Customer Reviews


257 Reviews
5 star:
 (148)
4 star:
 (57)
3 star:
 (30)
2 star:
 (15)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


270 of 298 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hats off, gentlemen!
The Plague is easily one of the best ten novels ever written, far surpassing even the erstwhile classic The Stranger. Whereas we examine an uncommonly cold-hearted man in a normal world in the pages of The Stranger, in this novel it is a harsh outside world which closes in on a group of fascinating characters. It is in this much more developed context that Camus' most...
Published on July 21, 2002 by Daniel Jolley

versus
147 of 179 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for-- or even less
Here's the deal on this Kindle book from EbookEden. Most, if not all, of the commentary and analysis preceding the book are copied verbatim from Wikipedia, without any attribution. The book itself is the translation from the French by Stuart Gilbert. However, the version from EbookEden has typographical errors not in the printed version and--worse--lacks chapters, which...
Published on February 20, 2010 by Terry Carter


‹ Previous | 1 226 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

270 of 298 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hats off, gentlemen!, July 21, 2002
This review is from: The Plague (Paperback)
The Plague is easily one of the best ten novels ever written, far surpassing even the erstwhile classic The Stranger. Whereas we examine an uncommonly cold-hearted man in a normal world in the pages of The Stranger, in this novel it is a harsh outside world which closes in on a group of fascinating characters. It is in this much more developed context that Camus' most remarkable notions of humanity, life, and existence can be fleshed out and communicated more effectively. The lessons of good, normal lives in a world gone mad are much more instructive and meaningful than the observations in The Stranger of a man gone mad in a normal world.
A word to the wise: when large numbers of rats come out of the woodwork and commence dying nasty, bloody deaths in the streets and houses, something is definitely wrong. In the port city of Oran, the population ignores the signs of danger and only grudgingly admits that an epidemic, a form of the bubonic plague to be exact, has taken root in their city. The protagonist, Dr. Rieux, is a doctor who finally helps convince the authorities to take extreme measures in the interest of public safety and to eventually quarantine the entire town. Over the course of the novel, we get to observe the manner in which Dr. Rieux, his companions, and prominent men of the community react to the worsening plague and its social consequences. Dr. Rieux has just sent his unhealthy wife off to a sanitarium before the plague breaks out, and he must suffer her absence alongside the stresses of working 20+ hours a day trying to save people's lives while accomplishing little more than watching them die horrible deaths. Dr. Rieux's attempts to make sense of everything is a basic pulse of the story; an atheist, he cannot find happiness but goes on day after day fighting the disease with all his might because that is what he as a doctor is supposed to do. His friend Tarrou supplies much of the knowledge we glean about the reactions of society as a whole as month after month of isolation continues in the face of death's greedy fingers. His journal records small but important facts about all manner of men, yet he himself cannot be said to find ultimate peace. We first encounter M. Cottard after he has hanged himself and been saved before death. A criminal type yet not a bad man, his initial worries over inquiries into his suicide attempt fade away as the plague's grip on Oran tightens. He emerges from a self-imposed exile to actually become a communicating member of society; he alone seems to enjoy the plague because it makes everyone else like him, forced to live each day with the fear of a brooding, horrible fate. Then there is M. Grande, one of my favorite characters in all of literature. A simple civil service employee, he devotes himself to volunteer work computing plague statistics and the like while still continuing his fervent efforts at writing a novel. Grande's wife left him years earlier because he got too wrapped up in his work and lost the words to communicate his love for her; he began writing a novel in an attempt to find those words. With great devotion and commitment he works on his writing, determined to produce a perfectly crafted novel, one where each word is meaningful and necessary for the story--in short, one that will inspire the future publisher to introduce it to his publishing house cohorts with the phrase, "Hats off, gentlemen." After untold months of dedicated effort, Grande has yet to get the first sentence to sound exactly right; he engages all of his efforts into perfecting this one sentence, sure that the rest of the novel will fall into place after it is perfected.
These main characters are all fascinating character studies. Not all of them live to see the plague's end, but each of them struggles to find meaning in his own experience--e.g., one character continues living because that is what is required of human beings, to go on fighting for life in a meaningless world; another character seeks to become a saint of sorts by helping his fellow man fight the pestilence. The overriding message I was left with at the end is that life is worth living despite the arbitrary cruelties of an unforgiving world because there is more good in man than there is evil. I found that the book delivered in fact a rather darkly uplifting celebration of the human spirit; one's loved ones give life its meaning in a hostile world. The Plague succeeds in ways The Stranger never could because the characters in this novel are utterly human and represent diverse aspects of the lives of each of us.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


79 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some thoughts on Camus' Plague, April 28, 2002
This review is from: The Plague (Paperback)
The plague is an allegory, for fascism and totalitarianism. The novel deals largely with individuals' varying reactions to the plague as it emerges and settles in on the city of Oran. Only those who act or are important in the development of the scene are named, and though many of the characters perceive reality differently, we are able to sympathize with where they are coming from. The novel is about overcoming indifference and performing good acts that we are all capable of. Camus makes it clear that there are no heroes in the novel, only people who recognize their responsibility and embrace life. Even though the plague is ultimately "defeated," there is no typical happy ending, for the plague bacillus never dies. This novel is still entirely relevant to our world today. The central point of Camus' writing is "the absurd." The absurd is characterized by the confrontation of "rational man and the indifferent universe." Camus dismisses ideas such as transcendence, or a leap of faith, there is no existential commitment. He looks to embrace the absurd, to keep it alive. Camus is very much a moralist and a pacifist; he deplored one-sided views of any political situation, and broke off relationships with other prominent writers of his time such as Sartre, whose ties to Communism and justification of violence Camus abhorred. He did not wish to take sides in the French-Algerian war. Camus did not seem to identify with a particular people, a belief system or any form of certainty, but viewed man as being in constant revolt against the powers that tried to enslave him, keeping him from living. Camus would rather embrace the absurdity of life than a frail system. Camus did not accept, as other "existentialist" writers of his time did, that humans were born into the world as nothing and it was up to the individual to entirely assert his own identity through his/her acts. "For Camus a man's acts could reveal an intrinsic integrity or dignity which were always there but which had laid dormant and unasserted until he was made to face the absurdity of his mortal condition in an immortal universe."(Masters, Camus: A Study). How The Plague deals with Reality:
- Subjectivity, shows how one person's reality is not the same as another's. It is only when people begin to realize that they are indeed "in the same boat" as one another (that they have common interests and a common spirit to fight for, and that they needn't be alienated from one another) that the plague can be seen as a real problem which needs to be fought, rather than an abstraction which must be hidden from.
- Shows how many cannot comprehend the enormity of a situation until it falls upon them, still often triggering disbelief.
- Looking at the "small things," people's reactions, etc. which "history" might ignore.
- Paying close attention to the conditions of the society; the indifference and apathy that helped to allow the plague to take hold.
- In historicizing an event like the Nazis occupation and plundering of Europe, it seems all too easy to look past the indifference which allowed such events to take place. The view in much of Europe was that it was someone else's problem, and even after their own nation was attacked, many merely tried to adapt, acted to appease the Nazis, or hoped that it would soon pass... they still saw it as someone else's problem to take care of. Camus was born in poverty in Algeria, somewhat of a "stranger" in France during the German occupation, but he found himself confronted with the situation, nonetheless, and was a key contributor to the French resistance army. One of his most important contributions was his work as the editor of Combat, the major underground resistance newspaper informing others of the problems and giving voice to a movement that all individuals needed to recognize their place in.
I hope that in reading Camus' Plague, you will be inspired and recognize the great relevance this novel still holds.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed Perspectives from Imminent Death, February 15, 2001
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Plague (Paperback)
The Plague is about love, exile, and suffering as illuminated by living around death. 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. Separations occur because of the quarantine on Oran, which causes love to be tested. What is love without the other person being present? The characters find that their memories soon become abstractions. But they reach out to establish new love with each other. Tarrou, who is also caught in Oran, decides or organize a volunteer corps to help with the sick and dead. Rambert decides to stay in Oran to help after having arranged to escape the quarantine. The survivors find succor in increasing closeness with each other. Rieux and Tarrou become close, almost like brothers. Even Rieux's patients become people with whom he develops an emotional bond, even though the waves of death become an abstraction as he can do little to avert them. The priest figure also helps to explore the notion of love for God and God's love for us. The exile theme is reinforced by the quarantine. People cannot leave Oran. The disease itself causes that exile to become worse. If someone in your household becomes ill, each well person has to be quarantined. So you may be living in a tent in the soccer stadium wondering what is happening to the rest of your family. Cottard is a criminal who is on the run from the authorities. He is in despair as the plague begins, and tries to kill himself. The distractions of the plague keep the authorities from troubling him, so the period of the plague is an exile from his criminal past.
Suffering is easy to explain. Bubonic plague came in two forms in the book. Both brought painful and rapid death, with few reprieves. There is high fever, painful swelling or difficulty in breathing, and enormous pain. Those who tend the suffering also suffer, from the enormous workloads, the sense of futility, and the fear that they, too, will be next.
Camus does a nice job of pointing out that these themes also recur in everyday life. We just don't see them very clearly. The people in Oran live in an ugly city that deliberately built itself away from the beauty of the ocean on a sun-scorched plateau plagued by winds. They take little time to enjoy each other or the ocean, because they are caught up with making money. Commerce is their passion. So they cut themselves off from love, in an exile of spirit, which causes them to shrivel and suffer emotionally even before the plague comes. Tarrou also describes is own sense of the plague in everyday life when he discovers that his father is a prosecuting attorney who helps bring criminals to the justice of a firing squad. Even that faint connection of not trying to stop the legal killing causes Tarrou to feel like he carries the plague within him.
The book is masterful in its use of metaphor. In the beginning, dying rats and small animals presage the plague attacking humans. At the end, their return presages the return of normal life to Oran. The scenes alternate between illuminating the main themes in the context of the physical plague and the emotional plague. Religion is used as a bridge between the two, raising the fundamental question about what God's purpose is in unleashing the plague. The priest is fully tested in his love of God through this development, which is one of the most moving parts of the book.
I have read the book both in French and in English, and found this translation to be a perfectly appropriate one. There are few nuances that you will miss by reading this in English. Obviously, if you read French well, you should read the book in its original form.
This book is an excellent example of why Albert Camus was named a Novel Laureate in Literature.
After you read this great novel, I encourage you to consider the subject of complacency. That's the author's ultimate target. Where are you complacent in ways that cost you love, closeness with others, and happiness? What else is complacency costing you? How can you help others learn to overcome complacency in loving, happy ways without the spectre of death to help you?
Enjoy a more wonderful life by refocusing on what is most important!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


104 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Healing Amidst Death, July 25, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Plague (Paperback)
"The town itself, let us admit, is ugly." So says Dr. Bernard Rieux, the narrator of Albert Camus', The Plague.
The Plague takes place in Oran, a small Mediterranean town in North Africa. Not only does Dr. Rieux find Oran ugly, he find its inhabitants boring people with little involvement in the actual business of living.
One day, Rieux steps on a dead rat, then another and another. Soon, he sees them everywhere, littered among the bloated corpses of Oran's inhabitants. Rieux and the Oranians ignore the problem at first, blaming the sanitation bureau for neglecting its duties. However, they soon discover that the dead and dying have a far more sinister tale to tell.
Although Rieux is the narrator of The Plague, several other main characters do exist. Jean Tarrou is a hapless man who has the misfortune of wandering into Oran during the plague. He quickly becomes a friend of Rieux's and his chronicles of Oran's ordeal appear throughout the book. Raymon Rambert is a French journalist who simply ends up in Oran during the time of the plague. Although longing to return to his beautiful wife in Paris, Rambert is forced to remain in Oran. Jospeh Grand is a writer eking out an existence in Oran as he attempts to write the perfect book, while Cottard is a prisoner who is using Oran to hide from the officials who want to execute him.
Oran is quarantined and its citizens must find various ways of dealing with this catastrophe. Some simply accept the inevitable and wait for the disease to strike while others turn a blind eye in the hope that if they do not see the plague, the plague will not see them.
One problem, however, affects all of the town's inhabitants--money. For the first time, Oran's port is closed. They cannot buy nor can they sell. They struggle to survive on their own with little fresh food and basic medical supplies. Only Cottard is happy, because while Oran is under quarantine, Cottard can consider his dismal life spared.
As the situation in Oran worsens, and little can be done, Father Paneloux, the town's priest, tells its inhabitants that the plague has come to punish the sinners of Oran and further tells his congregation that the plague will cease upon the town's repentance of its sins.
After a long and forceful sermon by Paneloux, the town does, indeed, change. Grand begins to have problems writing even one sentence containing a conjunction. He trembles, mutters, gulps and exhibits other qualities of a man on the edge. Rambert attempts to escape to France, first legally, then, when that fails, illegally. The two men finally calm themselves and join Rieux and Tarrou in their dedication to overcoming the plague. Paneloux, himself, finally joins in these efforts. Strangely, the plague, which has come to kill, has served in uniting men of different beliefs and visions in one life-affirming quest.
Once Oran becomes united, the plague begins to level off. Another victim dies, however. Father Paneloux becomes ill after witnessing the slow and agonizing death of Jacques Othon, a young, innocent boy. Chastised, Paneloux retracts his earlier, sophomoric message and decides that the plague is part of a plan that must be accepted.
As the survivors celebrate, the plague claims one last victim, the man who was its greatest enemy. While this man's life is gone, the others who have battled the plague find their lives forever changed.
The very first chapter of The Plague is short but filled with immense foreshadowing and extensive descriptive passages.
We find it easy to see why Oran becomes such an easy target for death and disease. Oran is not only ugly and ordinary, it is built so that its back is turned to the sea. In fact, the changing seasons in Oran, says Rieux, must be discriminated in the sky, for the town is an unrelieved monotony of grayness and its inhabitants are already living on the fringes of life.
Ignoring the simple pleasures of life, Oranians are nevertheless hard workers, but ones for whom money has no meaning beyond its mere possession. Love, too, is foreign to the citizens of Oran. They marry and have children but the concept of love for love's sake is unknown to them. Their very inauthenticity and narrow views make them prime targets for the plague and when confronted with it, they have precious few resources for dealing with the calamities it presents.
The greatest piece of foreshadowing, however, and the one that sets the book's theme is the sense of alienation and entrapment. Both the living and the dead remain trapped behind the walls of Oran. Freedom, truth and beauty all lie within a stone's throw, but, until the plague forces them to look, the Oranians remain blind to the beauties of the world outside.
The message of Oran is as clear as the sea that sparkles within reach of its walls. Beauty and truth are always ours for the taking. If we choose, however, to turn our backs on the riches that are ours, disease and death await us and only the luckiest among us will survive.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unseen Enemy, November 10, 2001
By 
Doug Anderson (Miami Beach, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Plague (Paperback)
An overwhelming feeling of meaninglessness is the enemy in all of Camus' work. The Plague is a parable about living with this spiritual dilemna which puzzles and threatens existence. But it can be read on a number of levels at the same time. You can read it as symbolic of Nazi occupation of France, or French occupation of Algeria, or any such condition where men feel hopeless in the face of historic events, time, the universe. Camus' characters are often close to surrender or indifference but some basic human need urges them on and makes them continue despite awareness that there is little chance of success. Camus loved the pure earth best of all and his scenes which place a man alone looking at the sea for instance have an instinctual feel that sets him apart from someone like the exclusively cerebral Sartre. It is a book which changes each time you read it. What is happening in the world at the time you are reading it affects your interpretation of what this book is saying. Parables are powerful because they work on you in ways that are not always specific, like myth. They feel real or they don't. This book captures the feeling that existence is an ongoing struggle against(and perhaps this is part of the book power and appeal)an ultimately unnamable and unidentifiable foe.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Exile, and Suffering Illuminated by Life Around Death, August 20, 2000
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Plague (Paperback)
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. Separations occur because of the quarantine on Oran, which causes love to be tested. What is love without the other person being present? The characters find that their memories soon become abstractions. But they reach out to establish new love with each other. Tarrou, who is also caught in Oran, decides or organize a volunteer corps to help with the sick and dead. Rambert decides to stay in Oran to help after having arranged to escape the quarantine. The survivors find succor in increasing closeness with each other. Rieux and Tarrou become close, almost like brothers. Even Rieux's patients become people with whom he develops an emotional bond, even though the waves of death become an abstraction as he can do little to avert them. The priest figure also helps to explore the notion of love for God and God's love for us. The exile theme is reinforced by the quarantine. People cannot leave Oran. The disease itself causes that exile to become worse. If someone in your household becomes ill, each well person has to be quarantined. So you may be living in a tent in the soccer stadium wondering what is happening to the rest of your family. Cottard is a criminal who is on the run from the authorities. He is in despair as the plague begins, and tries to kill himself. The distractions of the plague keep the authorities from troubling him, so the period of the plague is an exile from his criminal past.
Suffering is easy to explain. Bubonic plague came in two forms in the book. Both brought painful and rapid death, with few reprieves. There is high fever, painful swelling or difficulty in breathing, and enormous pain. Those who tend the suffering also suffer, from the enormous workloads, the sense of futility, and the fear that they, too, will be next.
Camus does a nice job of pointing out that these themes also recur in everyday life. We just don't see them very clearly. The people in Oran live in an ugly city that deliberately built itself away from the beauty of the ocean on a sun-scorched plateau plagued by winds. They take little time to enjoy each other or the ocean, because they are caught up with making money. Commerce is their passion. So they cut themselves off from love, in an exile of spirit, which causes them to shrivel and suffer emotionally even before the plague comes. Tarrou also describes is own sense of the plague in everyday life when he discovers that his father is a prosecuting attorney who helps bring criminals to the justice of a firing squad. Even that faint connection of not trying to stop the legal killing causes Tarrou to feel like he carries the plague within him.
The book is masterful in its use of metaphor. In the beginning, dying rats and small animals presage the plague attacking humans. At the end, their return presages the return of normal life to Oran. The scenes alternate between illuminating the main themes in the context of the physical plague and the emotional plague. Religion is used as a bridge between the two, raising the fundamental question about what God's purpose is in unleashing the plague. The priest is fully tested in his love of God through this development, which is one of the most moving parts of the book.
I have read the book both in French and in English, and found this translation to be a perfectly appropriate one. There are few nuances that you will miss by reading this in English. Obviously, if you read French well, you should read the book in its original form.
This book is an excellent example of why Albert Camus was named a Novel Laureate in Literature.
After you read this great novel, I encourage you to consider the subject of complacency. That's the author's ultimate target. Where are you complacent in ways that cost you love, closeness with others, and happiness? What else is complacency costing you? How can you help others learn to overcome complacency in loving, happy ways without the spectre of death to help you?
Enjoy a more wonderful life by overcoming the plague of complacency about the most important human values and activities!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decisions..., January 31, 2005
This review is from: The Plague (Paperback)
This book isn't overly engaging, it is somewhat shocking at times, and its prose is probably too dry. Despite that, I highly recommend it to you... Why?. Well, the reason is simple. The plot of "The Plague" is merely a way of understanding something that has to do with our everyday life, and the way we live it.

Succinctly, the story begins when a plague strikes the North-African town of Oran. People at first try to ignore the clues that show that something bad is happening. When they cannot help but recognize that things are seriously wrong, a quarantine is declared. For those inside the walls of Oran, reality changes: death is omnipresent, and loneliness and despair, feelings they must confront. Different people react in diverse ways to the same reality, and we get to know about them through the narrator of this book, that also happens to be one of the protagonists. The real question that most of the persons in Oran ask themselves sooner or later is whether is it worthwhile to fight against the plague, when the outcome in that unfair war is almost certain death...

I won't give you the answers they find, if any. For that, you need to read the book... However, I can tell you Albert Camus' opinion. Camus (1913-1960) thought that it is in the fighting against evil that mankind finds its greatness (and maybe justification, who knows), even if we face what might seem at first sight a desperate situation. In a way, I think that for Camus the plague was in this case an allegory of evil, and our attitude against it. That evil changes faces, but always reappears, and it is again time to make choices, and decide what kind of attitude we will take. It is only in the right decisions that we will find the meaning we were searching for.

Again, recommended...

Belen Alcat
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


147 of 179 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for-- or even less, February 20, 2010
By 
Terry Carter (Washington DC USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Plague (Kindle Edition)
Here's the deal on this Kindle book from EbookEden. Most, if not all, of the commentary and analysis preceding the book are copied verbatim from Wikipedia, without any attribution. The book itself is the translation from the French by Stuart Gilbert. However, the version from EbookEden has typographical errors not in the printed version and--worse--lacks chapters, which the printed version has. The chapters in the printed version I have from Vintage Books are marked by a graphic symbol, rather than numbers, but clearly mark transitions. The lack of chapters in the EbookEden version makes reading the book awkward, and oftentimes very confusing. Moreover, where the printed version uses dashes for emphasis, the EbookEden Kindle version substitutes commas, which deemphasizes what the author sough to emphasize. In other words, they have changed the book.

Had this been the only version of "The Plague" that I read, I would have lost some of its meaning. Yes, this EbookEden Kindle book is cheap, but for the damage it does it should not even be free. As a new Kindle user this has taught me a precious lesson: don't look for the cheapest version of a book, because what you get may not be what you expect. You could compromise your experience or an author's work by buying on the cheap.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Camus' novel is a timeless literary masterstroke, March 9, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Plague (Paperback)
Even in translation, the simple beauty of Camus' language cannot be ignored. *The Plague* depicts urban life as it is really lived with wonderfully descriptive detail. Camus' insight is profound for its simplicity: to get on in life, people must form habits. As we watch the man who spits on cats and the man who sifts peas, we realize that these habits become the defining characteristics of our existence. During the plague itself, the moral indignation of the church is aptly demonstrated as an absurd imoposition. The wrath of God and the redemption of heaven have no place in the plague-stricken town of Oran. It is in this sense that Camus' allegory is revealed: we are always in times of plague. We must fight our human battles and rejoice in our human feelings. In doing so, our lives become meaningful. Such a book as Camus' should be classified under both "World Literature" and "Philosophy;" and a third, "Classics."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't read it unless you want to ponder its meaning . . for quite some time!, February 5, 2006
This review is from: The Plague (Paperback)
This was an attempt to find meaning in life, which so many authors, and others, have struggled with since we started walking on two feet. Is there any change from one generation to another, or from one time to another, or from one place to another? Camus believes not. He doesn't see a moral advancement of humanity, but a stagnant slog through what chance puts in front of us.

Reading this book, I had the feeling that I was going through the feelings of those poor souls in Oran. I was sharing with them first denial, then anger, then acceptance, then resignation, and finally, joy. If not joy, then at least relief. But the plague can come again, on a whim.

I imagine that the novel is a statement of the uncertainties that we find ourselves in all the time, and how little we can do about it. There is no divine force guiding us, or anyone else, We have to find our own way, whether it is through helping people, or not helping people, through what is considered legitimate, or what is illegitimate actions. There are no moral statements in the book, just acceptance of the various forces acting upon us, through us, and by us.

This book, through the various and opposing characters it paints trying to come to grips with this calamity, accomplishes its aim. Be prepared to think about its meaning well after reading the last page. Think about its relevance whenever external forces overpower us, as they do all the time, whether natural, or through the actions of mankind.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 226 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Plague
The Plague by Stuart Gilbert (Paperback - May 7, 1991)
$14.95 $8.44
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.