book review: the inheritors

The Inheritors, a science fiction story by Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford, wasn’t very good. It’s about a writer-narrator who abandons his ideals by doing political hack writing. It’s a science fiction story because the titular inheritors are “from the fourth dimension.” The narrator is in love with one of them, even though they’re cold and unfeeling and simply want to turn human society into a collection of sociopathic nihilists.

Most of the plot is about a European duke wanting to colonize Greenland and the language around that is kind of terrible to modern sensibilities. Race plays, not a big part, but a very noticeable part. The narrator whines about how unjustly he’s being treated saying “I’m not a nigger, after all.” It’s just kind of uncritically tossed out there, along with the casual discussion of the Jewish race and the Greenland savages. I guess that’s what you get when you read century-old books but yeah.

Apart from the language, the story’s kind of shitty. The narrator doesn’t do anything but whine about how he’s abandoning everything he should be valuing. You just want him to shut up about it or actually do something. So yes. Not the best book I’ve read recently.

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