Recently, I started the novella Heart of Darkness for the second time. The first time I remember that the language seemed a bit arcane, and it was a bit slow getting going, so I dropped it for another book with a better hook. This time, I started to stagnate after a few pages, however, I propelled myself forward when I got into an early rut for similar feelings as the first go around. But I am glad I didn’t get hung up on that snag and give up again because Joseph Conrad has a unique way of laying out a story, and he uses original, pleasingly idiosyncratic, and sometimes mystical language. This makes more sense when one considers that he was not a native English speaker and probably did very little writing in the language until he was in his twenties. The main setting of the novella is exotic, and he uses an impressive economy of words to weave a captivating tale in which death is plentiful and rather curiously regarded at times from several different angles. If it were a thousand page tome, I might have decided once again that I could find a better use of my time than pushing through his prose, especially considering that my to-read list stacks up daily and is dauntingly high.