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The Outsider (Essential Penguin)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  389,129 Ratings  ·  11,132 Reviews
Meursault leads an unremarkable, bachelor life in Algiers. But his sudden involvement in a violent confrontation throws him into turmoil as he is forced to question the fundamental values of society. Camus creates a world without a God but a societythat is still subject to restrictive, man-made rules capable of alienating any who transcend them. In this most memorable of e ...more
Paperback, 119 pages
Published February 25th 1999 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published 1942)
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Salma Elsayed ليس شرطا أن من يؤمن بمبدأ العبثية ينكر وجود الإله .. هناك الكثير من المؤمنين بالله لا يجدون معنى للحياة
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Jun 29, 2008 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
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
Jun 02, 2008 Ryan R rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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 Gabogovinanana
Dec 04, 2013 Ian Gabogovinanana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews, camus
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
Dec 04, 2013 Fahad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction

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
Glenn Russell
Jan 03, 2016 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
May 11, 2008 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 02, 2015 karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: littry-fiction
Huda Yahya
Aujourd'hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas.

الحياة لا تساوى أي عناء

هذا هو الشعار الأعظم لفلسفة اللامبالاة
تلك الفلسفة التي يتمسك بعضنا بها كطوق نجاة أخير
تلك الفلسفة التي أتمسك أنا بها كطوق نجاة أخير

لا يعرف أبدا أي بشري هذه الفلسفة حتى يتألم ألما عظيما
إما أن يقضي عليه
وإما يعيد بعثه من جديد

وميرسو هنا وضعه مختلف
إننا لا نعرف ما الذي أصابه ليصير هكذا
إنه يحمل كل أوجاع البشرية وكل سؤال أطلقه الانسان في الفراغ

ربما لم يصبه شيء
ربما ولد كبش فداء
ربما جاء إلى هذا العالم ليفعل ما لم يجرؤ ا
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
Sanjay Gautam
Nov 06, 2015 Sanjay Gautam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

The prose of Camus is very simple and eloquent, and is a pleasure to read, but he raises some philosophical questions a layer beneath his beautifully crafted novella which leaves
Nov 21, 2008 Danny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Apr 24, 2014 Dolors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nonconformist outsiders
Recommended to Dolors by: Ian Gabogovinanana
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
Jr Bacdayan
Oct 10, 2013 Jr Bacdayan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 08, 2015 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Carmen by: Jess
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Stranger: Mersault in the Moment

Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that's all there is my friends
Then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is--Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller

I hear the people singing, so it must be Christmas time

So here it is, Christmas night, 2015. And I have been reading Albert Camus rather than Charles Dickens. I have completed The Stranger rather than A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings or The Gift of the Magi.

Dec 11, 2015 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Annie by: Parthiban Sekar

It is human to want to group everything in neat little rows. Little lists that rationalise an order. Best books to read once in lifetime. Number of followers on Instagram. How much money is standard for a certain position. What level of education is the norm. The amount of period it is acceptable to be jobless after graduation. Rules. Edicts. Government. Laws. Religion.Dictionary. We adhere to these like a flame to a candle wick. Looking for an explanation, a definite end to everything. To make

Lit Bug
Oct 11, 2013 Lit Bug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, french, novelette
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
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
The Ward translation I just read has left a new mark upon my consciousness. I will be reviewing that version as a completely separate review to come as soon as I can wrap my head around it.

Still 5 stars. Still my favorite book.

Since my all time favorite pantaloonless people decided to read this for our November selection, I will gladly tag along for my sixth turn through this fabulous book that is akin to a religious text for me.
Dear friends,

And no, Steph
Nov 04, 2015 Seemita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for a life-update
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
Stephen M
Laife iz absurd..... lolz jk!!!!


How cool is existentialism?



This is no coincidence!
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Jul 25, 2013 Paquita Maria Sanchez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
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
Jason Koivu
Oct 29, 2015 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read Camus at a very good time for me. I was youngish and still into that spare style in which motive is more important than the scenery, and what makes a fucker tick is key.

In The Stranger, when main character Meursault doesn't openly weep at his mother's funeral, I connected with him. I know, it's a horrible thing to say, but at the time I was at a low point in my relationship with my mother, so that kind of detachment made sense to me. I could relate. I couldn't tell you much more of what h
Nov 21, 2008 Manny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, life-is-camus

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.
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
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,
Lynne King
Aug 19, 2013 Lynne King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: camus, fiction

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
Rakhi Dalal
Oct 07, 2014 Rakhi Dalal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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  • No Exit and Three Other Plays
  • The Metamorphosis and Other Stories
  • Un homme qui dort
  • The Counterfeiters
  • The Wild Ass's Skin
  • The Holy Terrors
  • Memoirs of Hadrian
  • Time Regained (In Search of Lost Time, #7)
  • Man's Fate
  • Hunger
  • The Joke
  • The Devil in the Flesh
  • Waiting for the Barbarians
  • Jacques the Fatalist
  • La cantatrice chauve, suivi de La leçon
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...

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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.” 1550 likes
“I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.” 1260 likes
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