Mutasim Billah's Reviews > The Stranger

The Stranger by Albert Camus
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bookshelves: 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 matter of fact, Meursault lack of emotional response is the basis of the novel.

"In our society any man who does not weep at his mother's funeral runs the risk of being sentenced to death."

-Albert Camus on L’Étranger


The story tells us of a world where a man who doesn't play the game(i.e. does not bow down to social norms) is most likely to be shunned by society and even persecuted for his choices. The world's Meursaults are each a stranger to society and they're met with disbelieving eyes, even if they're honest.

"When she laughed I wanted her again. A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn't mean anything but that I didn't think so. She looked sad."




“Mostly, I could tell, I made him feel uncomfortable. He didn't understand me, and he was sort of holding it against me. I felt the urge to reassure him that I was like everybody else, just like everybody else. But really there wasn't much point, and I gave up the idea out of laziness.”


The novel explores deeply into the world of absurd as we confront a realm of apathy and alienation as Meursault is condemned to a tragic end. Meursault's thoughts and actions are shown to lack rational order, but the society chooses to rationalize his actions in its own way. I found the book short and mind-bending. The character of Meursault, and how this persona of his seals his fate have been some of the things that I've pondered on many times relating to the story.

A very short book, but one that will stay and eat at you for a long time.
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Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)

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leslie hamod Mutasim, really liked this review 😇


message 2: by Fergus (new)

Fergus Nice review, Mutasim. And not only are the Merseaults strangers to society, they're strangers to each other - their own kin - or so says Jacques Derrida, in his fantastic book, On Friendship. They sometimes call out to each other in the roaring void, but their counterparts can't recognize them!


leslie hamod Fergus! Very impressed! Many people do not know that! You have my greatest esteem☺


Mutasim Billah leslie hamod wrote: "Mutasim, really liked this review 😇"

Glad you liked it leslie!

Fergus wrote: "Nice review, Mutasim. And not only are the Merseaults strangers to society, they're strangers to each other - their own kin - or so says Jacques Derrida, in his fantastic book, On Friendship. They ..."

Ahh... I've been meaning to read Derrida for some time. I guess I should start soon.


leslie hamod Mutasim, one must keep up! What will happen to knowledge of we do not? 😘💞😁


message 6: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Great review, Mutasim!


Mutasim Billah Thanks Deanna! :)


leslie hamod Mutasim! What can I say buu


leslie hamod Sorry, but kudos to you! Great review! xoxo


message 10: by Kader (new) - added it

Kader Eddalia Hello


Markus Thanks, Mutasim. This is an interesting book. A heartbreak really. It seems the 'hero' died for his lack of attention to decisive things. Absentminded. The style of writing is the thing.
I wish I could always write the minimum to tell all that is needed.


Mutasim Billah Markus wrote: "Thanks, Mutasim. This is an interesting book. A heartbreak really. It seems the 'hero' died for his lack of attention to decisive things. Absentminded. The style of writing is the thing.
I wish I c..."


Don't we all? I feel like language is surprisingly inadequate for communication. But we try our best, don't we Markus? :)


Mutasim Billah Kader wrote: "Hello"

Hey there! :)


Mutasim Billah leslie hamod wrote: "Sorry, but kudos to you! Great review! xoxo"

You're spoiling me leslie (._. ) :P


message 15: by leslie hamod (new) - added it

leslie hamod You are too nice to be spoiled! But I would spoil you, if I could!😇


message 16: by leslie hamod (new) - added it

leslie hamod And don't be sticking your tongue 😝 out!!!😘


message 18: by leslie hamod (new) - added it

leslie hamod Love it!!😂


message 19: by Kader (new) - added it

Kader Eddalia thank you


message 20: by Kader (new) - added it

Kader Eddalia thank you


message 21: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Terrific review Mutasim! :-)


message 22: by Kader (new) - added it

Kader Eddalia Thank you


Mutasim Billah Sandra wrote: "Terrific review Mutasim! :-)"

Thank you Sandra!!! :)


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