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The Plague by Albert Camus

The Plague (1947)

by Albert Camus

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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11,643122230 (3.94)2 / 390

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English (113)  German (2)  Italian (2)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (122)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
I have decided to not finish this book. This is a huge milestone for me. I see your wondering about the 2 stars. I am only like 75 pages until the end. But I just can't do it. So the 2 stars. I guess I can see why the author is a Nobel winning prize person. It is lovely, well written. BLAH.BLAH. Its all been said I am sure. But I am a direct communicator. I realize that I need things to get to the point. Sooner is better than later. I think as some point I yelled out loud. "Dude...can you just cut to the chase". We know the plague is there, we know there will be death and mayhem. And here is the rub...or maybe its sad. I wanted more death and more mayhem. More description. Oh but I just said I wanted the author to get to the point, you can still do that and give good description without it taking 5 paragraphs to walk up the fucking stairs. I found the human element to be lacking. I wanted to feel sorry for the town, for the main characters. But I just could care less. They did not earn my empathy. I think that is what bothers me most. I don't care. I don't care if the entire population of that town died of the plague. That is where this author lost me. And I quit. Quit the book. I am moving on. ( )
  jaddington | Feb 16, 2015 |
It is fine for the blurb on my edition of this book to say that it is a disguised version of the suffering of France under German occupation during the Second World War, but to me, this is so much more - and so much less.

Naturally, for Camus, the events in wartime France would influence his writing - particularly in this tome, written only two years after war's end. It certainly shows here but, the Plague, in common with most, if not all of his works, is much more the story of man told through the eyes of a man. The narrator of this tale keeps his identity under wraps until the final pages (by which time, I think that we have all guessed) but, I will not spoil the surprise by naming 'the man'. He is merely a man, or is he man? One thing is certain, the tale is not of a plague for, whilst the scene is of a village cut off from the outside world by an outbreak of plague, the medical details and even the direct suffering of both victims and their families is portrayed at a minimum level. One gets the feeling of a man deeply scared and traumatised who is just keeping the lid on things.

The most well observed section of the piece is after the plague has passed. Camus paints a picture of, not just the joy and celebration but, also the loss and mistrust of this bright new tomorrow. Yes, this can be seen as an allegory of the world post WW II, but it is also a very perspicacious reading of fragile humanity following any major disaster. We live in a world of immediacy perpetuated by TV news. Once a disaster is over, we forget the people who have lived through it and expect them to recover with the speed of a cartoon character, blown to bits in one scene and, five seconds later, running around unhurt. This book reminds us that it isn't so and, for this reason, amongst many, it is well worth reading. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Jan 30, 2015 |
Au restaurant de l'hôtel, il y a toute une famille bien intéressante. Le père est un grand home maigre, habillé du noir, avec un col dur. Il a le milieu du crâne chauve et deux touffes de cheveuc gris, à droite et à gauche. Des petits yeux ronds et durs, un nez mince, une bouche horizontale, lui donnent l'air d'une chouette bien élevée. Il arrive toujours le premier à la porte du restaurant, s'efface, laisse passer sa femme, menue comme une souris noire, et entre alors avec, sur les talons, un petit garçon et une petite fille habillés comme des chiens savants. Arrivé à sa table, il attend que sa femme ait pris place, s'assied, et les deux caniches peuvent enfin se percher sur leurs chaises. Il dit > à sa femme et a ses entants, débite des méchancetes polies à la première et des paroles définitives aux héritiers:


Et la petite fille est prête à plaurer. C'est ce qu'il faut.

Ce matin, le petit garçon était tout excité par l'histoire des rats. Il a volue dire un mot à table:


>, a dit le souris noire.

Les deux caniches on piqué le nez dans leur pâtée et la chouette a remercié d'un signe de tête qui n'en disait pas long.

Le Peste, page 25

( )
  behemothing | Oct 25, 2014 |
I enjoyed reading The Plague by Camus. A short story in a style I found similar to Kafka in many ways. I enjoyed the suspense and good start of the story and the characters we were introduced to were all believable and real. Having travelled quite a bit in my life and being away from family/friends, I could relate well to how Camus wrote about longing and being separated from family for long periods. Another meaning I gather from the story is also the purpose of striving for good and benefit of society, despite conditions that may seem pointless or overwhelming. ( )
  briandarvell | Oct 22, 2014 |
Human beings tend to cling to convenient obliviousness - 'I haven't seen it, so it can't really exist!' - in spite of embarrassing, burgeoning bodies of evidence to the contrary. In order for this comfortable bliss of ignorance to be maintained, it follows that any flagging up of the problem will be met with denial: so naturally you get accusations of lying, or exaggeration. These aren't always intentionally unkind - I think they're often motivated by a horrified inability to accept the severity of the problem as by a deliberate attempt at dismissal. - Laura Bates, Everyday Sexism
This quote explains perfectly the ignoring of all the warning signs in The Plague, especially by Dr. Rieux and his colleagues. A stampeding immigration of thousands of infected, dying rats doesn't raise an alarm, really?!

A riveting 100-page opener filled with realistic personal, medical, social, and legal observations and their emotional repercussions was followed by an increasingly introspective and philosophical narrative and dialogue. Unfortunately I wasn't as enamoured with the slower paced latter than I was the action-packed former. However, it does perfectly reflect the tiresome nature of the plague: being imprisoned in the town under quarantined conditions, unable to leave or communicate with the outside world, separating friends and family.

The stifling heat of summer, the inescapable smell of burning bodies and the only news of note being the number of dead that day, becomes insufferable, but the people must endure for they have no choice. All emotions are heightened in the face of the apocalyptic nature of the plague, randomly killing everyone around you - fear, depression, desperation. One could've even take solace in their pets as they're exterminated in case they spread the disease, which deprives one old man of his favourite pastime - spitting on cats. (Haha! Sorry, I'm a dog-person.)

This story of triumph and tragedy covers 8 months (Apr 16 to Jan 25) and is set in 1940s Algeria, and by the end I was just as exhausted and tired of the plague as Oran's residents, Dr. Rieux especially.

*Read the translation by Robin Buss.
**Read as part of The Dead Writers Society's Around the World challenge.
( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (77 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Camus, Albertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corsari, WillyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, StuartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'It is as reasonable to represent one kind of imprisonment by another, as it is to represent anything that really exists by that which exists not! -' ('Robinson Crusoe's preface' to the third volume of Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe).
First words
The unusual events described in this chronicle occurred in 194- at Oran.
Les curieux événements qui font le sujet de cette chronique se sont produits en 194., à Oran.
Le matin du 16 avril, le docteur Bernard Rieux sortit de son cabinet et buta sur un rat mort, au milieu du palier
"Oran, however, seems to be a town without intimations; in other words, completely modern."
The distinction can be made between men and, for example, dogs; men’s deaths are checked and entered up.
"They fancied themselves free, and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."
"In normal times all of us know, whether consciously or not, that there is no love which can't be bettered; nevertheless we reconcile ourselves more or less easily to the fact that ours has never risen above the average."
"You'd almost think they expected to be given medals for it. But what does that mean—'plague'? Just life, no more than that."
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679720219, Paperback)

The Nobel prize-winning Albert Camus, who died in 1960, could not have known how grimly current his existentialist novel of epidemic and death would remain. Set in Algeria, in northern Africa, The Plague is a powerful study of human life and its meaning in the face of a deadly virus that sweeps dispassionately through the city, taking a vast percentage of the population with it.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Chaos prevails when the bubonic plague strikes the Algerian coastal city of Oran. A haunting tale of human resilience in the face of unrelieved horror, Camus' novel about a bubonic plague ravaging the people of a North African coastal town is a classic of twentieth-century literature.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185139, 0141045515, 0141049235

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