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Exile and the Kingdom

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  5,207 ratings  ·  192 reviews
These six stories, written at the height of Camus' artistic powers, all depict people at decisive, revelatory moments in their lives. Translated by Justin O'Brien.

The six works collected in this volume are:

"The Adulterous Woman" ("La Femme adultère")
"The Renegade or a Confused Spirit" ("Le Renégat ou un esprit confus")
"The Silent Men" ("Les Muets")
"The Guest" ("L'Hôte"
Paperback, 213 pages
Published November 5th 1991 by Vintage International (first published 1957)
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The Stranger by Albert CamusThe Plague by Albert CamusThe Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert CamusThe Fall by Albert CamusThe Rebel by Albert Camus
All about Camus
6th out of 24 books — 59 voters
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussDoctor Zhivago by Boris PasternakThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussOn the Road by Jack Kerouac4 by Agatha Christie
Best Books of 1957
35th out of 62 books — 22 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rakhi Dalal
Aug 08, 2014 Rakhi Dalal rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in absurdism

This World is man’s place of Exile and yet it is the only Kingdom he knows.*

So while man finds this world an absurd place to live in, a place indifferent to his existence and as cruel as the harsh Sun, where the agony sprawls over like an endless hot desert and the despair is as unbearable as the Algerian heat, man continuously strives to make the best of it, to find a meaning through revolt,freedom and passion.

Exile and The Kingdom, published in 1958 is Camus’ last completely published work be
In "An Experiment in Criticism", Lewis argues that the only way to truly understand a book the reader must surrender to it and to the author's vision. This can be fairly easy when the reader and the author are coming from similar worldviews, but not when they are meeting head on from opposite ends of the spectrum. This is the challenge I face when reading Camus. Our worldviews are so different that reading his work is an exhausting experience. It is a constant struggle to surrender to his vision ...more
Erik Graff
May 10, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Camus fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
Albert Camus had an immense influence on me during adolescence. This is strange in that nowadays I don't think he would have much impact. At that time, however, I recognized my apprehensions articulated in his voice and in the voices of some of his characters, particularly the doctor in The Plague.

In the sixties one heard about Camus everywhere. My first direct exposure was the typical one: The Stranger was assigned reading for an English class. Intrigued by that and by what I heard from the tea
L'Exil et le Royaume et le malaise de l'être.

L'Exil et le Royaume est un recueil de six nouvelles, publié en 1957 (Il n’est pas arrivé très souvent à Camus d’écrire des nouvelles), Succédant à La Chute (1956), cette œuvre serait donc la dernière publiée de son vivant-je préfère toujours plonger dans l'œuvre camusienne selon son ordre chronologique, ça me fournit quelques indications sur l’évolution de l'auteur!

Le recueil est donc composé de six nouvelles: La Femme adultère, Le Renégat ou un espr
Sep 08, 2007 Jim rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those of us who like to read in between the lines.
Exile and the Kingdom consists of half a dozen short stories. Like Camus’s famous novel, each story deals with an outsider.

The first story presents us with the titular ‘Adulterous Woman’ but nowhere in the story does it suggest that she has – or indeed intends to – be unfaithful to her husband but she does give herself over to a moment, an experience; it is quite a compelling little character study.

The second story, ‘The Renegade’ is the only one I remembered anything of from the first time I r
So I start reading this book and I’m like “oh this is nice, let me put my Casa Blance lens on.” I am happily reading along, when all of a sudden, I’m like:



How did I get here?

And it is not just the first short story; it all of them! I had to read it once, twice, and then go back and review and try to understand and read between the lines.

So check it, in my opinion, all the stories have to be taken as one ongoing theme: An individual who finds himself displaced in
My somewhat low rating is owing only to the fact that these are short stories...getting into Camus this way is a little like being woken up from a deep sleep every hour, on the hour; these stories just can't hold the force of his longer works like "The Plague," "The First Man" or even "The Fall."

He's saved his talent (just my opinion) for the final two. In "Jonas, or the Artist at Work," a painter finds himself unable to create once he has fame, friends and generally an abundance of people aroun
Personaly I love Camus and this flavour of writing. . . The writing, which is for its own sake. . . Pure, artistic and honest. . . Each story is like a painting that etches itself permanently n vividly in one's memory. . . The setting is so important as are the characters with their conscientious n existential struggles, their paradoxes n dilemas, that are too real and near to one's ownself rendering these characters unforgettable. . . The open end is always amenable to one's own interpretation ...more
I like Camus, after my second exposure. This is a collection of short stories, some of which (as always) are a bit better than others. I only give this four stars because I had a little difficulty figuring out how one of the stories fit with the other five. "The Renegade or a Confused Spirit" grated a little for me because it was written in such a different style from the other stories. It felt a little longer than it needed to be to me, but it was compelling nonetheless.

I don't enjoy putting wr
Le Matt
Two words come to mind as I turn the final pages of this wonderful collection: Breathless, breathtaking. Perhaps they are the same.

There is an animal, elemental intensity at play here as Camus once again cements his position not only as an intellectual giant but also as one of the greatest fiction writers. He melds exotic settings with displaced characters in stories that take your breath away, stories that haunt and linger and leave you clamoring for air like a fish on dry shore. The Renegade,
Albert Camus’s existentialism is sometimes described as having more hope than some of his other contemporaries. One thing is certain, Camus has a way of presenting real life that causes the reader to become AWARE. By aware, I mean aware of where they are while reading Camus; aware of their own vision of life; aware of their individual mindset in relation to Camus. The author has a way of presenting life at its most raw and foundational level. My own mindset caused me to look at how the role of b ...more
Le Renegat. For me, Le Renegat IS L'exil et le royaume. It's remained stuck in my mind for half a century, the recollection refreshed every so often by another read-through of the story. It fascinates me, and for the greater part of my life I didn't know why I was fascinated. I've now understood why and shall tell you why in this review. It may sound like a stretch, but I assure you that it's indeed the truth, the actuality.

Le Renegat is a story of torture and abasement, of brain-washing and Sto
William Thomas
honestly, it kills me to give anythign by camus only three stars, but three of the six stories were practically worthless. they read like instructions, like cooking instructions "then he did this, then he did that, then this happened". the other three stories were beautiful, the renegade and the adulterous woman especially, so feverish, so longing and wanting. they conveyed the message of the book, fighting against nature and other men and themselves, trying hard to find peace within where it ca ...more
It is absolutely amazing what a fantastic writer Camus was. Each story in the collection was beautifully crafted with vivid depictions and imagery, foreboding tone, and vulnerably corrupted characters. For me, each seemed to start a bit slow but had me entranced by the third or fourth page.

My two favorites were "The Renegade" and "The Artist at Work." In the first, it is literally difficult to read with the depictions of torture, rape, captivity, thirst, and Stockholm syndrome. A truly grueling
جميلة روايات هذا الرجل، يفهم في النفس البشرية كثيرا.. على الأقل كان يتماهى مع بعض ما مرّ بخيالي..

غير أن في هذه الرواية و في رواية الغريب أيضا نفس عنصري بغيض.. يبدو أنه لا يطيق العرب، في حكاياته هم دائما رثّو الثياب و الهيئة، يفقدون القيم الأخلاقية.. و في أقل الظروف هم أصحاب اليد الدنيا و دائما..
أضف لهم الأفارقة و الخلاسيّون و كل من هم ليسوا من اصحاب الدم الأزرق
طبعا، لم أقل شيئا عندما قرأت الغريب كوني لم أسمع أحدا يقول هذا، لكنني وجدت تحليلات لكتاباته و تضيف لهم النساء في كتابات أخرى ..
تقييمي هو
Samir Rawas Sarayji
I expected the stories here to be more... intimate, for lack of a better word. Instead, the stories had detached narrators and the camera view was too distant from the protagonists in each story for me to sympathize with any of them. While the descriptions and details were beautiful, there was an excess of narrative compared to dialogue and action - basically lots of telling. I've only read one of Camus' novels previously but I have a hunch he's a brilliant novelist but not necessarily so as a s ...more
Madalin Boboc
Rated as I read along:

The Adulterous Women -9/10
Very simple story but the beauty of description and depth of insight into the protagonist's thoughts and feelings are what truly makes it more than it could have been.

The Renegade or a Confuse Spirit -9/10
The story of a mind gone astray due to the effects of torture, similar somewhat to "The Fall", a study of twisted logical justification but more intense, or with "Erostratus" by Sartre with the difference that the protagonist here can be symphat
Compared with the one translated by Justin O’Brien (Everyman’s Library, 2004), this book “Exile and the Kingdom” newly translated by Carol Cosman, I think, is worth reading since she has revealed her style and wording that seemingly simplify this translation with more concise texts. As we can see from the first title and its first three sentences of the first story as follows:

The Adulterous Woman
A house-fly had been circling for the last few minutes in the bus, though the windows were closed. An
I love Camus (The Stranger, The Plague and The Fall, in that order), but this one left me unimpressed. "The Adulterous Woman" felt like a less vivid version of the already-too-depressing The Sheltering Sky, and "The Renegade" was almost incomprehensible. I liked the last four stories more, with "The Guest" and "The Artist at Work" being my favorites, but they were still pretty hollow reading experiences. Granted, the subject matter is as bleak as Camus's worldview, but all of his other fictional ...more
These are six short stories following the path of strangers (as expected of Camus)in Algeria, France, Mali and Brazil. Overall I was bewitched and lost in the subtle meanings each of them carried, and Camus truly allows you to get lost in concepts you formulate or perceive by yourself.

My favorite chapter was the first "The Adulterous Woman" because this is the first time I read something Camus narrates in the voice of a woman, which gave the story a new exquisite taste.
The ending was rather enig
Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion
In places, these six stories contain some of Camus' more literary writing. Unfortunately, I find that most do not develop much tension or suspense, and even the stories that begin with promise seem to drown in flatness shortly thereafter. The lone exception for me was "The Guest" which does succeed at hammering in some emotional nails into the reader.

It's also interesting to see how various forms of "tribalism" and "paganism" take center stage in several different stories as characters search f
This collection of short stories is now my favorite work by Camus, behind only The Plague. Each story is beautifully written and brilliantly concise, where every sentence has weight to it and conveys stirring imagery or deep emotion, as if the author could not spare a single word to excess. The stories vary in subject yet all have the common theme of a protagonist's moral ambivalence when faced with some form of injustice or existential quandary. As one would expect, there is no using Occam's ra ...more
Sara Kaddouri
en lisant ce roman , je me suis dite que c'est albert camus quand même, sois patiente il doit y avoir quelque chose de special au fur et à mesure de ma lecture , mais non rien de rien , j'ai terminé la 1 ere nouvelle ,sans avoir cette envie de continuer , j'ai commencé la 2 eme et presque à la fin de la 2 eme nouvelle. j'ai decidé que je ne peux pas continuer à le lire ça m'a torturé mais ce n'est pas du tout mon albert camus . Deçue je l'ai rendu à la meditheque ce matin.
Mais mainenant, et par
Tiiu Tali
Õhuline kergus koos hästi tabatud psühholoogiliste nüanssidega. Kohatine hullumeelsus, kangekaelne vaikimine. Vaikus ja merekohin, kaunis ja inetu loodus, kuid ometigi kõikehõlmav. Alžeeria valgusest kiiskavad linnad ja tänavad, kivid, sool ja meri. Noorus, alasti kehad, sündsutetus ja moraalitus. Aniisiviski ja terass, päike on juba loojumas ning surm tulemas.

Joona ehk kunstnik töö juures. Fantastiline olustiku tabamine. Hakkasin end äkki kunstnikuga samastama ja siis äkki hoopis tema naisega.
If you ask a regular reader of literature what books they associate with the name Albert Camus they will probably come up with the famous novels like 'The Plague' and 'The Outsider'. They probably won't associate Camus with short stories which is a shame because I think they are well worth reading (especially if you like his novels, because the themes are similar).
Peter Landau
A handful of short stories written throughout Albert Camus’ short career are collected in EXILE AND THE KINGDOM, which has been published recently with a new translation and an odd introduction by that translator, Carol Cosman. Odd because it has several factual errors. For example, she writes that THE PLAGUE takes place in an unnamed town, when in Vintage’s own press materials printed in the back of the book it says the town is Oran. But since I don’t read French this is what I’ve got to work w ...more
This book holds its theme very well across a diverse variety of characters and settings, as it declares a universal bond between all those who feel their soul does not fit into the place where it was born. They culminate in the final, cathartic story, The Growing Stone, where one of these lone travelers is at last welcomed home, if only for a moment.
this is certainly not Camus' best works.
in fact in each short stories, he had lost me. I get that he tried to imperceptibly sow seeds of empathy, human emotions, life, and the very idea that sometimes you may be stuck living a life of rapid aging, when your body fails you, when people fail you. You are stuck.You want to travel back time and if you can't you want to die. these are the essence I understood from his ramblings mishmash but due to his lack of execution, perfection and profound conne
A good collection of short stories, told with Camus' characteristic deep thought and meaning.
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Which of Camus' stories is your favorite? 4 37 Jun 27, 2012 04:50AM  
  • The Reprieve
  • Screwjack: A Short Story
  • Albert Camus: A Life
  • Three Tales
  • Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, #4)
  • The Ethics of Ambiguity
  • Collected Stories, 1939-1976
  • Dial M for Monkey
  • Castle to Castle
  • Flight to Arras
  • Thérèse
  • Les caves du Vatican
  • Man's Fate
  • The Planetarium
  • Recoil
  • The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue of Hereditary Sin
  • Hell
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 Fall The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt

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“Not a breath, not a sound—except at intervals the muffled crackling of stones that the cold was reducing to sand—disturbed the solitude and silence surrounding Janine. After a moment, however, it seemed to her that the sky above her was moving in a sort of slow gyration. In the vast reaches of the dry, cold night, thousands of stars were constantly appearing, and their sparkling icicles, loosened at once, began to slip gradually towards the horizon. Janine could not tear herself away from contemplating those drifting flares. She was turning with them, and the apparently stationary progress little by little identified her with the core of her being, where cold and desire were now vying with each other. Before her the stars were falling one by one and being snuffed out among the stones of the desert, and each time Janine opened a little more to the night. Breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the dead weight of others, the craziness or stuffiness of life, the long anguish of living and dying. After so many years of mad, aimless fleeing from fear, she had come to a stop at last. At the same time, she seemed to recover her roots and the sap again rose in her body, which had ceased trembling. Her whole belly pressed against the parapet as she strained towards the moving sky; she was merely waiting for her fluttering heart to calm down and establish silence within her. The last stars of the constellations dropped their clusters a little lower on the desert horizon and became still. Then, with unbearable gentleness, the water of night began to fill Janine, drowned the cold, rose gradually from the hidden core of her being and overflowed in wave after wave, rising up even to her mouth full of moans. The next moment, the whole sky stretched out over her, fallen on her back on the cold earth.” 18 likes
“every night, when he didn't want to be alone, or to age or die, with that set expression he assumed which she occasionally recognized on other men's faces, the only common expression of those madmen hiding under an appearance of wisdom until the madness seizes them and hurls them desperately toward a woman's body to bury in it, without desire, everything terrifying that solitude and night reveals to them.” 8 likes
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