- Mass Market Paperback: 155 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Books (1946)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0394700023
- ISBN-13: 978-0394700021
- ASIN: B000OIBY4Y
- Package Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.2 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1,275 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Stranger Mass Market Paperback – 1946
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Top customer reviews
Insight: We all probably know someone who is like this Mersault. He is detached like an Outsider. He's a wandering generality who finally wakes up when he sentenced to death. The end adds meaning to life.
Most of us covet meaning or the need for answers against a Universe that doesn't care.
The Message: Live life as if you were condemned to die. Don't wait for a crisis to live your life like it was meant to be.
The Appeal: Very lean and simplistic. Only 150 pages and not one of them is wasted.
My curiosity kept me going after the first page. Probably one of the greatest opening lines of Modern Literature. Definitely woke me up and take notice that each and everyone of us is surrounded by Absurdity.
Check out my book blog review
Part of the problem I have in this review is not wishing in any way to be "a spoiler". In any event, this book is written in a very sparse manner. There are times the protagonist is devoid of feelings and I think that the author coveys that in this arid style. I need to state that I was left disconcerted about the similar lack of description of one character that died in the novel. It seemed cold and dehumanizing to THAT person that I did not appreciate.
This next part RISKS giving something away about he novel. If one is interested, one may wish to read the novel first before reading the next part of this review.
This novel was written in 1942. France was occupied by Germany. The question in my mind is "Did Camus feel like an outsider in his own country?"
So what? Good question... Well in 1940, Richard Wright authors an excellent African American Protest Novel, "Native Son". Clearly Richard Wright was trying to convey the anger of an African American who may feel an outsider in his own country. Stylistically, Richard Wright is much more descriptive. His novel is perhaps twice as long as The Stranger.
Native Son has a "third person" narrator. The Stranger has a "first person" narrator. This may be an important difference as a reader cannot be really sure of all of the innermost thoughts of Native Son's, Bigger Thomas. However I was struck by what I perceived to be a similarity between the perceived feelings of Bigger Thomas, especially at the end of the book, and the stated feelings of the protagonist in The Stranger.
(SPOILER ALERT) But please compare the visits to the two prisoners at the end of each novel.
Above I stated that I felt this is a great novel, that I did not love the novel. Again, I feel the same way about Native Son. Native Son was much a more painful reading experience for me personally. But otherwise, I cannot help but be struck by my similar reaction to both novels. Thank You...