The Outsider is an enduring classic of existential writing by Albert Camus 'Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know' Meursault is different.
He will not lie. He will not pretend. He is true to himself. So when his mother dies and he is unmoved, he refuses to do the proper thing and grieve.
Returning to Algiers after the funeral, he carries on life as usual until he becomes involved in a violent murder. In court, it is clear that Meursault's guilt or innocence will not be determined by what he did or did not do.
He is on trial for being different - an outsider. 'The story of a beach murder, one of the century's classic novels.
Blood and sand' J.G. Ballard 'A compelling, dreamlike fable' Guardian Albert Camus was born in Algeria in 1913.
He studied philosophy in Algiers and then worked in Paris as a journalist.
He was one of the intellectual leaders of the Resistance movement and, after the War, established his international reputation as a writer.
His books include The Plague, The Just and The Fall, and he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.
Camus was killed in a road accident in 1960.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 128 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/07/2010
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780241950050
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Review by ahef1963
The Outsider is, I believe, my favourite book. When I started reading it, I told my son that it was the most depressing thing I had ever read, and that I was only sticking with it because it was a classic, and I wanted to see why. The second half of the book showed me why it is universally respected. Mersault, the main character, views the world as absurd; the judgement of others unnecessary, and life itself meaningless. How this translates on the page is Camus' great gift, for in seeing Mersault's detachment from life, I saw all the reasons to be attached to my own simple life.