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

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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 The book is not outdated in any way, nor it is too out-of-this-world.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!

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.
Allie R. replied...
Sept. 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm
Waoh, you're really passionate about this book aren't you? The review is excellent! :) Keep it up please!
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