Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Genre: Fiction
Pages: audio
Challenges: 9 Books for 2009
New-to-me Author: yes

Simple Description:
I copied this from Amazon.com, they get full credit:

The plot is simple. A young Algerian, Meursault, afflicted with a sort of aimless inertia, becomes embroiled in the petty intrigues of a local pimp and, somewhat inexplicably, ends up killing a man. Once he's imprisoned and eventually brought to trial, his crime, it becomes apparent, is not so much the arguably defensible murder he has committed as it is his deficient character. The trial's proceedings are absurd, a parsing of incidental trivialities--that Meursault, for instance, seemed unmoved by his own mother's death and then attended a comic movie the evening after her funeral are two ostensibly damning facts--so that the eventual sentence the jury issues is both ridiculous and inevitable.

Meursault remains a cipher nearly to the story's end--dispassionate, clinical, disengaged from his own emotions. "She wanted to know if I loved her," he says of his girlfriend. "I answered the same way I had the last time, that it didn't mean anything but that I probably didn't." There's a latent ominousness in such observations, a sense that devotion is nothing more than self-delusion. It's undoubtedly true that Meursault exhibits an extreme of resignation; however, his confrontation with "the gentle indifference of the world" remains as compelling as it was when Camus first recounted it. --Ben Guterson --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Now what you really want to know....my thoughts:
To be blunt, I didn't like it. I think if I had read it with a group or in school where it would be discussed and picked apart, I might like it better. As it was, I read it on my own and was glad it was so short because it didn't take long to listen to it. I found the story rather boring. The main charactor is not driven and just goes with the flow, doesn't seem to have any emotion. I get that that is pretty much the point, but still, I didn't enjoy it. I suppose I should have expected this though. My husband has been on my case to read it for a long time and that's the only reason I did. Husband never reads, doesn't really get the point, yet he has a BA in English. So that's what I get for listening to him. haha!

This audio book was loaned from my local library.


bermudaonion said...

I wonder if it would be better in the written format. Some books just don't work well in audio.

Unknown said...

Bermudaonion - I thought of that..but honestly..I just didn't care for the main character and the whole time felt like I missing out on the bigger picture. At least I can say that I read it and the husband can stop bothering me about it. haha!

Anna said...

I read this in college. Well, I should say attempted because I couldn't finish it. That cover is really disturbing!

Diary of an Eccentric

Unknown said...

Anna - Glad I'm not the only one! that cover is disturbing isn't it? I looked at all the different ones on amazon and couldn't find the one that I own, but loved this one. It's so freaky and so not 1940's. haha!

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

I was an English major in college who had to read this book for a class (and I had that same edition with the freaky people on the cover!). I really didn't get it, either. When it was all dissected in class, it sounded more interesting, but still isn't anything I think I'd ever voluntarily pick up again. Ha.

Unknown said...

Julia - yeah - so glad an English major didn't really like it either. haha!