Jim Fonseca's Reviews > The Plague

The Plague by Albert Camus
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really liked it
bookshelves: french-authors


Somehow Camus brings humanism, optimism and the role of love to a depressing story of bubonic plaque in 1940’s Oran, Algeria. First all the rats die and then we go from there. After much bureaucratic bungling and delays, the city is cut off from the outside world by quarantine. A lot of the focus of the story is on those separated by chance from loved ones for several months. There is intrigue as some plot to escape the town. But mainly a dreary perseverance and indifference takes over many in the city. Camus uses the suffering and deaths of children to reflect on the role of God and religion. The barren, dry, windswept, desolate town is so well portrayed that it is like a character in the story. I’m reminded of the religious theme and the desolation of the Mexican town in Graham Green’s The Power and the Glory. If you are put off by the thought that this is an incredibly depressing book, don’t be.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 27, 2014 – Finished Reading
March 29, 2014 – Shelved
September 6, 2015 – Shelved as: french-authors

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Fonseca Lada wrote: "Good review of one highly intrguing novel...about the public enemy of entire city...it is you are right a novel about resilience...and man's destiny. and being man"

I'm glad you liked the review Lada. It was a good book; not a pleasant book because of the subject, but very insightful.


Matt I haven't read it in awhile but I think it's one of the great books of the 20th Century


message 3: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Fonseca Matt wrote: "I haven't read it in awhile but I think it's one of the great books of the 20th Century"

Yes and I wonder if it is as well-read or better read than The Stranger?


message 4: by HBalikov (new)

HBalikov "The barren, dry, windswept, desolate town is so well portrayed that it is like a character in the story. "

What a great insight, Jim. Thanks for a very cogent review.


message 5: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Fonseca HBalikov wrote: ""The barren, dry, windswept, desolate town is so well portrayed that it is like a character in the story. "

What a great insight, Jim. Thanks for a very cogent review."


Thank you. As a geographer I really appreciate books that have a strong sense of place.


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