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L'Etranger (Twentieth-Century French Texts) Paperback – November 17, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: Twentieth-Century French Texts
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 3 Rev Sub edition (November 17, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415025869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415025867
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,881,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: French, English --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

It's the only book I've been required to read for class that I actually enjoy reading.
A. Nelson
I know this is a famous novel, an "existential" novel, as they say, though why they call it that, I don't know.
Albert de Zutter
[Friederike Knabe] *) Having read the novel in French, all quotes are my translation.
Friederike Knabe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dindrane on May 23, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Stranger follows the "adventures" of Meaursault, a French-Algerian, as he tries to make his way through the Universe in a life he neither asked for, nor understands, but is doing his best to navigate. The action is muted and secondary to the motivations and thoughts of Meaursault and the revealing of Camus' philosophy.
If you haven't read anything else by Camus, you probably had to read The Stranger in high school. But now may be a good time to give it another chance. The novel falls into three parts, each marked by a death. Straightforward and simple, the novel presents its plot clearly enough, a good foil for the philosophy of the author. Camus said of this book that it portrayed "the nakedness of man when faced with the absurd" and every life is absurd. Meaursault is not what you would expect as the hero of a novel; he is just an everyday guy, perfect for the role, really, since his job is to reveal the author's version of the truths that are universal, not applicable only to a few. As an atheist, he has no preconceptions about his life or the direction it should take and is at the "mercy" of the world.
An Existentialist, Camus is not always a bundle of laughs to read, but always has interesting commentary to make about the world and the importance of accepting who you are and learning to deal with your true strengths and weaknesses. It isn't saying you should be this or that, but saying that you should just be. Don't concentrate on becoming some other person's version of success, because, after all, we're all just going to end up dead anyway. A kind of Existentialist carpe diem message for anyone who has ever felt like a stranger, and that's probably everyone. As Meaursault himself would say, "the truth shall set you free." It is a difficult read in some ways, but it will leave you changed.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. Hess on December 15, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is incredibly easy to read in French. It was the first book I ever attempted to read in French, the language is simple, but the ideas bigger. I think that it illustrates how one might live as un être en soi, instead of an être pour soi, as we ought to be. Meursault's existance is an ontological horror, he exists for others. He will write a letter that is sure to cause unjust injury to a woman, just because he sees no reason not to please his friend Raymond. He will marry a woman he doesn't love just to make her happy. This is like hte behavior of a dog trying to please its master.
horrific, contagious thought pattern.
5 stars
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By H. Georges on June 28, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
L'histoire est plutôt bien, pas trop ennuyante. Elle est très courte. On découvre l'absurdité de la vie à travers le personnage de Meursault. Le livre est beaucoup mieux que la peste.
C'est écrit simplement car Camus fait comme si c'était Meursault qui nous racontait l'histoire et celui-ci est plutôt simple.
Je conseille de le lire en français c'est mieux.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Olive090508 on April 21, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The books is a classic, wonderful read as always. My problem is that the "Look Inside" on Amazon's page makes it seems as though this edition includes an introduction (in English) as well as a guide to understanding some of the French phrases. The edition I received today had none of this. It is, very simply, the original French text. No additional material. Just a heads up.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ben Carter on January 3, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Je fais mon debut comme instite a un lycee. Pour le cours de francais V, on va commencer la litterature avec L'ETRANGER de Camus. Je crois que c'est l'endroit ideal pour commencer, car le livre se presente simplement au lecture, mais le mene aux themes importants de la philosophie francaise/absurdiste. A mon avis personnel, la scene du meurtre sur la plage est exceptionnellement emouvante et vive. Ceux qui disent que c'est n'importe quoi comme livre completement ratent un chef-d'oeuvre.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "crowzfoot" on November 1, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You either love it or hate it. The only way to read it is in French. The last sentence blew me away.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Friederike Knabe VINE VOICE on August 8, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In his Introduction to the first American edition of THE STRANGER (1955), Albert Camus summarized his novel in one sentence: "In our society, anybody who does not cry at his mother's funeral, risks to be sentenced to death".*) After publication in 1942 in France, the novel achieved notoriety and a kind of cult status for several generations of Camus readers, and was inspiration for philosophers and writers. Re-reading the novel now, forty years since first delving into Camus' writing, I find it as deeply affecting and thought provoking as then. With the hindsight of close to seventy years since it was written, THE STRANGER is not only a self-portrait of an "outsider", who appears to be drifting through life without aim or emotional depth. It is also a harsh critique of a society, reflected in the justice system, that is rigid and controlling and, by extension, overly judgemental towards anybody who is not "playing the game" or respecting "the mechanisms of society". Finally, it is also important to keep in mind that the novel was conceived during the devastating war in which Camus, although not in military service, was a politically highly active participant.

The novel opens with "Today, Maman is dead. Or maybe she died yesterday, I don't know". Meursault, the son and narrator of the story, travels to the nursing home for his mother's wake and funeral the next day. In short, simple sentences he describes the bare facts, the people he meets. Feelings? None, apparently. He doesn't even recall his mother's age. He returns home, meets a former colleague of his and embarks on an affair with her. Life returns to its habitual banality until he is approached by a neighbour for assistance with writing a letter.
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