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The Plague by Albert Camus

The Plague (1947)

by Albert Camus

Other authors: Stuart Gilbert (Translator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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11,926125220 (3.95)2 / 404

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English (115)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (125)
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
I just finished reading this for the second time, I feel like I got more this time! I love Camus, his humanity, compassion, his empany for all. This is a great book! ( )
  michaelbartley | Nov 28, 2015 |
This book struck a lot of really personal nerves for me this time through, after my own year of disaster and emotional quarantine, so it's a bit hard to talk about. But I will say, the prose is stunning, and the reason I love this book so much more than The Stranger is that its characters are disconnected and terribly alone as well, but they are trying so hard to connect, and the whole book is about that the striving and the precious moments of success. ( )
  Tafadhali | Nov 18, 2015 |
The town of Oran was mentioned on some telly quiz the other day, they asked in what country it could be found – and I knew the answer because The Plague is set there. (It’s in Algeria.) The other notable thing about this book is that I was reading it on the tram on my return from the cinema after watching Interstellar when two drunk teenage girls sat down beside me, and one of them asked if she could read my book with me. She then proceeded to read out aloud from the page I was reading. I was only glad I hadn’t been reading something by Michel Houellebecq… The title of the novel pretty much describes its plot: bubonic plague strikes the city of Oran, the authorities close its borders, the medical establishment tries hard to prevent the spread of disease, people die. This is the third book by Camus I’ve read and it’s generally considered to be his best… but I can’t actually see the appeal. Apparently, the plague is a metaphor for the German occupation of France during WWII but, well, it’s also an epidemic, something which seems horrifying enough on its own – and, given the current ebola scare, something which serves perfectly well without any allegorical baggage which might have been more readily apparent to readers at the time of original publication. I know people who rate Camus – one day I’ll have to get them to explain why he appeals to them to me (and, um, I shall have probably have to explain why I admire Lawrence Durrell as a writer so much…). ( )
  iansales | Mar 14, 2015 |
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 |
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» Add other authors (77 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Camus, Albertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, StuartTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corsari, WillyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, StuartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:11 -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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