Rachel Terry's Reviews > The Plague

The Plague by Albert Camus
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Feb 01, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: nobel-prize-winners
Read in January, 2010

Reading this during the earthquake in Haiti made it all the more harrowing because the newspaper articles proved that these scenarios could actually happen.

I love the characters. They're so far from caricatures (the old man who drops papers for the cats to play with and then spits on them, the man who has re-written the first and only line of his novel thousands of times), but they're so sparingly described that you fill in the gaps with either your imagination or with people you already know.

I didn't know you could wait until the last chapter to reveal the identity of your narrator. It's bold, but you realize you knew all along.

The main reason I liked this book so much is that Camus grasps and explains human nature in this book as well as the best of them (like Shakespeare or Jane Austen). When put in dire circumstances, the character of these characters is laid bare, and it made me think about my own character. Would I respond to such challenges like Tarrou and Dr. Rieux? Or would I try to escape like Rambert? And what's up with Cottard? Is it possible that some people actually thrive in dissolute situations? I'm sure they do, but I'd never considered it before.

It's really too bad Camus didn't last longer.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Plague.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Melani Ack! I almost done... I will finish quickly now after reading your review... I have thought also of the parallels between The Plague and Haiti... Do you think that The Plague is a metaphor for the post modern search for meaning? Don't answer that! I will finish up as quickly as I can... then we can talk about it :)

Rachel Terry I bet we could come up with many levels of meaning for this one. I was wondering if Oran's plague could be a metaphor for the Nazi's occupation of France--The Plague was published in 1947. Setting it in France might be too obvious, but a French colony..why not?

I'm not answering the post-modern search-for-meaning question at this time. (or possibly at any time)

message 3: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Was this one of those Nobel prize winners? It seems an interesting choice for you, if not. I'm putting it on my to-read list -- you almost never give books five stars!

Rachel Terry Novel prize winner: affirmative.

back to top