KV Taylor's Reviews > The Plague

The Plague by Albert Camus
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's review
Apr 24, 2009

really liked it
Read in April, 2011

I enjoyed this one on several levels, which I guess is appropriate since the book works on several levels, too. The sentences are beautiful and capable of switching meaning on you depending on what sort of mood in which you're reading them, the characters are fascinating, the point of view is a bit silly but almost magically effective in the end, the allegory of the plague is admittedly labored at times, but I never thought it was dull. To put it in one sentence, I'd say: the humanity--and the humanism in The Plague is at once appalling, absurd, charming, and cutting.

And to say something that'll scandalize literary snobs everywhere, it's pretty much everything horror and dark fiction strives to be. Just in a sort of quiet, orderly fashion. Instead of watering down the potency, however, it really just highlights the fragility of the social structure it can't quite bring itself to destroy.

It's one of those books that, if I'd read it in high school, it would've blown my mind even though I wouldn't have grasped the half of it. I'm not sure if I wish I had so I could've had that experience (but I guess I had that enough with other things!) and then come back to it at 30--which is always fun--or if I'm glad I did it this way. Either way, I'll surely read it again in 10-20 years and laugh at what I thought at 30.

And I mean, what better recommendation is there for a book, really?

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