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The Stranger by Albert Camus
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The Stranger (1942)

by Albert Camus

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
26,46833167 (3.96)1 / 575
  1. 320
    The Trial by Franz Kafka (chrisharpe, DLSmithies)
    DLSmithies: Two protagonists on trial without really understanding what they're being accused of - it's just a question of degree.
  2. 191
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (chrisharpe, DLSmithies, edelpao)
    DLSmithies: A compare-and-contrast exercise - Raskolnikov is all nervous energy and hypertension, whereas Meursault is detatched, calm, and won't pretend to feel remorse. Two masterpieces.
  3. 71
    Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky (hiddenpunk)
  4. 93
    Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (roby72)
  5. 60
    The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud (Philosofiction, JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Meursault ist der Protagonist in dem existentialistischen Roman "Der Fremde", auf den sich Daoud in seiner Gegendarstellung bezieht.
  6. 104
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (SanctiSpiritus)
  7. 72
    No Exit and Three Other Plays by Jean-Paul Sartre (HollyMS)
    HollyMS: I read both works in French class. Though Albert Camus denied being an existentialist, both L'Étranger (The Stranger) and Huis Clos (No Exit) have some common themes and are among some of the most important 20th century French works of literature.
  8. 40
    The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By by Georges Simenon (thorold)
    thorold: Respectable bourgeois discovers absurdity of life and commits motiveless crime.
  9. 41
    Whatever by Michel Houellebecq (sanddancer)
  10. 30
    Barabbas by Pär Lagerkvist (Troddel)
  11. 21
    The Fall by Albert Camus (chrisharpe)
  12. 00
    She Came to Stay by Simone de Beauvoir (JuliaMaria)
  13. 11
    The Family of Pascual Duarte by Camilo José Cela (thatguyzero)
  14. 00
    The Pigeon by Patrick Süskind (P_S_Patrick)
    P_S_Patrick: Short, deeply existentialist novels of literary character.
  15. 00
    The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrère (bertilak)
  16. 12
    At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others by Sarah Bakewell (JuliaMaria)
  17. 01
    Cosmos by Witold Gombrowicz (Bitter_Grace)
  18. 14
    The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick by Peter Handke (lewbs)
  19. 06
    Just Revenge by Alan M. Dershowitz (LCBrooks)
    LCBrooks: Complementary works that create a powerful foundation for a philosophical debate on revenge.
  20. 511
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (SanctiSpiritus)

(see all 21 recommendations)

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English (290)  French (9)  Spanish (8)  Italian (7)  Dutch (5)  Portuguese (2)  Finnish (2)  Danish (2)  German (2)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (330)
Showing 1-5 of 290 (next | show all)
This book was a bit depressing - it had somewhat of an oppressive feeling that I just couldn't get out from under. It follows a man whose mother has died and he essentially just spends a lot of time wandering around and thinking to himself (at least, that's the gist that I got). It reminded me of a less motivated and purposeless Holden Caulfield, which I didn't know was possible. I didn't really enjoy it much but I did finish. So there's that. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Aug 1, 2018 |
My memory of this book is less important to me than the memory of the context in which I read it. A year previous, the college where I worked announced it would be closing forever in 16 months. After watching my colleagues find new jobs and leave or get dismissed in several rounds of layoffs, during the school's final months, I found myself somehow still employed and put in charge of supervising the college's small library (because our librarian was one of those who found a job elsewhere) in addition to my increasingly nonexistent communications/PR work.

I was instructed to start preparing to shut down the library and to run a giveaway of all the books in its collection. I converted the study tables into book displays with their own themes and subjects. The Stranger ended up on the fiction classics table, and I eyed it for a few days before picking it up and reading the first two pages. I was fascinated by the tone and decided to sit down and read it since it was short and I didn't have much of anything else to do that day. I found myself increasingly annoyed by the words and actions of the sniveling weasel of a narrator, but I sat in my empty library and read it through to the end and threw it into the box of books I was setting aside for myself. A trophy of an empty afternoon at a soon-to-be-empty campus.

I'm sure there's irony in all this somewhere.

C'est la vie. ( )
  villemezbrown | Jul 28, 2018 |
Really short and simple book, but so good. Makes you think about life, time and what are we doing with it without making a big deal out it. ( )
  wellreadcatlady | Jul 9, 2018 |
Talk about your deep and difficult novels! The story is easy, the reading is easy, the pace is fast, the understanding is complicated and in some ways unfathomable. Camus' theme of absurdity that runs through his works are present in The Stranger with other resounding comments about death, decay and disconnect.

I do not assume to have the intellect to dissect this novel and add anything new to the discussion. I feel that the antithesis of what Camus believed is the actual truth. I think we are all connected. I think God is there and cares and moves through our lives. I believe there is always purpose and meaning in life...in fact, in the simplest moments are some of the deepest meanings. I expect to cross the barrier between this life and the next and find an astounded Camus on the other side very pleased with having gotten it all wrong.

Oddly enough, I felt a great sympathy with the lost soul who is Camus' main character. Every time he said something "didn't matter" I cried for him. This book will not be easily placed out of mind. I will be seeking to understand and decipher it for a while yet. Perhaps for a long while.

UPDATE: Having read this a month ago, I have not stopped thinking about it. There was a great deal there to mine, and I have slowly pondered some of the ironies Camus presents. I believe I will read it again and very soon, because I think I may have left it with more questions than answers. I have changed my 3* rating to 4* because I believe I have more appreciation of it now than I did when I had only just finished reading and because any book that nags at you afterward is obviously important. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Excerpts from my ~2012 GR review:
- Camus was into a "philosophy of the absurd", denying any meaning to life. Kind of close to nihilism. But Camus vehemently denied an existential bent. But I'm splitting hairs. Bottom line on 2nd reading: a young guy, morally ambivalent, detached, gets caught up in a feud, kills an Arab under a blazing sun. I don't find this as transcendent as seems generally held. I certainly liked it enough that I'll read his later works, which are more absurdly complex... I appreciate the translator's choice to render 'maman' in its original (vs. 'mother' in earlier english translations). This simple reversion softens Meursault's otherwise insensitive characterization. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | May 11, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 290 (next | show all)
It is quite a trick to write of life & death, as Camus does, in terms of an almost total social and moral vacuum. He may get philosophical satisfaction from it. Most readers will call it philosophic doodling.
added by Shortride | editTime (May 20, 1946)
 
"The Stranger,” a novel of crime and punishment by Albert Camus, published today, should touch off in this country a renewed burst of discussion about the young French writers who are at the moment making more unusual literary news than the writers of any other country.
 

» Add other authors (62 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Camus, Albertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bree, GermaineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brenner, Hans GeorgTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cohen, Marc J.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dunwoodie, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, StuartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goyert, GeorgTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hall, BarnabyPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laredo, JamesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lionni, LeoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lynnes, Carlos, Jr.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, SusanArt directorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morriën, AdriaanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stolpe, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Urculo, EduardoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valente, José ÁngelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, MatthewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watkins, LiselotteCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yentus, HelenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zevi, AlbertoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Mother died today. (Stuart Gilbert translation)
Maman died today. (Matthew Ward translation)
Aujourd'hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas.
Quotations
And I, too, felt ready to start life all over again. It was if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe. To feel it so like myself, indeed, so brotherly, made me realize that I'd been happy, and that I was happy still.
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Book description
Pubblicato nel 1942, "Lo straniero" è un classico della letteratura contemporanea: protagonista è Meursault, un modesto impiegato che vive ad Algeri in uno stato di indifferenza, di estraneità a se stesso e al mondo. Un giorno, dopo un litigio, inesplicabilmente Meursault uccide un arabo. Viene arrestato e si consegna, del tutto impassibile, alle inevitabili conseguenze del fatto - il processo e la condanna a morte - senza cercare giustificazioni, difese o menzogne. Meursault è un eroe "assurdo", e la sua lucida coscienza del reale gli permette di giungere attraverso una logica esasperata alla verità di essere e di sentire.
(piopas)
Haiku summary
Je suis étranger.

Aujourd'hui, maman est morte.

Et je ne pleure pas.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679720200, Paperback)

The Stranger is not merely one of the most widely read novels of the 20th century, but one of the books likely to outlive it. Written in 1946, Camus's compelling and troubling tale of a disaffected, apparently amoral young man has earned a durable popularity (and remains a staple of U.S. high school literature courses) in part because it reveals so vividly the anxieties of its time. Alienation, the fear of anonymity, spiritual doubt--all could have been given a purely modern inflection in the hands of a lesser talent than Camus, who won the Nobel Prize in 1957 and was noted for his existentialist aesthetic. The remarkable trick of The Stranger, however, is that it's not mired in period philosophy.

The plot is simple. A young Algerian, Meursault, afflicted with a sort of aimless inertia, becomes embroiled in the petty intrigues of a local pimp and, somewhat inexplicably, ends up killing a man. Once he's imprisoned and eventually brought to trial, his crime, it becomes apparent, is not so much the arguably defensible murder he has committed as it is his deficient character. The trial's proceedings are absurd, a parsing of incidental trivialities--that Meursault, for instance, seemed unmoved by his own mother's death and then attended a comic movie the evening after her funeral are two ostensibly damning facts--so that the eventual sentence the jury issues is both ridiculous and inevitable.

Meursault remains a cipher nearly to the story's end--dispassionate, clinical, disengaged from his own emotions. "She wanted to know if I loved her," he says of his girlfriend. "I answered the same way I had the last time, that it didn't mean anything but that I probably didn't." There's a latent ominousness in such observations, a sense that devotion is nothing more than self-delusion. It's undoubtedly true that Meursault exhibits an extreme of resignation; however, his confrontation with "the gentle indifference of the world" remains as compelling as it was when Camus first recounted it. --Ben Guterson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:42 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A young Algerian, Meursault, afflicted with a sort of aimless inertia, becomes embroiled in the petty intrigues of a local pimp and, somewhat inexplicably, ends up killing a man. Once he's imprisoned and eventually brought to trial, his crime, it becomes apparent, is not so much the arguably defensible murder he has committed as it is his deficient character. In the story of an ordinary man who unwittingly gets drawn into a senseless murder on a sun-drenched Algerian beach, Camus was exploring what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd". Now in a new American translation, the classic has been given new life for generations to come.… (more)

» see all 17 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182504, 0241950058, 0141389583

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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