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The Plague, The Fall, Exile and the Kingdom, and Selected Essays (Everyman's Library) Hardcover – August 17, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library; Not Stated edition (August 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400042550
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400042555
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Today The Plague takes on fresh significance…Looking back on the grim record of the twentieth century, we can see more clearly now that Albert Camus had identified the central moral dilemmas of the age.” –The Guardian

“[The Plague is] of such importance to our time that to dismiss it would be to blaspheme against the human spirit.” –New York Times Book Review

“Extraordinary . . . There are things in [The Plague] which no reader will ever forget.” –The Spectator

“[The Fall is] an irresistibly brilliant examination of modern conscience.” –New York Times

“[The Fall is] uniquely Camus. Beneath its wit, elegance, and irony there is no lack of intelligence, troubled earnestness, and perhaps even the moral anguish of the true religieux.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“[The Fall], so spare and lucid (like the best of Gide), burning with wit (like pages from Voltaire), is a…monologue on the human condition.” –The Nation

With a new Introduction by David Bellos

From the Inside Flap

A haunting tale of human resilience in the face of unrelieved horror, Camus' novel about a bubonic plague ravaging the people of a North African coastal town is a classic of twentieth-century literature.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

I needed to read more, and in this handsome book was a great feast for the mind.
Mike
I'm just commenting on the quality of the printing here (Everyman's Library) - it is excellent: great paper stock, binding and legibility.
BF
This book is an excellent example of why Albert Camus was named a Nobel Laureate in Literature.
Donald Mitchell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Rufus Burgess on January 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This anthology by Everyman's Library includes: The Plague (translated by Stuart Gilbert), The Fall (trans. Justin O'Brien), Exile and the Kingdom (trans. Justin O'Brien), The Myth of Sisyphus (trans. Justin O'Brien), and Reflection on the Guillotine (trans. Justin O'Brien).

I was especially surprised the anthology included "The Myth of Sisyphus." The essay is one of Camus' most famous non-fictional works and is almost impossible to find in hardcover.

The binding and dusk jacket is of superb quality. The text is somewhat large, with generous spacing between lines, but always readable. A succinct introduction by David Bellos elaborates on Camus' life and works.

For the price this collection cannot be beat. All that is missing from Camus' major works are "The Stranger," also available from Everyman's Library, and "The Rebel." I strongly recommend this anthology.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Sugar on February 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you're a fan of existentialism or just great literature then this is the book for you. Just by buying this set you're already saving money and the hardcover makes it great for book shelf eye candy. If you want to read what each section is about then just read the next review but if you're reading this, take into consideration that Camus wasn't awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for nothing. He was deeply involved in the struggles for Algerian freedom and you can tell from his novels that he is consciensly involved with the questions of the absurd and the freedom of man in a messed up world. These books and essays will make you think and start to ask yourself questions.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mike on February 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I had read Camus's "The Stranger" and was taken aback by the wonderful understanding he had of the human mind. I needed to read more, and in this handsome book was a great feast for the mind. It is not meant to be read all at once, I found it helpful to read another book inbetween the full-length novels within the collection.

There has been no singular work that has moved me as much as the "The Plague, The Fall, Exile and the Kingdom, and Selected Essays", it goes beyond existentialism and his philosophy. It delves into the very mind, that which makes us human. The stories are not lost through their translation from French, the characters are the people you see in the streets, but they are put under the eye of a profound intellectual. It is more than worth the price, and the time spent reading the words is time well spent. His contribution to modern philosophy and existentialism is unchallenged, but he is also an amazing author and voice. The Plague may be the highlight of the book, but one will not lose enthusiasm reading that which follows.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Puterbaugh on April 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
THE PLAGUE

I am only reading this book now, at age 65, because I was choked nearly to death with "The Stranger" in my merry school-days. When I was assigned to read it in French III (high-school) it was moderately interesting. But when I had to read it AGAIN in French IV the next year, I figured that was enough. No such luck! I was assigned the same book in college French, twice! By that time, I had my own view of Meursault: a man completely without affect, and a killer.

But I kept seeing rave reviews of "The Plague,' and finally picked it up in the excellent Everyman's Library edition:The Plague, The Fall, Exile and the Kingdom, and Selected Essays (Everyman's Library). And I got a huge surprise. This is certainly one of the best novels of the 20th century: it is extremely well-written, and packed with interesting characters and incidents, all under the over-arching suspense of Oran under the plague, especially after Oran is placed under quarantine and nobody is allowed to leave.

A situation like this is ideal for observing the human character under enormous stress, and this was the biggest surprise for me: Camus' penetrating psychological insights, which always rang true. For example, a doctor separated from his wife by the quarantine would actually spend most of the day thinking of her, rather than the deadly threat he dealt with every day. A journalist trapped in Oran decides to escape to join his wife in Paris: "I don't think I was brought into this world to write newspaper articles, but I may have been brought into this world to live with a woman." An attempted suicide (Cottard) suddenly becomes the most cheerful man in town. Why?
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42 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
What is the meaning of life? For many, that question is an abstraction except in the context of being aware of losing some of the joys of life, or life itself. In The Plague, Camus creates a timeless tale of humans caught in the jaws of implacable death, in this case a huge outbreak of bubonic plague in Oran, Algeria on the north African coast. With the possibility of dying so close, each character comes to see his or her life differently. In a sense, we each get a glimpse of what we, too, may think about life in the last hours and days before our own deaths. The Plague will leave you with a sense of death as real rather than as an abstraction. Then by reflecting in the mirror of that death, you can see life more clearly.

For example, what role would you take if bubonic plague were to be unleashed in your community? Would you flee? Would you help relieve the suffering? Would you become a profiteer? Would you help maintain order? Would you withdraw or seek out others? These are all important questions for helping you understand yourself that this powerful novel will raise for you.

The book is described as objectively as possible by a narrator, who is one of the key figures in the drama. That literary device allows each of us to insert ourselves into the situation.

Let me explain the main themes. Love is expressed in many ways. There is the love of men and women for each other. Dr. Rieux's wife is ill, and has just left for treatment at a sanitarium. Rambert, a journalist on temporary assignment, is separated from his live-in girl friend in Paris. Dr. Rieux's mother comes to stay with him during his mother's absence, so there is also love of parent and child. The magistrate also loses his son to the plague after a desperate battle.
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