- Series: The strager
- Paperback: 123 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (March 13, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679720200
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,252 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The story was quick, the ideas were big and the characters were an interesting bunch that reminded me of a mix between Hemingway's Lost Generation and Kerouac's Beats. This is a book I would recommend everyone to read. Take a day or a weekend and delve into the mind of Albert Camus. Camus writes in another of his books, The Myth of Sisyphus, "There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide." Once we decide whether or not to live, then all of the other questions that philosophy poses can come into play. The Stranger, through Meursault, takes a look at life and asks one simple questions: Why?
After reading the first few chapter I was unsure on whether I'd read or not. I didn't like the idea of the hero deceiving the heroine but he grew on me and so did this story.
5 years ago, Caleb and his half brothers pass the Shafton farm house and ask for a meal. Laura Shafton's naive husband welcomes the strangers with open arms and soon the unthinkable happens when one the brothers attempts to rape the pregnant Laura her. Caleb tries to stop his brother but Laura's trauma over the attempted attack and the murder of her husband has her implementing all of the brothers in the crimes including Caleb. The 3 brothers leave and Laura is left scarred, traumatized and a widow with a baby on the way.
Fast forward 5 years later. After being released from prison (being the caught scapegoat while his brothers get away), Caleb still remembers the pretty Laura Shafton and what happened at that ranch. He passes by wondering if she's okay and what happened to her. When he gets there he finds Laura and her 4 year old son and seeing her scarred face and haunted eyes brings back the memories. To absolve himself for even being there, he offers to help her around her ranch. She cautiously takes the stranger's offer and soon finds herself befriending the mysterious and rugged Caleb while her son falls in love with having a male figure around.
I was really surprised to find myself actually liking this story. Laura is such a strong heroine. You'll cry for all she's lost in family, raising her son alone and losing her confidence in showing her face in town embarrassed by her scarred face. How she survived her ordeal and kept on moving makes her a heroine to love. Caleb is a hero you sympathize with. As a half breed (American/Native American), you feel for him wanting to be around his brothers and accepted but realizing how evil they are and trying to fully break free from their holds even when they're not around.
I enjoyed Caleb and Laura separated and definitely together and her son is adorable and his relationship with Caleb and Caleb's "fatherly" patience with him made me like Caleb even more.
Overall: I'd definitely pick this one up if I were you. Take it from one picky reader when I say that.
In sum this is the story of Mersault, a Frenchman living in Northern Africa. The first half of the book tells the story of Mersault's reaction and experiences following his mother's death. The second half details Mersaults views as he goes through a court trial (no spoilers here)
Camus' style is relatively easy to read and Mersault is both relatable and a bit revolting. I found myself agreeing with him on a number of points. Still, he is unrepentant of his actions and he behaves and thinks in a number of ways that are counter to what society may think. In some ways I could draw a comparison between Mersault and Holden from Catcher in the Rye. The last 20 pages or so of the book seem to hold so much depth but are just out of reach.
While I don't profess to be able to analyze this book and understand it, I'll leave that to the academics. But I will recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a challenging and introspective if dark read.