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The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger (edition 1989)

by Albert Camus (Author), Matthew Ward (Translator)

Series: Cycle de l'absurde (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
33,34347569 (3.95)1 / 722
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 (Author)
Other authors:Matthew Ward (Translator)
Info:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (1989), 123 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

The Stranger by Albert Camus

  1. 331
    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. 80
    The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud (Philosofiction, JuliaMaria, kjuliff, kjuliff)
    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. 40
    L'Home que mirava passar els trens by Georges Simenon (thorold)
    thorold: Respectable bourgeois discovers absurdity of life and commits motiveless crime.
  6. 62
    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. 95
    Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (roby72, kjuliff)
    kjuliff: Existentialism
  8. 41
    The Fall by Albert Camus (chrisharpe)
  9. 30
    Barabbas by Pär Lagerkvist (Troddel)
  10. 30
    No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre (rretzler)
  11. 41
    Whatever by Michel Houellebecq (sanddancer)
  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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» See also 722 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 418 (next | show all)
What a brilliant book. Simple yet touched so deep in you! Loved it. Now I want to read all his books! ( )
  hongjunz | Feb 20, 2023 |
I'd learned of this book while watching a film whose main character was a respected literature professor. Unfamiliar with the author and knowledge is was deemed a classic, I checked in out from the library. Of the hundreds of books read over the years, of which many are Pulitzer winners this book ranks at the bottom. Books written in a foreign language can be challenging since translations vary. The heart of good stories are well developed characters, engaging plots and in some cases, surprises. Since this book possesses none of this I'm baffled how it's categorized as a classic. ( )
  Jonathan5 | Feb 20, 2023 |
I feel like I have to justify this 3 star review.

I understand what Camus is getting at throughout his novella. It's an intro to existentialism staple. Mersault, the impassive and free-willed main character doomed from the beginning because society does not understand his tenets of living, takes us on his journey of coming to terms with the possibilities of his conciousness. A heightened embodiment of the existential mantra, Meursault skirts between the line of a hilariously personified existential body, to a vague, watered-down shadow of it. Perhaps that was Camus' genius: create a character just relatable enough to see the persecution of such a radical philosophy (you may argue it's not, but I'm not here to go into the finer points of it) and take us unknowingly into his mind to sympathize.

I think my problem lies entirely with me. I'm not a fan of existentialism. I think there's too much meaning in the world and I revel in the supernatural, the love of others, and the pain therein. I can get a hold of the idea of being alone in the universe, and I think that's a pretty swell way to put it, but that'll never lesson my drive to become as attached as I can to others.

Therein lies the rub: I don't identify with this struggle to the extent Camus' explored. I am quite in the fashion of enjoying the emotions of life and I think that made it so I did not enjoy this as much as I should have. It was a fine read, beyond intelligent and creative with how these ideas were presented, but it just wasn't for me. I think that's the problem with philosophical books, it's a hit or a miss when you're dealing with something so heady as an entire fashion of thought and consciousness. I'll probably pick it up again in a few years if I'm being honest, but for now, it's a tentative 3 for me. Where's my sun beaten breakdown with red between my eyes and a mad dash to the 5 star button so I stop feeling so damned outta the loop about this thing? ( )
  Eavans | Feb 17, 2023 |
Främlingen handlar om en vanlig människa i det koloniala Algeriet, Meursault (Mersault i den första svenska översättningen), vars mor dör på ett sjukhem. Meursault har aldrig haft särskilt mycket tid att vara tillsammans med henne, eftersom han är fattig och resan till sjukhemmet tar flera timmar. Folk i omgivningen anser att han inte sörjer sin mors bortgång och förebrår honom för detta.
  CalleFriden | Feb 9, 2023 |
Fun fact: While I was reading the book, a lot of the behaviours and reasonings of Merault made me think of a person with Aspergers,and after doing some research it turns out that there is evidence that the character was based on Camus' friend who had Aspergers.

In The Stranger, the main character Meursault is a nihilist who believes that life has no meaning. He lives detached from the people around him and does not care about his life, family, or friends. He does not abide by society's rules or expectations. This ultimately seems not to be a choice he makes,but rather a lack of understanding on this part.

We see a transition happen throughout the novel where towards the end, Meursault is no longer indifferent towards the world's indifference. Instead, he embraces it. He realizes that regardless of what people think of him individually, even if they hate him, the human race at large is his companion because every life could turn out every way, and so they are all united even though they happened to turn out this way.

Meurault plays with the idea of human interchangeability. Yet, when he first mentions this idea at the beginning of the book, he does so in an apathetic and indifferent manner. Towards the end however, Meursault describes this passionately, as an ideal of human equality. That is because your life could have turned out any way, but it just happened to turn out this way, and therefore you must treasure it and accept it for what it is.

Aaah There is so much more to this book that I am probably missing. All in all, a powerful narrative that I will undoubtedly revisit in the future ( )
  enlasnubess | Jan 13, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 418 (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
Camus, Albertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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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.
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
The day his mother dies, Meursault notices that it is very hot on the bus that is taking him from Algiers to the retirement home where his mother lived; so hot that he falls asleep.

Later, while waiting for the wake to begin, the harsh electric lights in the room make him extremely uncomfortable, so he gratefully accepts the coffee the caretaker offers him and smokes a cigarette. The same burning sun that so oppresses him during the funeral walk will once again blind the calm, reserved Meursault as he walks along a deserted beach a few days later-leading him to commit an irreparable act.

This new edition of Camus's classic novel The Stranger portrays an enigmatic man who commits a senseless crime and then calmly, and apparently indifferently, sits through his trial and hears himself condemned to death
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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