Monday, June 25, 2007

Under Western Eyes

In 1910 Joseph Conrad published a novel about a young man named Razumov. This novel is Under Western Eyes and like so much of Conrad it is well written and full of psychological insight. For the 'hero' of the story takes up with a terrorist, Victor Haldin, and betrays him to the secret police. This act haunts him throughout the rest of the novel and the ramifications of his actions determine to a great extent his fate. Set in St. Petersburg before the fall of the Czar and in Geneva Switzerland where revolutionaries plotted against the Czar, this novel takes you into a world of intrigue that shares the atmosphere of that era. The narrator of the novel is a professor of English living in Geneva who through access to Razumov's diary is able to narrate both the inner thoughts of Razumov while sharing the outer circumstances that he observes. This is a novel that lures the reader with a psychological suspense and does not disappoint.

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