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The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger (original 1942; edition 1988)

by Albert Camus

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23,44526547 (3.97)1 / 441
Title:The Stranger
Authors:Albert Camus
Info:Knopf (1988), Hardcover, 144 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Stranger by Albert Camus (1942)

  1. 300
    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. 93
    Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (roby72)
  4. 93
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (SanctiSpiritus)
  5. 72
    No Exit and Three Other Plays by Jean-Paul Sartre (Hollerama)
    Hollerama: 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.
  6. 51
    Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky (hiddenpunk)
  7. 30
    The Man Who Watched Trains Go By by Georges Simenon (thorold)
    thorold: Respectable bourgeois discovers absurdity of life and commits motiveless crime.
  8. 30
    Barabbas by Pär Lagerkvist (Troddel)
  9. 41
    Whatever by Michel Houellebecq (sanddancer)
  10. 11
    The Fall by Albert Camus (chrisharpe)
  11. 00
    The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrere (bertilak)
  12. 11
    The Family of Pascual Duarte by Camilo Jose Cela (thatguyzero)
  13. 01
    Cosmos by Witold Gombrowicz (Bitter_Grace)
  14. 13
    The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick by Peter Handke (lewbs)
  15. 510
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (SanctiSpiritus)
  16. 05
    Just Revenge : A Novel by Alan M. Dershowitz (LCBrooks)
    LCBrooks: Complementary works that create a powerful foundation for a philosophical debate on revenge.
  17. 617
    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (Sylak)
    Sylak: Similar in feel and with the same sense of futility throughout.
1940s (3)
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English (234)  Spanish (8)  French (7)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (2)  Danish (2)  Finnish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  English (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (265)
Showing 1-5 of 234 (next | show all)
A young man in Algiers drifts from his mother's funeral, back to his apartment house where he acquires a girlfriend with little effort, listens to a neighbor plotting to get even with his mistress and does nothing to stop it, then commits murder with ease. He describes the relaxing day at the beach that turns deadly in a voice that makes neither sound more important than the other, and doesn't bother defending his actions to the officials who attempt to figure out his motive to kill a stranger, often telling the reader that he would have made an effort to be understood, but "it didn't really matter". ( )
  mstrust | Nov 14, 2015 |
It's a bit hard to put my finger on it, but something about this book is extremely fascinating and interesting. It is incredibly well written and very efficiently drops you into the story and lets you experience the vivid sights, sounds and smells. The main character can seem somewhat inhuman and unrealistic, but at the same time, there is something very normal about him. Moreover, his relative lack of emotions creates a void that provokes many of your own emotions to fill it. The book has an interesting way of dealing with the themes of absurdity, responsibility and morality. It's all tied together with the ideas of existentialism - that life has no higher meaning beyond what we give it - and it's definitely a story you'll have to mull over for a while once you're done with it.

( )
  brikis98 | Nov 11, 2015 |
some people will dislike this because of how casually camus seems to throw everything away. at the end, some might say, everything just withers into nothingness, and hence everything is nothing much different from the other. orange juice and mud all come out as piss in the end, as user "Jr Bacdayan" despairs below, and also living and not-living, murder and not-murder; they too do not change the Fundamental Equation of the Universe, so who gives a shit? now, i do not think this is a correct way of seeing this novel. it all comes down to how the ultimate death is a metaphor, not an actual event that actually happens; and in fact a metaphor for a new life, from whence, having got rid of all that oppressive noise before us, we can move forth into the void and potentially - nay, necessarily - construct a new morality, one that is expressed through the individual and her experience, rather than relying on ridiculous assertions of universal Truth, Justice, and other such Capital concerns.

others, i'm sure, will feel all this angsty screaming into the aether about the pointlessness of existence to be tired, trite, and filled with high school pretensions of misplaced profundity. be that as it may, but i feel this is merely an aesthetic preference, in the same way that ardent fans of this sort of thing will instinctively dismiss works of bright colours and lurid passions as contrived manipulations of our easiest emotions.

still others will just find the stripped down "story" to be boring. ah, whatever. i liked it. very good. lovely. ( )
  lisaeves | Nov 1, 2015 |
later ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
later ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 234 (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 (148 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
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
Valente, José ÁngelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, MatthewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zevi, AlbertoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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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Since it was first published in English, in 1946, Albert Camus's first novel, THE STRANGER (l'étranger), has had a profound impact on millions of American readers. Through this story of an ordinary man who unwittingly gets drawn into a senseless murder on a sun-drenched Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd."

Now, in an illuminating new American translation, extraordinary for its exactitude and clarity, the original intent of THE STRANGER is made more immediate. This haunting novel has been given a new life for generations to come.
Haiku summary

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 8 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)

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