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The First Man

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,874 Ratings  ·  318 Reviews
The final, posthumous masterpiece from Nobel Laureate Albert Camus tells an unmistakably autobiographical story of a boy growing up in Algeria, fatherless, in poverty, amid silent, illiterate women. "Radiant . . . one of the most extraordinary evocations of childhood that exists in any language."--The Boston Globe.
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published August 29th 1995 by Knopf (first published April 13th 1994)
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Jim Fonseca
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french-authors
Basically an autobiography by Camus. The manuscript was found in the car when Camus died in a car crash in 1960, when he was 57, and just 3 years after he won the Nobel Prize. It’s clearly a draft with a lot of footnotes and other notes that that show a writer at work. (Change names; don’t use the real names; develop; illegible; add this; take out that.) Obviously it could use editing, but it’s a good book as is.

In an editor’s note we’re told the manuscript was not published until 1994 (by his
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was not what I expected. Due to the philosophical, melancholy nature of the first two Camus books I’ve read, (The Stranger and The Plague), I expected this book to be more academic, but it was far from it; it’s a more personal book, nostalgic, full of feelings and memories.

This book is considered to be an autobiographical novel, and its unedited manuscript was found in the car wreckage in which Camus was killed. Even for an unedited piece of work, it is simply a masterpiece. It was int
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Camus & readers who don't mind winding prose
Who knew I would be reading Camus' last novel as though it was his first? In this world of the passed away French-Algiers, the present and past are blurred, as a man recalls his childhood, and the voice of the third-person narrator is so close, it might as well be first-person. This harrowing account of a fatherless boy living in poverty is so pure that it's perfect in its stimulation. How can an author who grew so popular for his structural peculiarity in The Stranger, bring us such a completel ...more
Parastoo Ashtian
بچه به خودی خود هیچ نیست، پدر و مادر هستند که او را نشان میدهند. با وجود آنهاست که حد خود را معین میکند، و حدش در نظر مردم معین میشود. به واسطه آنهاست که احساس میکند به راستی دربارهاش قضاوت میشود، آن هم قضاوتی که نمیتوان از آن استیناف خواست، و همین قضاوت مردم بود که ژاک تازه آن را کشف کرد و همراه با آن قضاوت خود او بود دربارهی دلچرکین پرکراهتی که در سینه خودش بود. نمیتوانست بفهمد که وقتی بزرگ می شود، اگر این کراهت را احساس نکرده باشد برتریهای کمتری خواهد داشت. چوم مردم، خوب یا بد، خود آدم را میب ...more
Leo Robertson
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adds an unexpected dimension to Camus' philosophy: that it was written by a regular guy whose daily worries, ponderings, misgivings and regrets found him just as much as ours find us. That's of course a major point of his philosophy, that inherent flaws in the machine make regrets, worries, mistakes and absolute communion between people impossible, but gone in this work is the darkly ironic facade. This time we find reassurance in that Camus is as he was basically trying to convince us he was an ...more
Henry Martin
It is not often that I struggle to find words; yet, this is one of those times. Reading this unfinished manuscript has left me without words to express how I feel about it. It's not a novel - it's a glimpse into the mind of a great man as he looks back on what was and what was not. It is a rare glimpse into his likes, dislikes, memories, relationships, upbringing, social settings... This 'novel' is full of inconsistencies, missing words, and notes. Nevertheless, such is life - impure, fragmented ...more
Sareh Ghasemi
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
توصیفهای کتاب حرف نداره... مخصوصن قسمتهایی که بازارهای الجزیره رو به تصویر میکشه، کاملن میتونی خودتو توی فضاش قرار بدی... گرمای طاقتفرسای الجزیره رو روی پوستت حس کنی... بوی شیرینیهای عربی به مشامت برسه... ترس «ژاک» و دوستاش، که ناشی از شیطنتهاشونه... و حتا احساس عجز و ناتوانییی که گاهی سراغ شخصیتها میاد... همه و همه ملموس و در یک کلمه بینظیره.
«بعد هر دو تاریخ را خواند (۱۸۸۵-۱۹۱۴) و خود به خود حساب کرد: بیست و نه سال. ناگهان فکری به ذهنش رسید که تا ته دلش را لرزاند. خود او چهل سال داشت. مردی که ز
This begins my Camus’ Centenary year (he was born in 1913) reading list. I plan on reading even more widely than I have of his oeuvre this year, and revisiting some of his works, particularly if there’s a new translation I have not read. On the 7th of November, there will be a celebration at my house.

Now, reviewing a rescued-partial-first-draft manuscript turned into a book is a different kind of thing to other books. When you hover over the fifth star in Goodreads, it says ‘it was amazing’, so
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed every single word of this book. This is a MUST read to Camus' fans!
أغبط من عاشوا في النصف الاول من القرن الماضي الي ستيناته ...
فترة التقلبات و الثورات ..
وبزوغ الرؤى والافكار ...
أغبطهم أيضا لغنى الفترة بكثير من المبدعين ...الذين أتسمت أبدعاتهم بالثورة و النضج وتفرد كل منهم بفلسفة خاصه ...ورؤية تستحق الاحترام
ربما كان ألبير كامو من أعظم أفرازات هذا العصر
وروايته الانسان الاول (التي تعد أخر أعماله ) هي نتاج مخاض فكري عميق أمتاز بالوعي و تنقيح العديد من الافكار الطافية على السطح في هذا الوقت ...
الانسان الاول هي قصة طفل فرنسي نشأ في الجزائر و عرف أول ما عرف ان دولته
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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
More about Albert Camus...
“When the soul suffers too much, it develops a taste for misfortune.” 1100 likes
“When I was young I asked more of people than they could give: everlasting friendship, endless feeling.

Now I know to ask less of them than they can give: a straightforward companionship. And their feelings, their friendship, their generous actions seem in my eyes to be wholly miraculous: a consequence of grace alone.”
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