Danny's Reviews > The Stranger

The Stranger by Albert Camus
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really liked it

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 novel Meursault holds no real opinion about anything, and neither does anything (even the death of his own mother) effect him very much. The lack of description, motivation, and action causes Meursault to become something of a literary Rorschach test. The reader ends up filling this vacuum with their own prejudices and societal preconceptions, making the reader as involved in building the world as the author.

The Stranger probably isn't what you would typically expect from most novels. The whole story is a deliberate exercise in absurdity; and while the plot is very simple, and the characters are seemingly one dimensional, it all works together to create a great philosophical work. The Stranger peels like an onion, and the further between the lines you read, the more there is to find. There is an amazing amount of meaning and content packed into its 150 pages.

I've found it to be worth reading over and over again, and it's short enough to read cover to cover in just an hour or two.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 1, 2007 – Finished Reading
December 1, 2007 – Shelved

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Robert well put.


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