The Outsider

The Outsider

Book - 2000
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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.
'Camus was the conjunction of a man, an oeuvre and a destiny.'
Jean-Paul Satre
Publisher: London : Penguin, 2000
ISBN: 9780141182506
Characteristics: 118 p. ; 20 cm


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Jul 17, 2019

Originally published back in 1942 - "The Outsider" (aka. "The Stranger") was one of the very first novels written by French author, Albert Camus who was just 29 at the time.

This novel's overall theme and outlook has proven to be one of the best examples of demonstrating Camus' "philosophy of the absurd", which refers to the conflict between the human tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life and the human inability to find any in a purposeless, meaningless, or chaotic and irrational universe.

"The Stranger" is widely considered to be a bona-fide classic of 20th century literature.

(*Note*) - In 1960 - Albert Camus (46 at the time) was killed (as a passenger) in a car crash.

Aug 07, 2016

Excerpt from The Outsider - "I realized that I'd destroyed the balance of the day and the perfect silence of this beach where I'd been so happy. And I fired 4 more times at the lifeless body and the bullets sank in without leaving a mark. And it was like giving 4 sharp knocks at the door of unhappiness."

In the past 15 years, I have now read "The Outsider" 3 times - And with each reading I have found that this masterfully-written, short novel has never ceased to impress me with its vivid, thought-provoking narrative.

In my opinion - Novelist Albert Camus has undoubtedly written an exceptional story here of personal indifference where the reader can completely understand the main character's motives and acceptance for committing the unspeakable, unprovoked crime of cold-blooded murder.

*Author note* - Born in Algiers (in 1913) into extreme poverty - Albert Camus grew up and rose beyond this obstacle to become one of the principal forces in 20th century literature.

"The Outsider" (which was written in 1942) is considered to be one of Camus' first important works.

In 1960 (at the age of 46), Albert Camus was tragically killed in a car accident.

(*Watch "Camus" video-clip*)

DevilStateDan Aug 05, 2015

An almost out-of-body observation by one man of his own life experience after he has committed a crime & is processed through societies criminal processes. The main character is so withdrawn naturally that he is somehow detached from his entire experience, not really fully grasping his predicament until the end....??

Exo Aug 14, 2012

Not 'good' in the way today's popular contemporary novels are good, but undoubtedly a very good, significant, and memorable book. In all honesty I did not enjoy it while I was reading it, but afterwards when looking back on all the subtle, thought provoking things which I missed the first time around, I came to appreciate it.

This is not the kind of book you read on an airplane or at the beach. This is the kind of book you read when you're alone on a cold and rainy day. That's the best way I can describe it.

Dec 14, 2011

The story of an unambitious, easy-going young man living in Algiers in the 1940's. Eventually he is judged for his beliefs (an athiest), rather than his actions. One of the best books I've read.

Mar 19, 2010

Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts


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Lauren Jul 22, 2008

"As if that blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much like myself — so like a brother, really — I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate."

Jul 21, 2008

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.

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Feb 17, 2009

kokosowe thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Lauren Jul 21, 2008

This novel is also called "The Stranger", depending on who the translator is. It tells the story of a man named Meursault, who kills a man in cold blood shortly after his mother's death. This is an existentialist novel, and focuses on the absurd aspects of Meursault's life and trial.


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Lauren Jul 22, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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