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The Stranger

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  866,677 ratings  ·  31,790 reviews
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 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward. ...more
Kindle Edition, 146 pages
Published August 8th 2012 by Vintage (first published 1942)
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Mariam Mansuryan I think you are misinterpreting the book. Meursault is not a bad character at all, he is just honest. And how bad is the society that it thinks everyo…moreI think you are misinterpreting the book. Meursault is not a bad character at all, he is just honest. And how bad is the society that it thinks everyone has to cry at their mothers' funerals just because that is the custom. Why do they think they know how you have to react?(less)
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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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  866,677 ratings  ·  31,790 reviews

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Jun 28, 2008 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
Glenn Russell
Apr 26, 2015 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
Ryan R
May 22, 2008 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
Barry Pierce
y'know it's quite impressive that Camus managed to write a whole novel from the perspective of that guy who you always avoid at house parties. ...more
Jim Fonseca
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french-authors
A short review because there are so many other good reviews of this classic. When I first read this eons ago, I assumed “the stranger” was the Arab man that the main character kills on the beach. (It’s set in Algeria.) Not so.


Meursault, the main character, is a man without feelings and one incapable of feeling remorse. Those deficiencies show at his mother’s death when he does not cry and does not even seem terribly upset. They show again when he agrees to write a letter for a friend so that th
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Feb 23, 2011 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
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Camus, you have a Beautiful Soul!”

So conceded Albert Camus’ longtime friend, confidante, and fellow agent provocateur, Jean-Paul Sartre, at the time of the much-publicized rift that ended their felicitous comradeship.

Well, and you know what? Camus always had something Sartre didn’t - a warm, caring HUMANNESS.

THAT’s why everyone who reads this book admires it. Camus was for REAL.

Camus, like so many mid-century existentialists, was alienated from traditional societal roles and structures.

But, unl
Ahmad Sharabiani
(Book 579 from 1001 Books) L’Étranger = The Outsider = The Stranger, Albert Camus

The Stranger is a 1942 novel by French author Albert Camus. Its theme and outlook are often cited as examples of Camus' philosophy of the absurd and existentialism.

Part 1: Meursault learns of the death of his mother, who has been living in a retirement home. At her funeral, he expresses none of the expected emotions of grief. When asked if he wishes to view the body, he declines and instead, smokes and drinks coffe
May 05, 2008 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
Elyse  Walters
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading this famous - classic story. All this time I had no idea what it was about.

What an interesting little book. I enjoyed reading in the same way that I have
"Siddartha", by Herman Hesse, or "The Alchemist", by Paulo Coelho.

It's a brilliant small book - especially knowing it was written so long ago: 1942..... but it's timeless.

Is everything the same as everything else? Does it matter who we marry or if we marry? Does it matter if we live or die? Must murder have a meaning?
Luca Ambrosino
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
English (The Stranger) / Italiano

"The Stranger" was suggested to me by the protagonist of another book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Actually, many books are cited in "The Perks of being a Wallflower", but "The Stranger" is the book that intrigued more the protagonist and me.

Meursault is a modest employee of French extraction who lives in Algiers. He lives his daily routine with indifference, unable to openly manifest even the simplest emotions. And it is with apathy that

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
Jr Bacdayan
Apr 12, 2013 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
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Stranger was first published by Albert Camus in the original French in 1942.

I cannot help comparing the hollowness, the emptiness in Meursault’s soul to the soldier in Hemingway’s short story “Soldier's Home”. But in that story, Hemingway describes a change from the war and his reactions are connected with his recent martial experiences.

Camus makes no mention of Meursault’s past experience, his emptiness is fundamental to his soul, and his reaction is to the world in general. Camus introdu
Mutasim Billah
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
“Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure.”

The Stranger is a 1942 novel by Albert Camus, often cited as a prime example of Camus' philosophy of the absurd and existentialism. The story's protagonist Meursault is an indifferent French Algerian, who hardly partakes of the traditional Mediterranean culture. Meursault's initial musings at the very beginning of the story are the groundwork of the plot, as his indifference at his mother's funeral baffles everyone present there.

As a
Roy Lotz
In Search of Lost Time

The Stranger is a perplexing book: on the surface, the story and writing are simple and straightforward; yet what exactly lies underneath this surface is difficult to decipher. We can all agree that it is a philosophical novel; yet many readers, I suspect, are left unsure what the philosophical lesson was. This isn’t one of Aesop’s fables. Yes, Camus hits you over the head with something; but the hard impact makes it difficult to remember quite what.

After a long and e
I wonder sometimes if it takes a man of extreme sensitivity to imagine a man with no conscience?

There is no room in my heart for indifference, and I struggle to see myself writing about Meursault without at some point bursting out in a stream of invectives. Albert Camus, most elegantly, describes the protagonist's carelessness in his caring prose - a prose of such stylistic perfection that it almost hurts to combine in your mind the beautiful words with their ugly meaning in his classic story.
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Stranger by Camus - which I picked up randomly from my library - is a classic of the 20th century, and I had never read it. Why? I do not know. Just as I did not know, or even nothing, precisely what this masterpiece of contemporary literature concealed.
The discovery was, therefore, complete. And that's what I like when I tackle real work. To know nothing about it, expect nothing, be guided only by its author, and experience only my feelings without previously being driven by outside opinion
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
L'Étranger is an exemplary work of literary art presenting an amalgam of apathy and humanity, in such a manner that is paradoxical, yet profoundly fulfilling. This laudable writing explores the numerous possibilities of human life while acknowledging its absurdities.

Albert Camus brilliantly introduces the indifference of the world towards its inhabitants through the title character, Meursault's withdrawal from his surrounding society. Meursault, devoid of ordinary sentiments, is tried before tri
Dec 01, 2007 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Nov 21, 2008 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.
Vit Babenco
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What is an ordinary life? It is to live from day to day: work, eat, sleep, have some fun, meet other people. Meursault lives the ordinary life…
He isn’t a hypocrite, he neither tells a lie nor deceits and he is honest. But his life is ruled by indifference and inertia.
“You’re a young man,” he said, “and I’m pretty sure you’d enjoy living in Paris. And, of course, you could travel about France for some months in the year.”
I told him I was quite prepared to go; but really I didn’t care much one wa
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
if you have ever wanted an in-depth philosophical exploration of the afterlife/death/regret/the meaning of life/justice/religion/the futility of human emotion, and also you want to be able to read it in approx 45 minutes...boy oh boy do i have the book for you.
Jon Nakapalau
One of my 'awakening' books - someone who never lies but is still hated by society - a lesson that I have carried with me through the years. Camus is able to show us the 'fallen' in all of us: the point at which we become so alienated that we become a stranger to ourselves after becoming a stranger to everyone else. His writing is achingly beautiful; a kind of poetry of negated observation fills you with emptiness. Friends of mine who speak French say the English is but a shadow of this beauty - ...more
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book gave me an existential crisis.

it had a pretty big message for such a small book - if we are all to meet the same fate with death, then why does it matter how we live? i am shocked at the heaviness and depth of this question, particularly because the plot of this book was a little boring. but the story raises some very interesting points and gives the reader an opportunity for self-reflection.

3.5 stars
Tamoghna Biswas
'It's called The Stranger. Bill said that it's 'very easy to read, but very hard to "read well".' I have no idea what he means, but I like the book so far.'
("The Perks of Being a Wallflower",
Stephen Chbosky )

" They had before them the basest of crimes, a crime made worse than sordid by the fact that they were dealing with a monster, a man without morals.”

Firstly, on a personal note, I don't think you will be able to finish it in one sitting, short as it is, if you don't get well along wi
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Albert Camus (1913-1960) was a representative of non-metropolitan French literature. His origin in Algeria and his experiences there in the thirties were dominating influences in his thought and work. Of semi-proletarian parents, early attached to intellectual circles of strongly revolutionary tendencies, with a deep interest in philosophy (only chance prevented him from pursuing a university care ...more

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