The Stranger: A Book Review

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Someone said many years ago, “no man is an island”. Humans need human contact to exist, to continue and to be happy. However, authors, poets and philosophers have often used isolation and the idea of being broken as chief plots of their story.

Camus gives life to an indifferent and emotionally detached Meursault who is introduced as a character who refuses to cry at his mother’s funeral. One thing after the other, that also demonstrates his lack of empathy and emotional connection leads to a murder he commits. In the prison, he refuses to go to god, and speaks about his perceived understanding of life, death and human actions. He, in his last days, understands his mother’s feelings while she would have seen an imminent death. And that he shall no longer be lonely as a large crowd shall be seeing him die – each getting rid of its loneliness. And there the story ends.

The Stranger is a classic in both philosophy and Algerian French literature. Meursault is a truthful and emotionally detached man – something that scares those around him, the established judiciary and the lawyers. He frequently exclaims how he lives in the present and refuses to live in the past or the future. All these traits are so odd for the people around him that he becomes the stranger in the story.

It is an excellent book, originally written in French and is the recipient of the Nobel prize in literature. But it is full of monologues and might not exactly be to the liking of thriller lovers. However, story telling and philosophy build up this novella as one of the best to read.

Hope you like reading it, happy reading!

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