This is Conrad's first book and it sets the stage for what is to follow. The setting, themes, description, characterization and plotting are all archetypal Conrad. It is assured with a very complex structure and one an hardly believe that Conrad came out of the gate both this original and developed. It's not his best work, but it certainly is very good. It explores the contradictions in colonialism in a real way and also has the kind of delusional lost hero that Conrad can make compelling in a way that almost nobody else can. Good stuff.