I think this is first book that my dad has ever suggested to me that I did not also love. I won't say that it was bad, per say, just that it was so incredibly boring until Marlow finally met up with Mr. Kurtz (over 100 pages in) that I thought I would go crazy. Seriously, how does a 133 page book feel like you are undertaking a read of War and Peace & the entirety of the Song of Ice and Fire with a side of the Wheel of Time series?
I get that Conrad was primarily focused on showing the depravity of people here. Cannibals, slavers, poachers, industry, greed, etc are all used as examples of the downfall of society. The thing with all of that, however, is that while it is still interesting in it's own special way, it was not written in a way where I even remotely cared. Period. All I wanted was to finally meet Mr. Kurtz and see what all of the hooplah was about. I still don't get it. Nothing, nada, zip.
If this book had not be written in 1899, and not been the first of it's kind, would it have been as resounding as it was? We'll never really know. But I doubt it.
To finish off this, I'm going to add something additional that I don't say very often.
Watch Apocalypse Now and save yourself the trouble. If Kurtz in the book had been anything like Brando's Kurtz, this would have been an entirely different review.