Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review: L'Etranger by Albert Camus (Translation by Matthew Ward)

I plucked this review from my other lighthearted blog. Please excuse the casual language I used, I was just so moved by the book that I wrote it down without giving much thought to how to say things:

I'd like to become a fabulous reviewer of, well, any and everything some day. Emphasis on the word become. So here's my amateur review of a classic book:

When my friend Chelsea told me to check out The Stranger because it changed her life, I was expecting to read something, well, life changing! not that it wasn't by any means, but this certainly is the type of book that will mean something different to you at different stages of life.

Most people I know checked this out in high school or junior high school. I imagined how I would've read it back then. Firstly, this book has major themes in Absurdism and is considered part of the Existential movement [although Camus didn't intend for it to be so]. I will have to admit that I didn't even know what the hell the Existential movement was before I read this. Just sounded kind of cool to say I was checking it out.

Anyway, the book is almost written in prose. The dialogue reads as though someone is writing in their diary or even half way recounting a story. An example not taken from the book would be: "We went to the store and got some tea, I asked about the flavors and he told me something about how he only had one type and who was I to be asking for various styles of tea in the first place". Something like that. I write that way for comedic relief often. That style of writing lent to his atmospheric, Absurdist way of looking at the world. Like it is just happening around him with no sense of cause and effect. I'd bet that back then Existentialism made sense to philosophers as a way of thought, but to me, it comes off as chilling. Kind of the way serial killers would talk about killing people. EEE!

I realize I'm writing this review backwards. The dude in the book's name is Meursault. And the action that happens in the book is told by him as though they were mundane everyday events. Strangely, I had no idea what was going to happen in the book so that kept it really interesting for me. So I won't tell you anything about it except for that it's only 121 pages long and might leave you feeling kinda like WTF.

So totally read it?

1 comment:

  1. What got me is the book's cover. I might go check this one out, if only for your review and that cover, which is fast growing on me.

    And Wintergirls wasn't so bad, there were even some funny moments there despite its dark theme.


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