The Stranger by Albert Camus This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 22, 2009
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The best books are the ones that make readers envision the story. The Stranger does that exceptionally well. It ­depicts a quiet, compelling man who commits a murder, but not because of rage or vengeance. There’s a sense of film noir woven into the book. Camus never even mentions the character’s name.

One of the reasons it’s a ­phenomenal book is because 100 percent of the time, the ­audience knows exactly what’s going on; getting lost or side-tracked isn’t a problem. Most books are so busy with excessive details and descriptions that the reader loses interest and yearns to toss it aside.

In The Stranger, even when something uninteresting is ­happening, the reader is locked down, unable to break away. For example, an entire chapter describes the protagonist on his balcony, watching people go by on the streets of the city below. The scene should be mind-numbingly boring, but the ­narration is fascinating. It is possible to complete this book in one sitting.

Another reason The Stranger is so amazing is the characters themselves. They’re attractive and fun to read about, especially the main character. He is so calm and in control throughout with no opinions about anything. He is the epitome of ­indifference. When his lady friend asks whether he loves her, he replies, “Probably not,” obviously being incredibly frank. And although his mother has recently died, he never once sheds a tear the day of her funeral. Afterward, he even goes on a date. I’m not sure if people will care for these characters because they’re not the flawless, infallible, and faultless heroes the general public is accustomed to, but they sure are unique. I applaud Camus for that.

Make this book next on your list. Readers may take away a good lesson from it. The moral: be yourself and embrace honesty. The book is not outdated in any way, nor it is too out-of-this-world. Anyone can get into it … way into it. So slap it on your reading list.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 21 comments. Post your own now!

Deej6595 said...
Nov. 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm
This sounds different than most books I am exposed to. I think I'll read Camus in French!
irishm94 said...
Aug. 26, 2012 at 12:47 am
While you reviewed the surface material of the novel, you're missing the philosophy that Camus was trying to communicate.
CrystalAngelDol said...
May 8, 2012 at 9:35 am
he did have a name, it was Meursalt.....
teamo14 said...
Apr. 16, 2012 at 8:23 am
I agree Claire D.  "The stranger" is very difficult to understand, and the moral isn't "be yourself" for sure! The audience don't  know what's going on. The audience is confused. I think the review is superficial.
Claire D. said...
Nov. 30, 2011 at 8:25 pm
Wait, are you serious? First of all, the main character’s name is Meursault, as other commenters have pointed out. It’s right there in the Wikipedia article. Also, the economical writing style isn’t for the benefit of the reader, for clarity, it’s to show how detached the narrator is. It’s inaccurate, to say the least, to describe him as “in control”, since he has nothing to control. As you said, he’s “the epitome of indifference”, an... (more »)
callie15 replied...
Feb. 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm
Actually, Meursault is the character's last name. I'm sure the author meant that the book fails to give the reader his first name...
RedSapphire2000 said...
Sept. 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm
Great review but this book doesn't seem the one for me. From what I have heard, it is lacking in detail that most often makes a book a book, and the excitement that a book needs. Nevertheless it does sound unique and so I might possibly be tempted to put this book on my book list for the future. Thankyou for the review! 
musicisthegoodlife This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 9, 2011 at 7:54 am
I'm planning to 'slap this book on my reading list' :) Great Review!
andromeda13 said...
Jul. 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm
definetly going too read this book.
redhairCat This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 5, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Is it a play?

Great review!

shadow4ever said...
Jun. 13, 2011 at 1:35 pm
This book sounds fantastic.... i might read this book my self... yaaaa!!!!
person said...
Jun. 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm
This sounds like a very well written book. I've never read a book that I was interested in the whole time.
ally910 said...
Jan. 10, 2011 at 8:42 pm
this looks great!!!
awriterslife said...
Nov. 20, 2010 at 10:17 am
you've totally convinced me to get this book! great review!
WritingLoverForever said...
Aug. 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm
I want to read this book really bad now! I've heard good things about it before, but your review has me convinced. Thanks.
JacobMeeks said...
Mar. 8, 2010 at 6:36 pm
I am a very great fan of Camus. I would reccommend to those out there to read his collection of essays entitled the Rebel.
cm4life said...
Oct. 27, 2009 at 10:08 pm
I really liked this book because at times I feel exactly like Mersault. Not the best book I've ever read, but the fact that it got me to thinking made me like it a lot.
Alyssa C. said...
Jul. 31, 2009 at 1:26 pm
I really disliked this book. I found Meursault to be a really irritating person. I understand Camus' existentialist philosophy and point of view and how that's incorporated in the book, and overall the book seemed kind of purposeless. But then again, maybe Camus wanted the story to be random and sort of purposeless because he sees life itself as random and purposeless. I don't know, when we read it at my school for English class, I felt like we poked and prodded at Meursault way too muc... (more »)
Santosh M. said...
Jul. 1, 2009 at 3:40 pm
Not to mention the existentialist stances that Camus didn't claim but nonetheless alluded to. The fact that the character can find some solace in his morbid world proves this alternative thinking of the entire movement in a terse, though sometimes slow narrative.
Samantha J. said...
Jun. 27, 2009 at 7:33 am
First of all - Camus is my favorite author. The Fall is far better than the Stranger, though. And one more thing. Not to nitpick, but when she asks him if he loves her, it's something like this "Later that night she asked me if I loved her. I told her that it didn' tmatter but I didn't think so." That's one of my favorite quotes from the book.
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