Book Review: The Stranger by Albert Camus

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General Fiction > Literature | Classics

Set in Camus’ native Algeria, this story centers around Meursault. The young French-Algerian leads an apparently unremarkable bachelor life until his involvement in a violent incident calls into question the fundamental values of society.

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Hmph. This classic is an epic fail for me.

I don’t like how Meursault thinks, much less act. It’s like everything for him is happening to someone else, and he is but a mere spectator. There were bits and pieces of philosophy that caught my attention, but Meursault is such a loser in his pathetic life.

The Stranger is less than 200 pages, and yet it got annoying after each turn of the page. I cannot find myself sympathizing with the miserable situation Meursault found himself in, because he has no regard with whatever happens to him.. until he faced his mortality as it draws near.

That one thing I remotely liked? The story about the Czech (?) and his mother/sister. Other than that, good riddance.

Stranger started out good, but ended up sucking IMO.

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THE STRANGER by Albert Camus

Paperback, 123 pages

Published March 13th 1989 by Vintage International

2/5 stars

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Stranger by Albert Camus

    • Who says you have to do it? Hahaha. Hmm. Camus is just a damn genius. He exaggerated that character to make it visible.

      “The subject of literature, I tell my students repeatedly, is human experience. Literature rarely gives us new information. What it does instead is put us in touch with human experience, clarifying that experience in the process. The Stranger performs that function to a preeminent degree.

      The protagonist of the story is named Meursault. His actions and responses are abnormal in the extreme. Above all, he is unable to attribute normal human feeling and meaning to the external events of his life. He murders a man and feels no regret. When Meursault’s girlfriend, Marie, asks him to marry her, the first-person narrator records, “I said I didn’t mind; if she was keen on it, we’d get married.”

      To write this off as being so abnormal as to be irrelevant is to miss the point. The imagination always heightens what it touches. As a result, the experiences of life stand silhouetted with more-than-ordinary clarity. Meursault’s life is a completely accurate picture of how many people around us live—a heightened and exaggerated picture, to be sure, but an accurate picture.

      This is a second reason for Christians to read Camus: his fictional characters and the events of their lives are a window to our world. The daily news is also a window to our world, but it is out of date 48 hours later. Meursault, by contrast, haunts our memory and becomes an unforgettable acquaintance. As we ponder him, we come to understand some of the people in our own lives.”

      • interesting take 🙂 i remember that scene with Marie, I felt like he’s detached from himelf, yeah? when he said he didn’t mind. Thanks for dropping by!

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