"It had become a place of darkness. But there was in it one river especially, a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land ... it fascinated me as a snake would a bird-a silly little bird." Marlow decided to follow the snake. It would lead him to Mr Kurtz, a troubled European gone native, and was feared and revered like a god. Conrad himself had served on a Belgian steamer on the Congo River and he found inspiration for "Heart of Darkness" in his travel journals. This enigmatic novel features on almost every top hundred list.