The silence of the jungle is broken only by the ominous sound of drumming. Life on the river is brutal and unknown threats lurk in the darkness. Marlow’s mission to captain a steamer upriver into the dense interior leads him into conflict with those who inhabit the forest. But his decision to hunt down the mysterious Mr. Kurtzan ivory trader who is the subject of sinister rumorsleads him into more than just physical peril. The short story Youth, in which Marlow tells of his unlucky experience onboard a ship where the cargo caught fire, is also included.