Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Title: The Plague
Author: Albert Camus
Number of pages: 297
Started: 3 July 2009
Finished: 8 July 2009
The unusual events described in this chronicle occurred in 194- at Oran. Everyone agreed that considering their somewhat extraordinary character, they were out of place there. Fir its ordinariness is what strikes one first about the town of Oran, which is merely a large French Port on the Algerian coast, headquarters of the Prefect of a French ‘Department’
The townspeople of Oran are in the grip of a virulent plague
Cut off from the rest of the world, living in fear, they each respond in their own way to the grim challenge of the deadly bacillus. Among them is Dr Rieux, a humanitarian and healer, and it is through his eyes that we witness the devastating course of the epidemic.
Written in 1947, just after the Nazi occupation of France, Camus's magnificent novel is also a story of courage and determination against the arbitrariness and seeming absurdity of human existence.
What I thought:
I enjoyed this book, if it is possible to enjoy a book about a plague. It is quite a sombre book and I suppose a bit philosophical, although I didn’t find that particularly or find that it made it hard to read. I have also read Camus’ The Stranger and I preferred this book. It was sad in places but also quite stark and distant at times. It reported on mass deaths by acknowledging that the high numbers were no longer shocking after a while – and that some people managed to adapt to the new life imposed on them and some did not. The book is not an in-depth study if individuals but more of a look at the impact on a community and how they learn to cope and adapt. A touching read.