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The Stranger Mass Market Paperback – 1946
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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?
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.