Book Review: The Stranger.

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Salam dear friends,

Hope you’re doing great 🙂

My today’s book is The Strange, by Albert Camus… I finished it 2 days ago, and I can’t stop rereading it. It is a book about us, humans. It was written in 1942, during World War II. The book is very interesting: once you hold it in your hand, you can’t just put it away. The story is written in a brilliant way, that it makes the reader thinks that he’s a part of it.

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“Maman died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure.” This is how the novel begins, and from this first sentence, I can feel that I’m going to read something good… That’s how I thought 🙂

When reading the story, I felt like I’m reading a personal diary of Mersault, the main character of this novel. Mersault is more or less a careless person, who lives his life the way he wants to, without any significant passion (or emotion) . He doesn’t think much about what people say or think about him. He says what he thinks of, and doesn’t speak unless he has something very important to say. What I liked most about him is his honesty.

I felt bad for him, but in the same time I liked the whole character. When his mother dies, he doesn’t cry, or feel any change, he doesn’t even want to see her for the last time, and it’s sad. We may think that he doesn’t like his mother, but it’s not true, he’s used of being that way. He sees death as a fact of life. Reading this book, you may feel that Mersault is a stranger, But I think we all are strangers in one way or another.

The life of Mersault changes at the end of the first part. He is forced to face a meaningless universe. He is out in the beach, when his friend is followed by a group of Arabs, and Mersault shoots one of the Arabs. Here the story begin to change in a strange way. The simple details begin to control the life of a man, an ordinary man who is described as being a monster. We can call it bad luck or destiny, or we can just call it life.

There is more to say about the novel and about Mersault, but I’ll stop here.  I won’t talk about the end, because I think you should read the book to know it. I would only say that this book is amazing. It is a timeless classic that speaks to your soul, not your mind.

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Quotes to share from the book:

“If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.”

“Since we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how don’t matter.”

“I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored”

“I felt the urge to reassure him that I was like everybody else, just like everybody else.”

That’s it… Talk to you soon Insha’ALLAH

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6 responses »

  1. I first read this book in french, and I loved it too. We read it as part of our french course and I had never been exposed to anything like it before. Such raw honesty that can either be confronting, or freeing. Have you read Crime and Punishment? It has some similarities with The Stranger – I think you’d like it.

    • Yes, it’s an amazing book written in an amazing way…I’m willing to read it in French as well Insha’ALLAH… I did not have the chance to read Crime and Punishment yet; hope I will…Thank you for the comment… Hope you like my blog 🙂

  2. It’s definitely a different experience reading it in French. I was surprised at how many subtle nuances are lost in translation, even though the English language has a larger vocabulary than French. I found it very interesting.
    Yes, I am enjoying reading your blog. The topics you cover are brave, interesting and insightful. Keep up the good work.

      • A friend of mine gave me a French copy and it was the best moments in my life reading that book that strange feeling that overcomes you while reading it and the end of the book is unexpected and original. What I liked most is the last sentence “For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.”

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