Published to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth, The Several Lives of Joseph Conrad is a brilliant and highly readable biography of a literary figure of world-wide reputation.
Joseph Conrad's impact has been so profound and far-reaching that, eighty years after his death, he remains an essential cultural reference point. Such phrases as 'heart of darkness' and 'The horror! The horror!' have entered the language, often cited without an awareness of their original contexts. His popular legacy extends to Latin American fiction, to the spy novel, to the terrorist and anarchist character, and to film. The writers he has influenced range from T. S. Eliot to William Faulkner to V. S. Naipaul and John Le Carré. For a writer of 'difficult' fiction he has enjoyed a remarkably wide impact, yet as Marlow proclaims in Lord Jim of the figure whose story he tells, 'he was one of us' and so Conrad remains in fascinating ways.
“Formidable ... Stape's succinct way of dealing with Conrad's 'several lives' must be applauded.”
“A Fascinating portrait of a mind-boggling, globe-spanningly modern life.”
“Conrad is dead. I finished reading in something like a state of mourning. John Stape has brought him so much to life - a living man, a working writer, not a 'study', not a statue - that one can't help suffering with him. I am so pleased to have had the experience of this book. But it's sad as it is triumphant.”