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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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“[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
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From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"The Stranger", a short novel he won the Nobel (?) Prize for in the mid 50s, was tighter and more interesting than these stories.Published 2 months ago by Howard H Glastetter
One of the great writers of the 20th century, and one of its leading philosophers. If you haven't read Camus, this volume would be a good place to start, but you should really read... Read morePublished 6 months ago by D. Hammerbeck
I'm a college graduate and a retired teacher. Many academics have read Camus, and I had taken World Literature, but hadn't been introduced to him. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Nadene Goldfoot
I needed to read one of Camus' novels for class, but wanted to get a feel for his work in general, and this book contains the perfect balance. Read morePublished 23 months ago by AmyD
This anthology omits what is still perhaps the most popular of Camus' novels, 'The Stranger.' But it does include what to my mind is Camus' greatest fictional work by far 'The... Read morePublished on July 19, 2013 by Shalom Freedman
What separates "The Plague" from being just a novel is the way Camus has set a stage where humans act out our complex ways of either living with reality or elaborately... Read morePublished on April 13, 2013 by m_w_g
This is a superb edition of some of the most significant works by Camus.
It's not just excellent literature/philosophy; the book itself is a cool little typographical... Read more