- File Size: 2930 KB
- Print Length: 322 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (August 8, 2012)
- Publication Date: August 8, 2012
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008QLVNII
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,796 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$7.80|
Random House LLC
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The Plague (Vintage International) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 322 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
As with a great deal of French Literature, The Plague is heavily influenced by ideology and a not too subtle French Existentialism. The reason this is not helpful is that ideology [where it takes over character and incident] dates a work very quickly.
Readers return to works such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, the Homeric Epics, Dante, Milton, Shakespeare, Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Twain, Melville, Joyce, Rabelais, and Cervantes because there is something terribly human and universal about all of these without being preachy.
Camus seems to be lecturing his readers on most occasions. If you are drawn to his ethical sensibility/ideology then you will enjoy this, but if you spot, sense, holes in the thesis the work is less attractive.
There are better books to read by the author: The Stranger, The Rebel, The Fall come to mind.
This is still a good book, but not as good as the other plague narratives I have mentioned above.
I've given the book 4 stars because it still deserves this, but how much longer this will be the case I cannot say. Daniel Dafoe's Journal of the Plague Year remains the better book and The Plague was heavily influenced by this.
Still, worth a read.
When Camus explores his ideas by actually showing us how the characters interact with each other, the book is quite compelling. However, there are long stretches when he sidelines into descriptions of the townspeople's behavior in general that amount to thinly veiled philosophical diatribes--which are not bad in themselves, but didactic philosophy is not fiction, and it's quite lazy for Camus to set out with the premise of dramatizing his philosophy, then to sidetrack into merely talking about it.
Overall, though, the book is a great read, the ideas are thought-provoking, and the characters--when we get to spend time with them--are very compelling. Not perfect, but a book everyone should read.
But, the difference in writing styles is as interesting as the books' message. Camus' book begins somewhat fatalistic and offers little hope for resolution. No explanation is given for the beginning or ending (remission, I guess one would say) of the plague. Although written by a somewhat detached "narrator", the reader is still drawn into the story and becomes friends (of sorts) with the characters and is very moved by their struggles.
Camus has an expert grasp on writing. His prose reads almost like poetry, with each word chosen to add depth and description and each sentence structured to cause the reader to slowly enjoy and admire the text.
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