Monday, 9 February 2009

The Outsider

Title: The Outsider

Author: Albert Camus

Number of pages: 118

Started: 7 February 2009

Finished: 9 February 2009

Opening words:

Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know. I had a telegram from the home: ‘Mother passed away. Funeral tomorrow. Yours sincerely.’ That doesn’t mean anything. It may have been yesterday.

Plot summary:

In his classic existentialist novel Camus explores the predicament of the individual who is prepared to face the benign indifference of the universe courageously and alone. Meursault leads an apparently unremarkable bachelor life in Algiers until he commits an act of violence. His response to the incident challenges the fundamental values of society, a set of rules so binding that any person breaking them is condemned as an alien, an outsider. For Meursault it is an insult to his reason and a betrayal of his hopes; for Camus it is the absurdity of life.

What I thought:

I liked this book, although I am not really sure I can explain why. It was quite a stark story, but really engrossing. One man’s story of not conforming and the consequences of refusing to do so. It had a moving and memorable ending that really struck me. A short but compelling read.

No comments: