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The Stranger


Albert Camus

The Stranger
average rating is 4 out of 5

Existentialism, Crime, Psychological, Classics

R. Alex Jenkins

How many lives have changed forever due to a sudden impulse or chance event? In existentialism you’re responsible for personal actions and deeds until the last possible minute.

Dostoyevsky springs to mind. George Orwell, too. Big Brother is watching us at all times, ready to judge, ready to condemn, except that we can leave at any time but choose not to.

We spend much of our lives squabbling and backstabbing to our self-perceived version of the top, sometimes forgetting that it’s in the mind. Nobody’s really watching you and even less people really care, but life can flip to an extreme if we get that out of perspective.

Essentially, this is a story of a man going out of his mind. It’s Franz Kafka territory, which disturbed me a lot when I was younger. You have two choices when things are going well: keep with the flow, or decide to rock the boat. When it starts to get choppy you can react or let others do that for you, it’s your choice, to explain your actions or decide not to justify yourself. If someone lifts your arm, you react, if a doctor lifts the arm of a catatonic schizophrenic, they don’t react and the arm remains where it’s placed.

Fortunately, Albert Camus writes in a beautifully liquid style. I felt so much warmth reading this book. And then it turns into madness, psychological madness, unable to feel normal emotions and behave like a normal human being, whatever normal actually is.

This is my first Camus book and I loved it, being keen to read The Plague and The Myth of Sisyphus when I can clear enough backlog.

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