Friday, July 30, 2010

The Stranger by Albert Camus~★★★★

Author: Albert Camus
Title: The Stranger
Release Date: First released in French in 1942, English in 1943; this edition from 1993
Publisher: First published by Libraire Gallimard ; this edition published by Everyman's Library
Genre: Fiction

Book Description: "Albert Camus' spare, laconic masterpiece about a Frenchman who murders an Arab in Algeria is famous for having diagnosed , with a clarity almost scientific, that condition of reckless alienation and spiritual exhaustion which characterizes so much of twentieth-century life. Possessing both the force of a parable and the sentence-by-sentence excitement  of a perfectly executed thriller, The Stranger is the work of one of the most engaged and intellectually alert of our century's writers."

Taryn's Review: This is a very unique book. I'm not a person who knows much about existentialism, so I won't pretend I do and I'll just present the book as I understood it.

Mersault was a man who didn't seem to be very emotional. He was very matter-of-fact in his answers. He showed no emotion when his mother suddenly passed away. The after her death, Mersault resumed his life activities as normal. He became involved with a girl whom he told he would marry simply because it would make her happy, but also noted he couldn't say if he honestly loved her. Mersault ended up killing a man and afterward, he treated the situation the same way he had everything else in life...bluntly.

The book is written in short sentences, but each one still held a huge burst of interest for me. It was very hard to relate to someone like Mersault, but I found myself not wanting to put this book down. In the end, Mersault spoke about the absurdity of man and justice in relation to his trial.

This book really gets the old wheels turning. Pick it up and give it a shot. It's very readable and Mersault is not someone you are likely to forget anytime soon.

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