Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fall” as Want to Read:
The Fall
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fall

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  36,655 ratings  ·  1,176 reviews
Jean-Baptiste Clamence is a soul in turmoil. Over several drunken nights he regales a chance acquaintance with his story. From this successful former lawyer and seemingly model citizen a compelling, self-loathing catalogue of guilt, hypocrisy and alienation pours forth. "The Fall" (1956) is a brilliant portrayal of a man who has glimpsed the hollowness of his existence. Bu ...more
Paperback, 147 pages
Published May 7th 1991 by Vintage (first published 1956)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fall, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee1984 by George OrwellThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Best Books of the 20th Century
352nd out of 6,147 books — 41,366 voters
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryLes Misérables by Victor HugoThe Stranger by Albert CamusThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Best French Literature
21st out of 557 books — 1,043 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Lauren Van Buskirk
I ran into my friend Dan at the club last week, and he was drunk. So we talked Camus. We didn’t discuss Camus’s theories, or the fact that he avoided riding in cars and then DIED IN A CAR CRASH. We just talked about Camus in relation to Dan’s life and in relation to mine. The only really interesting thing about anything to me is how it affects me. That’s the honest truth.

Dan and I agreed that an interest in Existentialism is kind of a stage in your life – like when you liked Pearl Jam or lived
Glenn Russell

“A single sentence will suffice for modern man: he fornicated and read the newspapers.” So pronounces Jean-Baptiste Clamence, narrator of Albert Camus’s short novel during the first evening of a monologue he delivers to a stranger over drinks at a shabby Amsterdam watering hole. Then, during the course of several evenings, the narrator continues his musings uninterrupted; yes, that’s right, completely uninterrupted, since his interlocutor says not a word. At one point Clamence states, “Alcohol a
Riku Sayuj

The Anti-Christ

Why does the Judge-penitent address you directly, as if he has found a kindred soul in you?

In this world responsibility is infinite and that is why The Fall is inevitable - even for a Christ. But back then Christ made a mistake — he saw (was) the nausea of the world, he saw (was) the complete guilt of each man (and his own) and he decided to redeem man (himself) by setting a supreme example. He sacrificed himself because he found himself guilty. It was only an example, a call to a
Do you want to have the very foundations on the basis of which your whole outlook towards life has been shaped, questioned?
Do you want to see the lines between so-called good and evil, right and wrong, the moral and immoral blurred to the extent you could not distinguish one from the other?
Do you want to erase that cherished and precious point of reference, against which you have compared, weighed all your actions, thoughts and feelings so far?

If the answer to the above 3 questions is yes, then
Mar 14, 2008 Jake rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who's confused as to what this life is all about.
As with most Camus, this book is, in the course of a hundred or so pages, an entire decade of therapy. If you don't feel worse—yet oddly optimistic—about yourself and people in general after this book, you're either inhuman, or you're the exact person this book was meant for.

Someone once extolled this book as "an examination of modern conscience," and it was through this lens that I first began this work. That's accurate, I suppose, to a point, but to leave interpretation at that would be to ro
In any case, I only like confessions nowadays, and the authors of confessions write chiefly in order not to confess, saying nothing of what they know. When they pretend to be owning up, that’s the moment to beware: they’re putting make-up on the corpse.

As far as his prose-fiction output goes, Camus is most well-known for three works: The Stranger The Plague and this one, The Fall. The first two have definitive places amongst cycles of his work within his oeuvre and the development of his ideas:

MJ Nicholls
The follow-up to Christos Tsiolkas’s bestseller The Slap, where a boozy Australian lunatic whomps a friend’s child at a party and creates a hotbed of interpersonal tension over 400 outstandingly boring pages. In The Fall, a different boozy Australian accidentally (or was it intentional?) elbows a child onto the grass, causing him to fall and hurt his pelvis, causing outrage on the streets of Canberra! Are our children ever safe from inebriated philanderers with pointy elbows? Why can’t drunks we ...more
Muhammad Arqum
How foolish I was to assume this would be a quick little read. I could not have been more wrong. I physically feel exhausted. How did Camus write this? The fall is as dense as they come, bitter, excruciating. Forces you to cogitate. The ideas are so repugnant and yet they keep gnawing inside your head. The words are like evil dark matter that establishes it's authority right from the start and stays there dictating, vandalizing your property. I cannot believe I am giving this a 5 star rating. I ...more

“Sometimes, carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement.”

The Fall is one of those books which is less of a novel than an exploration of some kind of spiritual or philosophical narrative or truth. The narrator is a self appointed judge who spares no details about the fact that he does in fact love himself in a highly narcissistic manner. It is this manner which lends him to feeling free as to judge humanity, while ironically also judging himself and yet seemingly feeling free fro
"Mon chéri, it seems Amsterdam has disagreed with you. You're so pale."

"Ah, mon amour, oui, I never want to leave the Paris sun again. I want to hold you naked and hang my fog-drenched clothes over the terrace to dry and never look at another dismal canal or smoky bar."

"But I thought my man liked those things about Amsterdam."

"I did, sweet, until I had the misfortune of running into this rather shabby, verbose character...French expat, Jean-Baptiste...well, at least that's what he called himself
Oh, just to have that second chance...
This is the first book I read every year. I read it in memory of a friend I lost going on seven years ago. January 1, 2015 I have read it again

"O young girl, throw yourself again into the water so that I might have a second time the chance to save the two of us!" A second time, eh, what imprudence! Suppose, dear sir, someone actually took our word for it? It would have to be fulfill
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4* of five

The Book Report: Told as a long monologue stretched over several days, Jean-Baptiste Clamence reviews the very great highs of his life as a respected criminal attorney, and the very great lows of his life as a libertine without a discernible conscience or moral compass. He narrates his life to an unseen and unheard Other, a tourist from France in Clamence's adopted home of Amsterdam who runs into Clamence at a seedy bar. At each major turning point in Clamence's life, the narra
Leo Robertson
Awesome, powerful, almost scarily compressed, seductive, peppered with ironic humour, unreadable then readable then re-readable. Camus’ Jean-Baptiste strips away the artifice and illusions of civilization having undeniably fallen out of it and hence witnessed the pointlessness of it, striving with the rest of his time to wrench others out too. An easy task, as once the reader is made aware of the absurd, it becomes an obsession, and he or she too would do anything in their power not to return to ...more
Rakhi Dalal
Left me thinking more than ever.Still there is so much that is left unanswered.The book leaves you uneasy, contemplating and struggling to find the logic underneath the issues raised/addressed by the author.But can there be any sense to the working of human minds?

اقتباسات من الكتاب تعبر عن أفكاره الرئيسية ، عذراً على عدم كتابة رأيي الشخصي بالكتاب ، النجوم كافية هذه المرة ^_^

" أتحدثني عن يوم الحساب الأخير ؟ اسمح لي بأن اضحك باحترام ، و سأنتظر ذلك اليوم بصبر ، لانني عرفت ماهو أسوأ منه .. حساب البشر ، سأخبرك بسر كبير يا صديقي العزيز .. لا تنتظر يوم الحساب الأخير ، إنه يحدث في كل يوم "

المرء يتخذ شكل الأماكن التي يعيش بها-

البشر يحتاجون إلى المأساة .. الا تعرف ؟ انها تمثل نزوعهم الذاتي الصغير .. و مشتهاهم-

الإنسان - ياصديقي العزيز - له وجهان ، فهو لا يستطيع أن
If you have never read Camus you are mostly surely missing something special. Absurdity explained with absolute clairvoyance.I must say this is a very special writer, the rare combination of great thinker who knew to write. The novel is a monologue by Jean Baptice Clemmmence, Jude -Penitent , the story of his fall form the high flying life in Paris though the concentric circles of hell in Amsterdam. The protagonist introspects his life with brutal simplicity , he finds himself to be absurd, his ...more
Hugo Emanuel
Albert Camus tem o fabuloso e sempre infalível dom de romancear magistralmente uma miríade de conceitos e sistemas filosóficos de um modo coerente e empolgante, aplicado-os a realidades relacionáveis e por vezes ilusoriamente banais. Os seus romances e contos, não obstante o seu frequentemente pequeno numero de páginas, reflectem um considerável numero de ideias filosóficas que, se lidas com a devida atenção e dedicação, podem muito bem alterar a percepção que o leitor tem da realidade. Foi prec ...more
Feb 19, 2009 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those looking for an example of The Absurd Man in action.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2007 Katherine rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who always sit at the bar, lawyers
Eh. This book started off with potential, I thought, even making me laugh out loud, though I'm not sure it's supposed to be funny. But then again what's not funny about proclaiming that humans will be remembered only for reading the paper and fornicating?

It took me a while to get into the monologue form, and then I liked the casual banter for a bit. But then by page 40, and it's only 100-some pages, I found myself fast asleep face down in the book, literally. This book also fails the page-99 tes
Leila Hashemi
اول از همه منظور کلی این کتاب اینه که یسری از اصول اخلاقی خوب آدم ها هامثل مهربونی و محبت دوستی و... زیر سوال میبره .دروئی که انسان حتی با خودش داره .خودخواهی واحساس رضایت از خود میشه دلیل فروتنی ومهربونی با بقیه .کلمانس نماد آدم مهربون راستگو سخاوتمند در نظر خودش و دیگران ، چیزهایی رو تو خودش کشف میکنه که همه اینهارو جز دروغ چیز دیگه ای نمیدونه .آدم های مجرم میشن روراست و ساده لوح و انسان های خوب دورو و خودخواه .وارد عمیق ترین روحیات یک نفر میشه و درمودش قضاوت میکنه .میگه انسان ممکنه در بالاتری ...more
مهم این است که شخص بتواند همه چیز را برای خود مجاز بداند ، ولو اینکه مجبور شود که گاه به گاه بی لیاقتی خویش را به آوای بلند اعلام دارد. من از نو ، و این بار بدون خنده ، همه چیز را بر خود مجاز می دانم . من تغییر زندگی نداده ام:همچنان به خودم عشق می ورزم و از دیگران بهره می برم.منتها اعتراف به خطاهایم به من اجازه می دهد که با سبکباری بیشتری از نو آغاز کنم و دو برابر لذت ببرم.نخست از طبیعتم و بعد از احساس دلچسب پشیمانی.
از وقتی که این راه حل را یافته ام ، خود را به دست همه چیز رها می کنم:به زن ،
Amir Mojiry
اگر بگویم یکی از بهترین کتاب هایی است که خوانده ام پر بیراه نگفته ام. مطمئنن این کتاب را بیش از «بیگانه» ی کامو می پسندم. گرچه «سقوط» بیش تر فلسفه پردازی دارد و کم تر داستان. با این حال خیلی از فکرهایی که نامنظم و پراکنده توی ذهنم وول می خورد، این جا مرتب شده و مرتبط شده و طبقه بندی شده وجود داشتند. از این که کسی این چنین بتواند فلسفه پردازی کند، تعجب کردم.
باید یادم باشد به همه ی کسانی که جز نالیدن از زندگی کار دیگری ندارند، توصیه کنم حتمن حتمن این کتاب را بخوانند. حداقلش این است که از این به بع
Marat M. Yavrumyan
Կասկածում էի, որ եսասիրական հակումներ ունեմ, բայց ա՜յս աստիճանի, այն էլ փառամոլության (լավ կլիներ, իհարկե, ընչաքաղցության) երանգներով, չէի պատկերացնում։ Եթե դարիս մարդու պատկերը այս է, ենթադրում եմ, որ այս է, ու շատերը իրենց կտեսնեն այստեղ, ուրեմն բարդ է լինելու։ Դե, իմ ասելով չէ, որ պիտի Կամյու կարդալ։ Հայերեն թարգմանությունը լավն է, ավելի հաջողված, քան Ժանտախտինը, բայց էլի տեղ կա բարելավելու։ Էլեկտրոնային տարբերակը, դե գիտեք արդեն որտեղից ։))
Najla Hammad
رواية فلسفية جميلة فيها الكثير من الثرثرة والإستدراك
بعض الإقتباسات:
"أما الصداقة فهي أقل بساطة، والحصول عليها يتطلب وقتاً، وهو صعب. أما حين يحصل عليها المرء فيجب أن يسير معها. ولا تظن لحظة واحدةأن أصدقاءك سيتصلون بك تلفونياً كل مساء، كما يجب عليهم أن يفعلوا، لكي يعرفوا هل أن هذا المساء هو المساء الذي تقرر فيه أن تنتحر، أو هل أنت في حاجة إلى الرفقة، أو أنك لست في مزاج يتيح لك الخروج.
كلا، لا تقلق، فإنهم سيتصلون بك في المساء الذي لا تكون فيه وحدك، حين تكون الحياة جميلة. أما بالنسبة للإنتحار، فإنهم س
This late work by Camus (he died in l960) is short, and you’d think some brief comments would take care of a brief book. Not so. Even though it’s short, so many ideas tumble from it that you feel like saying, to do justice to them, read the book for yourself!

Part of the challenge of the book, and also one of its pleasures, is its style. Yes, Camus expresses the key concepts of his brand of existentialism, but the ideas emerge in a ongoing monologue with the reader as the listener. The voice of
Victoria Mixon
I love Camus. He's generally lumped with the existentialists but was actually an absurdist. I mean, when your protagonist gets convicted of matricide because he doesn't cry hard enough at his mother's funeral (The Stranger)---THAT, folks, is black humor.

And The Fall doesn't disappoint. In this marvelous twist on first-person narrative, the protagonist speaks not to all readers in general but to you specifically, cast as you are in the role of an intelligent Parisian lawyer the mysterious Jean-Ba
This is one of those books which is not about the narrator, the protagonist. It's about you and me, through him. It's disturbing, because it's the truth about ourselves that we know deep down, but we refuse to acknowledge, refuse to think about. It's about our selflessness, which is not so selfless after all. It's for the gallery. It's to stroke our egos. Albert Camus tells us something we have known all along, in our subconscious. We are not the selfless good people, we pretend to be. We are im ...more
A self-titled “Judge Penitent” living in Amsterdam tells his life story, over several days, to a man he meets in a bar, bizarrely called Mexico City. It is written as a first person monologue, with occasional asides and replies to the other man, which gives the narrative a very distinctive voice.

Although a very short book, it is not one to rush as so much philosophy, law and theology is explored. (It is certainly much heavier than The Outsider or The Plague.)

You discover how an apparently altrui
Niloofar Haidari
برعكس خيلي از كتابا كه فقط ميخونيشون تا در نهايت يك قضاوتي راجع بهشون يا راجع به نوع نوشته شدنشون بكني اين كتابي بود براي من كه دلم ميخواست باهاش حرف بزنم . از اون كتابا كه وقتي ميخوني انقدر ذهنت فعال ميشه كه وقني ميبنديش انگيزه ي اينو داري كه خودتم قلم به دست بگيري و نظر بدي ... اين اتفاقي نيست كه با هر كتابي براي آدم بيوفته .
كامو نويسنده ي خوبيه اما به نظرم قبل از هرچيز متفكر خيلي خوبيه . من يك نيمچه نظري در مورد اين متفكرا دارم كه وقتي ميخان نظرهاشونو بگنجونن توي رمان خوب در نمياد . يعني همش
I first stumbled upon The Fall in my mid-teens, where it was my introduction to the bitter world of nihilism and the Grand Hypocrisy; never before had I been forced to confront that prime moral pivot in so direct a manner: if a good deed is performed for bad reasons, does it remain good?

This slim volume still holds up, and remains my favorite amongst the body of fiction produced by the great mid-century French intellectual. The monologue delivered by the weary, wounded, and witty French expatria
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Was he talking to himself? 30 252 Dec 11, 2014 02:31PM  
♥ Nothing Better ...: BR-->28, Mansu **(MIA) ~Sachin ~ Vaibhav... ++The Fall++ 391 108 Nov 29, 2014 05:28AM  
The Bookworms of RVA: "The Fall" Albert Camus 1 41 Oct 27, 2011 05:09AM  
The Fall 1 33 Apr 06, 2008 08:28AM  
  • The Age of Reason
  • Strait is the Gate (La Porte Etroite)
  • The Guermantes Way  (In Search of Lost Time, #3)
  • Albert Camus: A Life
  • Journey to the End of the Night
  • Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable
  • Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre
  • Either/Or: A Fragment of Life
  • The Mandarins
  • The Castle
  • Paris Spleen
  • Franz Kafka's The Castle (Dramatization)
  • Human, All Too Human
  • Viper's Tangle
Albert Camus was an Algerian-born French author, philosopher, and journalist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. He is often cited as a proponent of existentialism (the philosophy that he was associated with during his own lifetime), but Camus himself rejected this particular label. Specifically, his views contributed to the rise of the more current philosophy known as absurdis ...more
More about Albert Camus...
The Stranger The Plague The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt Exile and the Kingdom

Share This Book

“You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.” 2828 likes
“I used to advertise my loyalty and I don't believe there is a single person I loved that I didn't eventually betray.” 1063 likes
More quotes…