The Heart of Darkness is one of those book that I feel like I have to read. Even if it really is not all that appealing initially.
Kenneth Branagh has narrated a version at Audible.com and I picked it up for free. So I just did not have any more excuses for not listening to it on audiobook.
I have seen Apocalypse Now, and I knew that Apocalypse Now was loosely based on Heart of Darkness.
The story is of a British man that decides to go to Africa and try his hand at being a river ship captain. About the first third of the book is introduction and deciding to go. Roughly the second third is getting to Africa and adapting to the job. This is a fairly racist book so there are all types complaints about the natives, or the cannibals, etc.
I think in this book, you can either read it as matching the views of the time or an example of how far the sinful hearts of man have already gone even before it starts its real decent (the way I choose to.)
The last third of the book I would have completely not gotten if I had not watched Apocalypse Now. It is not that they are the exact same (there are some pretty big differences) but it gave me enough context to understand.
Kenneth Branagh did masterful job narrating. Audible has a number of very good classics that they produced with actors (both their Signature Performance series and their A+ Actors series).
But in the end this is another classic that I get the point, I understand the importance, but the story and the characters are just not worth celebrating.