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The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger (original 1942; edition 1989)

by Albert Camus

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
32,15845968 (3.95)1 / 689
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)
Title:The Stranger
Authors:Albert Camus
Info:Vintage International, Paperback, 123 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

The Stranger by Albert Camus (1942)

  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: Stories 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 402 (next | show all)
I was inspired to do a quick re-read of this novel by good ol' Sparky Sweets, PhD.

There are two things that stood out for me, this time.

The first is that the refusal of the character to play the game, and feign even a passing interest in other people, becomes downright comical. His interviews with the magistrate could not possibly leave a worse impression, and even his lawyer tells him: "Just. Shut. Up."

The second is that the story is almost the mirror opposite of Crime and Punishment: the murderer is caught immediately, he is plagued by no guilt, and instead of finding redemption through repentance, he comes to terms with a universe as indifferent to his existence as he is to the existence of others.

EDIT: For those who are counting, the translation in the ebook edition I read is the one that uses execration in the final sentence. ( )
  mkfs | Aug 13, 2022 |
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. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
What an interesting novella! Sometimes odd, sometimes humorous, other times poignant and usually absurd. But always interesting.

This book was written approximately 80 years ago but still flows as if it was written just yesterday. The concise writing style is much appreciated. The narrative flows quickly. It is the type of book that you simply don’t want to put down, and ends too soon.

Other reviewers will summarize the plot narrative, and/or the philosophical implications. In any regard, highly recommended reading. ( )
  la2bkk | Jul 20, 2022 |
A book that is more focused on the philosophical side than anything else, the story and pacing are therefore quite poor. If you are very much into philosophy you might like it, otherwise likely not. ( )
  vdh01 | Jul 18, 2022 |
Én megértem Gyergyait, hogy anno a Közöny címet választotta. Amíg az eredeti (és egyben: az új) cím elsősorban Meursault viszonyára mutat rá a világgal, addig Gyergyai választása (az utolsó oldalakra reflektálva) e viszony kölcsönösségét emeli ki: ahogy M. nem tudja, nem akarja elfogadni a társadalmi konvenciókat, úgy a társadalom sem akarja megérteni, elfogadni M. kívülállását, amit bűnös érzéketlenségként kezel. Megértem Kiss Kornéliát és Ádám Pétert is, hogy visszatértek Az idegen címhez: végtére is ez a címe, kész, slussz-passz. Másfelől meg Gyergyai valóban belenyúlt az olvasatokba, ami nem elfogadható egy fordítótól*. (Mellesleg: nagyon jó az új fordítás. Igyekeztem párhuzamosan lapozgatni a Gyergyai-félével. Igazából nem jelentősek a különbségek, de nagy általánosságban mindenképpen visszafogottabbnak, tárgyszerűbbnek láttam a revideált szöveget.) Meg hát megértek én minden értelmezést, néhány közülük: 1.) politikai olvasat: a francia gyarmatosítás kudarcának parabolája 2.) pszichológiai olvasat: esettanulmány egy kognitív zavarhoz 3.) egzisztencialista olvasat: tanmese arról, hogyan élhet a személy legokosabban személyes szabadságával úgy, hogy egészséges közönnyel olvad fel a világ tündéri érdektelenségében (szintúgy lásd az utolsó oldalakat) 4.) Meursault-ellenes olvasat (a „szigorú bíró”): amúgy meg minek itt futni a felesleges köröket – M. gyilkolt, akárhogy is vesszük. Még bele is lőtt négyszer a földön fekvő arabba. Kit érdekel, milyen mentális problémái vannak? Mentsük fel, hisz úgyis csak egy arabot lőtt le?

És így tovább, és így tovább. Amúgy meg hajlok rá, hogy egy könyv milyenségét a lehetséges olvasatok száma alapján ítéljem meg. Ilyen értelemben pedig persze, hogy öt.

* Másfelől viszont az új kiadás is sugall egy olvasatot azzal, hogy Camus 1955-ös, az amerikai kiadáshoz írt előszavával vezeti fel a kisregényt. Ebben az író odáig megy, hogy M.-t a korhoz illő „Krisztus-alakként” jellemzi. Egy újabb olvasat. ( )
  Kuszma | Jul 2, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 402 (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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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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.
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

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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