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The Stranger by Albert Camus
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The Stranger (original 1942; edition 1946)

by Albert Camus, Stuart Gilbert (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
21,811None60 (3.98)1 / 321
SeriousGrace's review
The quick and dirty about The Stranger: Meusault kills a man while on a weekend vacation with his girlfriend. Part I entails the events leading up to the murder and Part II is post-murder arrest and trial. The interesting component to the story is Meursault's (although not surprising) attitude towards the crime. From the very beginning Meursault has an apathy towards life in general. When he is confronted with a marriage proposal or a job offer he feels nothing. He barely shows emotion when his mother dies. It's as if he doesn't care about anything and yet, curiously, he keeps an old scrapbook where he collects things from the newspapers that interest him. He doesn't seem to understand love/hate relationships like the one his neighbor has with his dog of eight years. Meursault's attention span is also something to note. He is often distracted by lights being too bright, the ringing of bells and the chatter of people around him. the presence of light is particularly interesting since it is the sun that "causes" Meursault to murder.
When Meursault murders a stranger for no apparent reason the fact he did it is not up for debate. It is the reason why that is questioned. Calling Meursault The Stranger is a contradiction because he is not a stranger in the traditional sense. He is not a loner or outcast. He has friends, coworkers, even a girlfriend. What Meursault is a stranger to is expected societal behavior, like mourning the loss of a parent or having feelings for someone he is in a sexual relationship with. Nothing that happens around Meursault has an emotional impact on him. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jun 7, 2012 |
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Excelente obra, como toda la literatura de Camus ( )
  anyulled | Apr 2, 2014 |

يُنهي ألبير كامي رائعته الغريبه ​
بجمله" في ذلك الليل الذي يفيض بالنجوم احسستُ للمره​ الأولى بعذوبة ورقة اللامبالاه ، واحسسست اني كُنت ​سعيداً في يومٍ من الأيام ، ومازلت حتى الأن اتمنى ا​ن ينتهي كل شىء ، واتمنى ان اكون هناك اقل وحده من ه​

هكذا ، بعد تجاربي مع البير كامي من قبل في الطاعون ​و سوء التفاهم وكاليجولا اختم اعماله بأهمها على الأ​

في البدايه تشعر بجو غريب في الروايه كأنها رتيبه او​ ممله ، او كأن الكاتب لا يهتم بإثارة اهتمام القراء​ لا يهتم بحيازة تعاطف القارئ مع البطل ، وكأنه يخبر​ك بشكل غير مباشر ، انه حتى هو وليس فقط بطله ، من ذ​لك النوع الذي لا يستطيع إلا ان يؤقلم معتقداته مع ا​

شىء في شىء يأخذك معه إلى عالم مختلف خاصةً بعد حدوث​ الفعل الرئيسي في الروايه ، ليُدخِلك إلى عالم مليئ​

لن تستطيع ان تصنف هذا العمل إذا كان عبثياً ، او سو​دوياً ، او ينتمي إلى المدرسه الكلاسيكيه ، ربما هو ​خليط من كل ذلك ! لكنه بالتأكيد يستحق القراءه والتم​


وكانت نسختي الورقيه ترجمة دكتور / محمد غطاس تحتوي ​على مقدمةٌ ممتعه .. مفيده وشارحه لأعمال ألبير كامي​ عموماً لكن اكثر مااعجبني بها ، إنها ليست مقدمه عل​ى الأطلاق ! فهي تأتي في مؤخرة الكتاب وهذا ماانادي ​به من فتره ، فهو لم يحرق لك الأحداث او يرغمك على ت​قبلها من وجهة نظر المترجم بل وضعها لك كخاتمه مفيده​ توضح الصعوبات وتبين نقاط الأبداع ​
( )
  Dina_Nabil | Mar 23, 2014 |
A classic. ( )
  JK135 | Feb 24, 2014 |
I was surprised at how sparse this was. I had no sense of place or feeling for the characters. Interesting concept, but not a philosophy that I share. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
My introduction to Camus was back in a philosophy class as we read "The Myth of Sisyphus", the essay in which Camus argues for Sisyphus's happiness in an absurd sentence. Interested in this thought, I picked this book up and read and appreciated it less than the essay, partly because the plot and the main character's narration in the first part of the novel seemed boring to me. However, it all picks up at the second part where the court practically decides whether or not the man lived an actual life. What proceeds is a near poetic argument of absurdity, although it goes to no avail, for who will listen to a man that detaches himself from most of what makes us human--who will listen to a stranger?

Tentative 3 stars ( )
  Max-Tyrone | Feb 13, 2014 |
- [The Stranger] by [[Albert Camus]] This was my first Camus, which choice is an interesting coincidence. I chose it simply because it was available as a free ebook. Little did I know just how apropos the topic would be. My mother, like the narrator's, is in an assisted living home and this plays a major part of the story. This book has been reviewed and the story discussed at least a million times so I'm bypassing that. I just want to describe my experience of reading it. Every year I spend a month or so in the Sonoran Desert. It takes me a few days to settle in. As I slow down, I begin to see the subtleties of color and the large variety of plants, cactus. As I continue to slow, the desert life begins to finally catch my eye and I realize I am surrounded by lizards, insects, bunnies, coyotes. That was the experience I had of reading this book. There was something about it (the writing duh) that drew me right in and made me want to keep reading, yet nothing much was really happening. I liked the narrator but I could not have told you why. I don't know how anything so empty and lifeless could draw me in, but it did, it stuck, and I am still thinking about it. ( )
1 vote mkboylan | Jan 25, 2014 |
(Read in 2009.) Interesting read about a “loner” who buries his mother and then finds himself with the wrong kind of friends. He eventually kills another man and ends up on death row for the crime. The loner’s point of view is quite interesting – he seems to be short on emotion, not too attached to anything in his life---mother, girlfriend, friends. It seems he is just easy going and a bit disinterested in life in general. His only emotional outburst comes at the end of the story after the priest tries to convince him to turn to God and repent. I like that he does not capitulate but (finally) verbalizes his right to live his life as his own. ( )
  Becky221 | Jan 13, 2014 |
Introduction to Existentialism. I read it and couldn't believe that all my uncertain 17 year old's thoughts were put in writing. ( )
  allisonneke | Dec 17, 2013 |
The book was slow to hook me as I wasn't caught by the narrator's detached views of the world around him.

It wasn't until later on that I realized that was
a personality trait, not poor narration, and my interest picked up.

***SPOILERS***
When I got into part two, the confused nature of the narrator in regards to legal procedure reminded me of Kafka's The Trial. But his detachment also reminded me of the main Character in American Psycho. Not because of hate or an inability to control himself, but because he didn't grasp concepts of right and wrong or inappropriate behavior. The result was me feeling torn between pitying the guy for being in a predicament he truly didn't understand, and knowing that he did some things that were deserving of harsh punishment. I still don't know for whom I should feel pity, which is something I appreciate when a lot of the time, good and evil are so simply identified. ( )
  davadog13 | Nov 21, 2013 |
I had a pleasure reading this short, reflection inducing book. Most of all, I was appalled at the sense of "it's all the same" I felt when reading this book. I was led to examine myself and think "am I also that coldly calculating to others?" It was amusing, also to see what happens when context is ignored. I don't want to try and sound smart or recite the academic insights into this book: I just left it thinking this was a remarkable parable teaching the loneliness and meaninglessness of a detached, sterile, emotionless life.
  royceworld | Nov 9, 2013 |
létranger est différent des autres hommes qui subissent leur existence sans se poser de questions, il a du mal à reconnaître ses sentiments, et surtout il est marqué par une indifférence à ce qui l'entoure ( )
  saidjaoujat | Oct 25, 2013 |
Here's the thing, I remember that somewhere, for some class, I was supposed to read this. And because it was at one of those times that I had to read a book a week for more than one class that this one got left by the wayside and I managed to get around talking about Camus, mainly because I'd read the introduction or something.

[Helpful Note to all students: you'd be amazed at how you can manage in a discussion where you haven't completed all the reading if you
1) Learn how to listen intently and ask questions indicating you're interested (If you're a major in the field and this feels like work? Sign you need another major!)
and
2) Always read scholarly introductions. Whether you agree with the author or not, you'll often learn about the themes and historical background of the work.

Also 3) If you make a good faith effort to read at least the introduction and a small part of the book, and then participate in the conversation with questions, most professors are ok with you saying/confessing "I wasn't able to finish - sorry this was a multiple-book-assignment week for me - but I was curious about etc." (You're admitting you're interested in the subject enough to show up unprepared rather than skipping the class to hide - most profs are ok with this.)

You can do both of the first two without acting or lying because hey, if you're an English major you will definitely find yourself with so much assigned reading that it's not humanly possible complete - at one time or another. In fact, you may find yourself constantly in that situation the closer you are to graduating. Never fear, at the end of the semester just keep the books and read them at your own pace. Because it's likely those books/authors will come up again next semester.]

Happily an ebook of The Stranger is available here at Internet Archive.

Book, you are downloaded and I will read you. Just not yet. You'll have to get in line. Sorry about that. Lot of classics to imbibe lately.

  bookishbat | Sep 25, 2013 |
The sun plays a terrifying part in this book. It reminds me of the Nausea and of Crime and Punishment. He kills someone, but this crime is for him just an event more in his life. ( )
  Kirmuriel | Sep 19, 2013 |
Extremely well written ( )
  ronsea | Aug 23, 2013 |
This book was...not what I expected. The style is so unusual and so straight forward and brusque. I think it does a really good job of helping us to get inside Meursault's head, but I don't know if I like it. I also don't know what I expected from this book but what I got definitely wasn't it. But I liked it. I think? I dunno. I had a lot of weird non-feelings about this book, I guess because it didn't really make me feel much of anything and usually books make me really feel a lot of things. And it was weird to feel pretty meh about any book at all. Anyway, I think it was alright. It was entertaining, and I was curious to see how it ended. It kept me turning pages, and after a little bit of research on Camus, I did understand the absurdist view he was going for, I just don't think it was as amazing as everyone seems to make it out to be.

I especially enjoyed Marie and Salamano. Salamano was an interesting taste of reality in a silly setting. The idea of loving a dog as much as you hate it is something I can understand, even if it was taken to the extreme here. Marie was incredibly sweet, realistic, and entertaining. She was by far the best part of the book.

I think by the end, I was supposed to have taken a great, enlightening journey, understood Meursault's thought process, blah, blah, you know. I really didn't get it. It was good, but I'm afraid I only understand this on the basest level.

This is the most rambling review of all time. Ugh. ( )
  CayenneEllis | Aug 5, 2013 |
Psychological novel, very interesting, very French. Rather depressing too actually. Transports you to Algeria, to an alien colonial world - in that sense, it has a huge documental value. A must-read. ( )
  Miguelnunonave | Aug 5, 2013 |
I completely related to this book and I would read it again. I loved this book all the way through. ( )
  Laurakeggg | Jul 30, 2013 |
I'm quite familiar with the feeling of dissociation. This book allows you to see directly into that state of mind. A life lived in pure objectivity because somehow, the feeling of being a human and identifying with the general consciousness most live in has vanished. Everything around you feels as if you are merely an observer physically going through the motions just to get through life, but mentally you are somewhere else. Reality becomes a blurry dream. ( )
  Melissarochell | Jul 20, 2013 |
I can't explain why I like this book. The go with the flow attitude of the first part affected my personality. Anything I say about it I'm sure has already been said. Like I said, I can't really explain the appeal.
It sticks with you. ( )
1 vote Kari.Hall | Jul 15, 2013 |
I honestly can't remember why I liked this when I read it in high school. So. Depressing. And the protagonist is not even a real person, with actual emotions and motives you could relate to. I mean. I know that's also the point, but still. This book just makes me angry. ( )
  wirehead | Jul 9, 2013 |
The story is narrated by Meursault, the 'stranger' himself and the central character in it; the novel takes place in Algeria (Camus' birthplace) and is divided in two parts. In the first he tells certain events in his life- his mother's death and funeral; meeting the girl Marie with whom he goes swimming, has an affair and who loves him and wants to marry him; meeting with his friend Raymond and his help writing a letter to Raymond's girlfriend who is Arab and whose brother is after Raymond; going to meet one Raymond's friends at the latter's beach house on a Sunday afternoon; seeing the Arab and one of his friends in the beach who beats Raymond up but is scared off by Raymond's gun; finally Meursault going back to the place where they saw the two Arabs and shooting the girl's brother for no apparent reason.

The second part deals with Meursault's imprisonment, trial and the death sentence by guillotine. There are a lot of absurd events while he is in prison and during the trial. Absurdities also abound in the first part.

The only constant throughout all these events is Meursault's lack of interest and response to these events. There is no emotional reaction on his part but, rather, takes all the events as things that happen and he is just like an unattached observer. He has no preconceptions, no morals but only physical desires, up to a point. This is well illustrated by the novel's first paragraph, when he starts narrating about his mother's death:

"Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't now. I got a telegram from the home: 'Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.' That doesn't mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday"

So the book starts with his mother's death, to which his reaction is indifference, and ends with his upcoming death to which he is also indifferent. He is cold and unfeeling throughout the novel. Despite this character that is not very appealing, I think the novel itself is very good. Mainly because it makes you think about life in general and the importance of events throughout one's life. ( )
  xieouyang | May 25, 2013 |
I can't decide on a rating for this - I'm going to have to think about it some more. Definitely brilliant, I'm just not sure how I feel about it! ( )
  heterocephalusglaber | Apr 26, 2013 |
An example of absurdism, this novel and it's main character left me cold. I can usually find something to connect with, but the disconnect of the main character is so complete I can't relate to him in the slightest. ( )
1 vote DK_Atkinson | Apr 14, 2013 |
First read this in my late teen. The 3 stars are correct. The alienation, the void of Meursault's life are what shine out for me. But the violence against women, the animal abuse, the racism even if they were in character and of the time just made me recoil. I had forgotten about them or I was too young for them to register the last time I read it. ( )
  writerlibrarian | Apr 7, 2013 |
OK, laugh all you want, but I had never heard of this book and had no idea it was so popular or influential when I read it. I just saw it and picked it up and read it. And was blown away. Certainly not the feel good book of the summer, but it did affect me strongly and I recommend it, if there is anyone else out there who hasn't read it yet. ( )
2 vote bongo_x | Apr 6, 2013 |
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