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The Stranger

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  352,511 ratings  ·  9,886 reviews
This is an alternate cover edition for ISBN 0679720200.

Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd." First published in English in 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward.
Paperback, 123 pages
Published March 28th 1989 by Vintage International (first published 1942)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Trevor
I don’t know what to do with these stars anymore. I give stars to books and then I think, ‘god, you give five stars to everything, people will think you are terribly undiscriminating’ – so then I give four stars or even three stars to some books. Then I look back and it turns out that that I’ve given four stars to Of Human Bondage and honestly, how could I possibly have thought it was a good idea to give that book less than five stars? It is the absurdity of human conventions that has us doing s ...more
Ryan R
The book is simply written and a rather quick read, but the depth Camus manages to convey through this simplicity is astounding. I think a problem a lot of people have with this book is that they fail to look beyond the whole "what is the meaning of life" message. While an interesting question, the book raises so many other philosophical questions beyond this. What I found the most interesting of these is "what truly defines humanity or makes someone human?" During Meursault's trial, he is const ...more
Ian Klappenskoff
If You Exist

"The Stranger" dramatises the issues at the heart of existentialism.

The same issues are probably at the heart of life, whether or not you believe in a god.

Being Judged

It's interesting that there has been a crime and now Meursault is being "judged".

The judgement is symbolic not only of the justice system, but of God's judgement of humanity.

Defending Yourself

You would normally expect the defendant to assert their innocence or plead not guilty in the criminal justice system (cue Law and
...more
Fahad
الغريب

بدأ لدي خلال السنوات الأخيرة هاجس قرائي مقلق، نوع من الشعور بالنقص كلما مر أمامي عنوان مشهور لم اقرأه بعد، فمن روايات دستويفسكي التي جمعتها ولكني لم اقرأ منها إلا كتاباً واحداً، إلى كافكا وشتاينبك وتشيخوف وغيرهم ممن لم اقرأ لهم شيئاً أو قرأت عملاً وحيداً، وهذا بسبب أن مرحلة القراءة الجوهرية لدي – الثانوية والجامعة – كانت فقيرة، فالمكتبات لدينا في الرياض كانت لا تعرض إلا النادر من الكتب في التسعينات وبدايات الألفية، كما أنني كنت حينها بلا خارطة قرائية، فلا مكتبة في المنزل، ولا قارئ مهتم في
...more
Chris
If every few words of praise I’ve seen for “The Stranger” over my lifetime materialized into small chunks of rock in space, there’d be enough sh!t to conjure up the Oort Cloud. Much like this distant collection of debris bordering the outer solar system, I can’t really comprehend the acclaim heaped on this story, but luckily, like the Cloud, it’s usually out of sight, out of mind, and has absolutely no discernable current influence on my life. And just like the Oort can occasionally spit a chunk ...more
Glenn Russell

Albert Camus’ 1942 classic. Here are the opening lines: “Mother died today Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure. The telegram from the Home says: YOUR MOTHER PASSED AWAY. FUNERAL TOMORROW. DEEP SYMPATHY.” A telegram, not a personal phone call or someone on staff from the old-people’s home actually making the hour trip in person to inform her only son, but a terse three line businesslike telegram – cold, insensitive, almost callous; a telling sign of the mechanized times.

Then first-person narrat
...more
s.penkevich
It was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.

Even if we exist in a world devoid of meaning, why is it that our actions still bear so much weight? The crime and punishment of Nobel Prize winning author Albert Camus’ academically canonized The Stranger depicts the ironies of enforcing meaning in a void and the absurdities that surround us as humans walking towards the same cold, lifeless fate. ‘Since we're all going to die,’ writes narrator Meursault, ‘it's obvious that when
...more
Steve Sckenda
Feb 15, 2015 Steve Sckenda rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fist-Shakers
Recommended to Steve by: Professor Robert Wylie
I have long felt like a stranger and an exile, so I have nothing but goodwill for fellow exiles, outcasts, eccentrics, and people who feel estranged from the majority. I adore those who think differently and who challenge the certitude of the beastly herd, which always seems to be trying to stampede the dissenters off of a cliff. “I had the strange impression of being odd man out, a kind of intruder.”

In “The Stranger” Meursault, the narrator, confronts his own mortality after committing a sensel
...more
Madeleine
I was so amped about this book when I tore through it a few weeks ago; alas, in that yawning chasm of time between then and when I first sat down to start this review (as opposed to this most recent effort -- I think at least my fourth?), I found that I’d forgotten a lot of the specific reasons why it had hit all the right spots for me.

Fortunately, since Goodreads has instilled in me the need to take notes on, emphatically underline passages from and analyze the pants off every book I read thes
...more
Danny
The Stranger is considered by many to be one of the most important philosophical novels of the 20th Century. In most college courses on Existentialism (a philosophy which holds that human beings create the meaning and essence of their own lives) The Stranger is usually the first thing you will read. If you're interested in philosophy, or Existentialism specifically, The Stranger is a great place to start.

Camus describes Meursault, the main character, only sparingly; and for the majority of the n
...more
Petra X
Mersault, a twenty-something clerk of great intelligence but no ambition, little expressed emotion and the attitude of why bother changing or making a choice, there's nothing wrong with the status quo. But if pushed, by his girlfriend into marriage he will go along with it. Or whe his violent pimp of a neighbour wants him to compose a letter to his mistress that is meant to result in extreme nastiness towards her (but backfires), he will act. It's as if inertia is his default. The only time he r ...more
Jeremy
Writing about your favourite and the most influential single book of your life—not that that means anything—is a little like staring into the sun, the same sun here in an Australian suburb as that of an Algerian beach: so I shall squint, if you don’t mind.



Firstly, Sandra Smith’s work is excellent. I have read all four English translations of L’Étranger that I am aware of (Stuart Gilbert, Joseph Laredo, and Matthew Ward being the other three. If you know of another, please let me know…) at least
...more
Dolors
Apr 24, 2014 Dolors rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nonconformist outsiders
Recommended to Dolors by: Ian Klappenskoff
Shelves: read-in-2014
My first encounter with Camus and with the stranger that had been hiding inadvertently within me during all these years left me quite perplexed. Is the title of Camus’s novel that obvious? Who is truly “The Stranger” here? The disenchanted narrator of a story with no real plotline and no definite answers? The faceless mass of people who loathe and condemn him according to arbitrary morality? The alien countenance that stares back at me in the mirror on a muddled succession of monotonous Mondays? ...more
Lit Bug
I don't know if I've got this right, but here's my take anyway.

I have no idea how to review this. I know a little bit about existentialism, and mostly disagreed with it, or at least, viewed it skeptically. It seemed weird, abnormal. Who ever behaved like that? It looked like a deeply ingrained depression that became naturalized through self-inflicted repression. Naturally, my first encounter with this book in my early twenties didn’t go beyond being an acquaintance.

Even today, I cannot spell out
...more
Jr Bacdayan
The Stranger by Albert Camus, though quite regarded by many as a great philosophical/existentialist novel (I'm gonna be a non-conformist here.) is not quite right for me. I'm really quite at odds here. Before anything else, I would like to state that I was rather pleased with the first half of the novel, but sadly not by the second. Sure, this novella exposes certain absurdities in our society. I'd agree to that. But for me, the truths that this book expounds upon is not enough to make up for th ...more
Stephen M
Laife iz absurd..... lolz jk!!!!

plus

How cool is existentialism?

description


description

This is no coincidence!
Seemita
What happens when we bump into a hive of sticky words that seem delectable on the surface but grasping them blurs the lines etched in our minds? How does it feel when some kind of hurricane is unleashed on our notions that were, until now, not subject to acute ambiguity? It’s a bit harsh actually; voluntarily letting oneself meander into alleys which have danger signs dangling at every short step, at every dark window. But the human mind is a peculiar, peculiar creature - it's as much ours as it ...more
Cheryl
Bizarre. Baffling. Brilliant. When I can think of more to add to this confounding literary form and structure, I'll be back...

----------- Update -------------

The story is bizarre, the main character baffling, and the structure brilliant. I’m reading Matthew Ward’s translation of The Stranger and in his Translator’s Note, Ward states that Camus acknowledged employing an “American method” when writing this novel: “short, precise sentences; the depiction of a character ostensibly without consciousn
...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Until about a week ago, I was quite certain I had read this novel before. I had not. I realized this puzzling truth after Janice, my goodreads companion and personal attorney, sent me a copy along with some other goodies. I started reading it "again," and it only took a few pages to pick up on the fact that what I thought had been my memory of reading this book was actually just a conglomeration of knowing the story in a fair amount of detail, seeing the novel quoted over and over again, overhea ...more
Sanjay Gautam
It came as something quite shocking which left me dazed for days. I don't consider myself worthy enough to review this book because I won't be doing justice to this book, at all. This book has left me in a certain distress with so many questions to ponder upon. And sometimes I think if this book can be reviewed at all. Its a book that doesn't give any answers rather it raises profound questions about The Nature of Truth- through a man, with all his imperfection and innocence, who becomes an Outs ...more
Lynne King

Albert Camus rightly deserves his place in history as a Nobel Laureate and the following statement made in 1957 when he was awarded this prize in Literature says it all:

“For his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times".

The tragedy of it all is that three years later he will be killed in a car accident in France and “In his briefcase was the incomplete first draft of a new book, Le Premier Homme (The First M
...more
Manny

Strange, emotionally damaged man, lacking in affect and with an ambiguous attitude to religion, falls into bad company and ends up shooting an Arab for reasons that aren't clear even to himself. It was hot, and he wasn't thinking straight.

Now why would George W Bush not merely read this shortly after the Iraq War, but go to some lengths to let the world know he had done so? A minor literary mystery that will perhaps never be fully resolved. Personally, I think Laura had something to do with it.
Aubrey
I'm grateful that I read The Wretched of the Earth before this. Colonialism as a whole is a rather predictable monster, but the specifics of just how far the conquering hoard goes in each particular case and country needs to be reviewed for suspension of disbelief purposes. Kneejerk incredulity and/or sentiment at the horrors of reality rejuvenates itself far too quickly for my tastes.

It is perfectly possible to loathe one's mother. We as a species are capable of such immense levels of arbitrary
...more
إسراء مقيدم
انها اللامبالاة فى اقسى صورها

اكثر ما لفت نظرى فى تلك الرواية "العنوان" والذى لم افهمه الى ان وصلت للنهاية
من هو الغريب؟
ومادوره فى الرواية؟
حسنا...للاجابة على تساؤلاتى كان لابد من الانخراط فى الاحداث حتى الصفحة الاخيرة
مشكلة سيرمو تكمن فى عدم اخذه الحياة على محمل الجد,,,لا يبالى بشىء على الاطلاق
لا يبالى بوفاة امه
لا يبالى بحبيبته,
حتى انه سيتزوجها لجرد انها طلبت ذلك
,لا يبالى ان كانت هى ام غيرها
لا يبالى بقرار خاطىء اتخذه ...
قرار كان من شأنه ان يدينه فى المحكمة وان يتسبب فى حكم الاعدام
حتى انه بعد صدور
...more
Chris
I remember loving this book as a teenager, and re-reading it this week, I have felt the same. Meursault is one of the most fascinating characters I've ever read, and at the same time I've always felt a certain kinship to him. Why isn't it okay to not care as deeply, or in the same way, as others, especially on the subjects of love and death? Is there any possible connection we can have with the feelings of another? How would we ever know if we were talking about the same thing? His reactions to ...more
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. In my opinion, the last five pages or so of this book are among the most powerful that I have ever read. The rest of this very short novel, while very good, seem to me to be a really big set up to the explosive confrontation between Meursault and the priest and the final realization of Meursault regarding the cold indifference of the world as it relates to the individual. Powerful and briliant. Recommended!!
Gautam
Let me begin my review with a quote from Jean-Paul Sartre :

“At first [Man] is nothing .Only afterward will he be something ,and he himself will have made what he will be”

One more quote ,this time from Dostoevsky’s ‘Notes from the Underground’ :

“What Man does is not done by his wiling it, but is done of itself, by the laws of nature”

‘The Stranger’ by Albert Camus is a powerful, riveting novel, where you may feel like an insect caught in a cobweb of thoughts and confusion. It has to be noted that,
...more
Rakhi Dalal
What do I think about this book? The book which is adequate to make you sit riveted, casting off the presence of any other issue or entity, to a side! Is there anything more astonishing than to see a written word, written by someone at a different place and time, reflecting your own thoughts!

Starting with the book, I had an anticipation of the way it would turn out, considering that it is the third book by Camus that I had taken up. And I must add that I wasn’t disappointed. “The Stranger”, as
...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I think the "meat" of this book, and what made it a classic, is mostly contained in the final chapter. That's where Camus showed himself for the philosopher that he was. I wasn't wowed by this book, but it was interesting to read. The main character is likable enough to the people around him, but he drove me nuts because he is so passive! He just says, "Yeah, okay" to whatever anyone proposes. He has also never learned the art of dissembling, so he causes trouble for himself by always saying the ...more
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957894
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
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The Plague The Fall The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt Exile and the Kingdom

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“I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn't.” 1375 likes
“I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.” 1143 likes
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