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The Stranger (1942)

by Albert Camus

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Cycle de l'absurde (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
31,74345168 (3.95)1 / 687
When a young Algerian named Meursault kills a man, his subsequent imprisonment and trial are puzzling and absurd. The apparently amoral Meursault--who puts little stock in ideas like love and God--seems to be on trial less for his murderous actions, and more for what the authorities believe is his deficient character.… (more)
  1. 341
    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. 231
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (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. 70
    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.
  4. 104
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (SanctiSpiritus)
  5. 94
    Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (roby72)
  6. 72
    No Exit / Dirty Hands / The Flies / The Respectful Prostitute 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.
  7. 51
    Whatever by Michel Houellebecq (sanddancer)
  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
    The Fall by Albert Camus (chrisharpe)
  10. 30
    Barabbas by Pär Lagerkvist (Troddel)
  11. 30
    No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre (rretzler)
  12. 10
    She Came to Stay by Simone de Beauvoir (JuliaMaria)
  13. 00
    Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh (j_aroche)
    j_aroche: If you ever feel like an alien in the wrong planet.
  14. 00
    The Pigeon by Patrick Süskind (P_S_Patrick)
    P_S_Patrick: Short, deeply existentialist novels of literary character.
  15. 00
    The Execution: A Novel by Hugo Wilcken (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: Similar in style, theme, narration and execution. The Execution is a more modern version of the tale.
  16. 00
    The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous Deception by Emmanuel Carrère (bertilak)
  17. 11
    The Family of Pascual Duarte by Camilo José Cela (thatguyzero)
  18. 01
    Cosmos by Witold Gombrowicz (Bitter_Grace)
  19. 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)
  20. 14
    The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick by Peter Handke (lewbs)

(see all 23 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 396 (next | show all)
I sort of knew what this classic was about, but there were still surprises. It is a thin book and reads quite easily. The short and dull sentences sometimes feel like a boring diary, sometimes it even makes it funny, but in the end it delivers the world through Meursault's eyes - nothing really matters, things just happen. I could relate to him in his inability (or reluctance?) to express emotions what everybody expects of him, but I could not related to him in his passivity.
The Stranger contains one of the best parts on captivity and capital punishment I have read so far. I also enjoyed the portrayal of the life's beautiful little moments and the summer evenings of Algiers. Meursault knew how to live in the moment. We are all the time taught to live in the moment, but this book makes me think that it's not enough with only that. ( )
  dacejav | May 16, 2022 |
It took me two years to drag myself through this book and I absolutely understand how beautifully written it is but I've also painstakingly (recall the two years) realised that I'm not (for the lack of a better word that surely exists but not in the very limited vocabulary that is served to me by my brain) "wise" enough to lap Camus up yet. ( )
  Toshi_P | May 6, 2022 |
SO BORING. I knew it was about nihilism, but I didn't know it was teaching you about nihilism by making you experience some miserable boring life in too much detail and feel the futility of existence as an extension of the pointlessness of reading this book. ( )
  brutalstirfry | May 6, 2022 |
what an astounding book this is , it is definetely a page turner as well as an enjoyable read , now !
what i loved about the book is that it had a strong opening , great shaping and characterization , and , what i admired even more was the description of emotion and sentiment , that ; according to which enviorment or event the character (mersault) was thrown into , but i have to say , this wasn't what got me to love the book fully , what i truly was fond of , was the way , albert camus applied , nihilism , to mersault's character , life , decisions and so on , truly gives you insight on life , through the view of a nihlist , one that's views and decisions are not based on the values of the society he lives in , but by the absolute acceptance and aknowledgment of the meaninglesness of life and the non existent value of values and ethics , wonderful camus ! ( )
  yassinberg | Apr 17, 2022 |
This short and shattering novel is about a murder on a beach and a man who is condemned not for what he has done but who he is.

This Penguin edition includes a brief afterword written by Camus in 1955 - 13 years after the book was published. Camus says that Meursault, the central character, is a man who refuses to lie and even compares him to Christ. This is curious as it suggests Camus had misremembered his own book. Meursault does lie and he is, in some respects, an unlikeable character. He agrees, for example, to take part in a deception, writing a letter to a girl on behalf of a friend, who is probably a pimp, so his friend can have sex with her and then assault her. After his friend is arrested for beating up the girl, Meursault provides a statement to the Police saying that she had been unfaithful, which he certainly does not know to be true.

But there is one thing Meursault does refuse to lie about - his emotions and responses to the world. He shows no emotion at his mother’s funeral. Asked by his girlfriend if he loves her he replies that it’s a meaningless question but probably not. Invited to show remorse for his crime he replies merely that he feels annoyance about it.

At his trial he is portrayed by the prosecution as the man who did not cry at his mother’s funeral and the next day went swimming, to a comedy film and then to bed with a new girlfriend. Failing to give the responses the system demands, refusing to live his life by society’s norms, in the eyes of the judge and jury these are far worse crimes than murder, and Meursault is found wanting for his character rather than his crime.

Written in deceptively simple prose, with not a wasted word, the Outsider is a powerful fable overflowing with philosophical resonance about the individual and society. ( )
  gpower61 | Apr 10, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 396 (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 (60 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Albert Camusprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bree, GermaineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brenner, Hans GeorgTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cohen, Marc J.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davison, RayEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dunwoodie, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flower, J.E.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, StuartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goyert, GeorgTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hall, BarnabyPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laredo, JamesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laredo, JosephTranslatorsecondary 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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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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When a young Algerian named Meursault kills a man, his subsequent imprisonment and trial are puzzling and absurd. The apparently amoral Meursault--who puts little stock in ideas like love and God--seems to be on trial less for his murderous actions, and more for what the authorities believe is his deficient character.

No library descriptions found.

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.
Haiku summary
Je suis étranger.
Aujourd'hui, maman est morte.
Et je ne pleure pas.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182504, 0241950058, 0141389583

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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