a bid to provoke a political response, but the plan goes disastrously wrong, leading to tragic consequences and a deep exploration of themes such as anarchism, espionage, terrorism, and betrayal.

    The 463rd Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Victory

    Set in the turn-of-the-century Indonesian archipelago, the novel follows Axel Heyst, a detached and enigmatic European who has isolated himself on an island in the company of his Chinese assistant, Wang. Heyst's solitary existence is disrupted when he rescues Lena, a distressed young woman, from a hotel owned by the malevolent Schomberg. The couple's attempt to live a reclusive life together is threatened when three sinister figures arrive on the island, seeking revenge and fortune. The narrative unfolds as a dark tale of love, betrayal, and existential despair, exploring themes of isolation, the consequences of detachment, and the quest for personal victory amidst the inherent corruption of human interactions.

    The 1555th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Under Western Eyes

    Set in St. Petersburg and Geneva, the novel follows a young Russian student named Razumov who becomes embroiled in revolutionary politics after unwittingly helping a fellow student who has assassinated a high-ranking official. Struggling with his own beliefs and loyalties, Razumov is sent to Geneva as a spy, where he becomes entangled with the exiled revolutionaries, including a woman named Haldin. The novel explores themes of identity, betrayal, and the ideological divide between East and West.

    The 1842nd Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. The Shadow Line

    A young man takes command of his first ship, navigating the challenges of leadership, isolation, and responsibility. As they journey from Bangkok to Singapore, the ship is becalmed and the crew falls ill, leading to a tense and eerie atmosphere. The protagonist is forced to confront his own fears and insecurities, ultimately coming to terms with his own mortality and the sacrifices required for command. The tale is a profound exploration of the transition from youth to adulthood, framed within a maritime adventure.

    The 2627th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Chance

    This novel explores the complex themes of fate, love, and the struggle for personal integrity through the story of Flora de Barral, a young woman whose life is marred by her father's financial disgrace and imprisonment. The narrative unfolds through the perspectives of multiple characters, primarily through the eyes of Marlow, a seasoned seaman, who recounts Flora's journey towards self-discovery and redemption. As Flora navigates the challenges posed by her societal downfall, she encounters Captain Anthony, with whom she develops a tumultuous relationship. Set against the backdrop of maritime life and London society, the novel delves into the intricacies of human nature, the impact of past actions on present circumstances, and the unpredictable nature of chance that can alter the course of one's life.

    The 6767th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. Youth, A Narrative

    This novella is a captivating tale that centers around the reminiscences of Marlow, a seasoned seafarer, as he recounts his early experiences at sea to a group of friends. The narrative focuses on Marlow's first independent command as a young captain of a ship destined for Bangkok, which carries a cargo of coal. The journey is fraught with challenges, including a fire aboard the ship, which tests the crew's resilience and Marlow's leadership. Through this adventure, the story explores themes of youth, the passage of time, and the nature of memory, as Marlow reflects on the exuberance and optimism of his younger self, contrasting it with his more tempered outlook in later years.

    The 6767th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. Almayer's Folly

    This novel tells the story of Kaspar Almayer, a Dutch trader struggling to survive in the Malaysian archipelago. Dreaming of wealth and a return to the comforts of European society, Almayer's ambitions are continually thwarted by his own inadequacies, the treachery of others, and the shifting political landscape. His relationship with his mixed-race daughter, Nina, becomes the emotional core of the story, highlighting themes of cultural identity, colonialism, and the clash between East and West. As Almayer's dreams crumble around him, the novel delves into his descent into despair, painting a poignant picture of a man caught between worlds, unable to belong fully to either.

    The 6767th Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. A Personal Record

    "A Personal Record" is an autobiographical work that offers a glimpse into the life and thoughts of its author, a renowned novelist. The book provides a detailed account of his experiences as a young man leaving his native Poland to embark on a career in seafaring, which later profoundly influenced his literary work. It explores his motivations, personal growth, and the development of his identity as a writer. Through a series of anecdotes and reflections, the narrative delves into the challenges of writing and the intricacies of his artistic vision, presenting a compelling portrait of an artist's journey and the personal history behind his creative output.

    The 8745th Greatest Book of All Time