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Paperback The Stranger [Large Print] Book

ISBN: 1587240327

ISBN13: 9781587240324

The Stranger [Large Print]

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New*

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Book Overview

Among the most widely read novels of the century, this study of individual alienation in a bourgeois society is still remarkable for its resonant tone of understatement. Matthew Ward's new translation comes close to the directness of Camus' style.Since it was first published in English in 1946, Albert Camus's first novel has had a profound impact on millions of American readers. Through this story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless...

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

A page turner!

Such a great read that envelops you into a man's nihilistic perspective of the world and how it impacts his day to day life.

Fun read

Day to day activities for a man that doesnt really care even up to the end. Good read.


I am writing my report about a book called The Strangers. The Strangers setting is based a long time ago in France and it is narrated by Monsieur Maersault, reflecting on the end of his life. He is a man who keeps to himself and rarely shows emotion or that he cares about anyone or anything except Marie, and he lives in an apartment-like complex where he keeps to himself and has a feeling he is being followed. His close friends are Raymond, Mason and Marie. Maersault also has a friend, Secile, who owns a neighborhood restaurant. One day during the story Marie and Maersault were invited to Mason's house for a party. Mason owns a large house that has a large beach in the backyard. During the party, Raymond and Maursault walked down the beach, noticing two men had been following them, armed with knives. After they see this they returned back to Mason's. Later that day, Maersault goes back to the beach alone with a gun to see if the two men were still there. Sure enough the men were still there and as they approached each other Maersault made his fatal mistake. Maersault had shot the man dead. After this his life took a downward spiral until the end. He had to go to court, stay in jail, and couldn't be with Marie. After all this, he still had one more chance to prove he wasn't a monster to all the people, and to show his crime. Instead of proving them wrong, he spoke his mind and the truth and that was it. Nobody wanted to deal with him anymore so the court sentenced him to be executed. Inside Maersault was really sad but he still did not show it. Even though he knew his fate he didn't fear it. He managed to not care even though he saw the guillotine that was going to take his head. That was the end. I enjoyed this book because it was very interesting and I wanted to see what would happen to Maersault next.

Upsetting what normality triggers

"Is my client on trial for having buried his mother, or for killing a man?" That question, asked toward the end of "The Stranger", will stay with the reader. Meursault lived a simple life, uncomplicated by extravagant emotion. And that--by judgment of his society--was his real crime. Chilling. And here is another question which may haunt readers: Just what emotions should one feel, and just exactly how strongly should they be felt? Careful, Camus may have said, your answers will be used against you.

Nobody Counts--Not Even Yourself

There are few opening lines in literature more famous than the ones that begin THE STRANGER: "Mamam died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. I got a telegram from home: `Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.' That doesn't mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday." These lines are spoken by Meursault, who is the protagonist and narrator. Albert Camus uses Meursault as a symbol of the nihilism that was then sweeping a Europe that was engulfed in a conflict that promised only a continuation of the death and destruction that began with the Blitzkrieg in 1939. In such times of chaos, there was a tendency for Europeans to grow used to the thought that the next breath could be their last. A corollary of that was that if you bought into that philosophy, you also insisted in living in the here and now. Tomorrow existed only as an intellectual curiosity. Yesterday existed only as a prelude for today. Meursault is the embodiment of a generation of conquered French who learned to accept without a blink even the previously emotionally shattering loss of one's mother. Following his mother's death, Meursault quickly puts his mother's death and funeral behind him. He swims, dates, finds a lover, and kills a man for no logical reason. And all these events happen one after the other. He is arrested, tried, and convicted for murder. His execution is the penalty. Before, during, and after the trial a variety of people try to understand Meursault's life. Why did he show no grief at his mother's death? How could he so quickly go on with his life? And the biggie: Why did he kill his victim? No answer to any is given. And so the novel ends with a stunning epiphany by Meursault. As he awaits beheading, he perceives the relation between the universe and himself. The universe has no logic. Life has no meaning. The lack of logic in the universe guarantees that everything in the universe, including himself, is governed by chance, which means that any occurrence could just as easily not have happened as it did, thereby proving all that we see is an illusion of fact. In such a universe, as logic goes out the window, it takes meaning with it. Life and death and order and disorder are interchangeable. To be born means only to experience the NOW. There is no "after" the NOW. Death thus has no meaning for Meursault. Many readers of this and other novels of Camus call him an existentialist, a tag which he denied. Yet, in the inexplicable actions of Meursault, Camus paved the way for several generations of youth who even now shout out that today and tomorrow are synonymous.


I'm not quite to the end of the book yet, but so far I love it. It's the only book I've been required to read for class that I actually enjoy reading.

Is this book the existentialist bible? No.

The other reviewers base their interpretation of this novel on the belief that Camus was an Existentialist and that Camus presented Meursault as a hero. Concerning the last point, nothing could be further from the truth. Before interpreting "The Stranger", one should first read Camus' essays on his own personal philosophy of "The Absurd" and how he relates it to the myth of Sisyphus. These essays reveal that Camus' personal philosophy was distinct from Existentialism in that he imagined that Sisyphus could be happy even though he was condemned to roll a huge stone up a hill in Hades only to have it roll down again on nearing the top. Similarly, Camus believed that people could be fulfilled by searching for the meaning of life even though they know they will not be able to discover it. Consequently, Meursault is not a hero in Camus' eyes because Mersault has given up trying to find meaning in his life and accepts without struggle the lack of emotion and spirit in it. In other words, don't trust everything that was written on the back cover of the american paperback edition of this novel. The back cover contained incorrect information that misled many readers, including myself, about the true meaning of this work. Read Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays" before interpreting "The Stranger" and new meaning will become apparent from this excellent and frightening novel.
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