The Stranger

Paperback, 123 pages

English language

Published April 17, 1989 by Vintage.

ISBN:
978-0-679-72020-1
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4 stars (260 reviews)

L'Étranger (French: [l‿e.tʁɑ̃.ʒe]) is a 1942 novella by French author Albert Camus. Its theme and outlook are often cited as examples of Camus' philosophy, absurdism coupled with existentialism, though Camus personally rejected the latter label.The title character is Meursault, an indifferent French Algerian described as "a citizen of France domiciled in North Africa, a man of the Mediterranean, an homme du midi yet one who hardly partakes of the traditional Mediterranean culture." He attends his mother's funeral. Weeks later, he kills an Arab man in French Algiers, who was involved in a conflict with one of Meursault's neighbors. Meursault is tried and sentenced to death. The story is divided into two parts, presenting Meursault's first-person narrative view before and after the murder, respectively. In January 1955, Camus wrote this:

I summarized The Stranger a long time ago, with a remark I admit was highly paradoxical: "In our society any man …

82 editions

don't care

No rating

I read this for French practice. It did do its job of being simple in language and short, while being a whole serious "classic" book for adults.

I'm not the type of person for philosophical debates. I know the answers and/or don't care. You shoot someone for no reason -> you go to jail so that you don't do it again. I don't have time for what exactly what might be wrong with this guy or whether he loves his mother.

But maybe I missed the point because I don't even speak French?

Review of 'The Stranger' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I found this to be an enlightening piece of nihilist fiction. I would be remiss if I wrote an extended review of this book. Suffice it to say that nothing really matters. The sooner that one opens their heart to the “benign indifference of the universe,” the sooner one can experience some modicum of happiness in life.

Review of 'The Stranger' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Very interesting book indeed. In its style it heavily reminded me at Knut Hamsuns 'Hunger' and works of Kafka. While in 'Hunger' the narrator fights against its destiny and tries to solve his issues, the main person from 'The Stranger' does not really mind to interact with his environment or tries to influence it in the best way possible. Instead, he accepts his fortune and acts in the most practical way possible. I had the feeling, that he is only concerned about the 'now' and not about yesterday or tomorrow. For instance, when his mother died it hadn't any great impact on him at all. At the funeral he wasn't sorry or in pain. It was just a think that needed to happen at some point. He just gets used to it, as he always get to everything. When his neighbour beats his dog, he doesn't care for the dog. …

Review of 'The Stranger' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I must’ve skipped reading this in high school; I have no memory of it at all. Today at 52, I’m writing this because I (still?) find it unmemorable and, should I forget it again, would like to save myself the trouble of rereading it in the future.

I don’t know what others get out of this. I would like to have that conversation one day. Me, I found myself more interested in the pathology than in anything else: what sort of brain damage renders a person so affectless? And how can one so emotionally dead manage to capture, so exquisitely, the precise details that highlight the emptiness of the lives of those around him? It doesn’t work: only a gifted human observer could zero in so perfectly on the details that will so horrify the reader. It's a Catch-22: the psychically empty protagonist, perfect memory notwithstanding, could not have the …

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