The Stranger by Albert Camus | Teen Ink

The Stranger by Albert Camus MAG

April 22, 2009
By Ryan Curley BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
Ryan Curley BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

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 The book is not outdated in any way, nor it is too out-of-this-world.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

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This article has 21 comments.

on Nov. 28 2012 at 9:28 pm
Deej6595 BRONZE, Billerica, Massachusetts
3 articles 0 photos 369 comments

Favorite Quote:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

This sounds different than most books I am exposed to. I think I'll read Camus in French!

on Aug. 26 2012 at 12:47 am
irishm94 BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
4 articles 0 photos 3 comments
While you reviewed the surface material of the novel, you're missing the philosophy that Camus was trying to communicate.

on May. 8 2012 at 9:35 am
CrystalAngelDol SILVER, Queens, New York
7 articles 0 photos 37 comments

Favorite Quote:
Never tell your problems to anyone...20% don't care and the other 80% are glad you have them.
- Lou Holtz

he did have a name, it was Meursalt.....

teamo14 BRONZE said...
on Apr. 16 2012 at 8:23 am
teamo14 BRONZE, Paris, Other
1 article 0 photos 49 comments
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.

on Feb. 1 2012 at 8:20 pm
callie15 BRONZE, North Plains, Oregon
3 articles 21 photos 424 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?"
-Chuang Tzu

"No man with a good car needs to be justified!"
-Wise Blood

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...

2o342034 said...
on Nov. 30 2011 at 8:25 pm
2o342034, D, North Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
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”, and the way he’s presented is who he is, to the core. No restraint is necessary. However, he definitely has opinions. I’m afraid I don’t have a copy of the book with me right now, but I recall his commenting that he likes Marie’s dress at some point, and he once states that he does not like brothels, which is certainly an opinion. When he tells Marie that he does not think he loves her, the point is not that he’s honest, but that he can’t connect with anyone or form deep personal relationships. He doesn’t love her, but he’d be willing to marry her, because love is not a concern of his. The moral is not “be yourself”. This is not a children’s picture book or motivational poster. The point is that the world is fundamentally absurd and indifferent to humanity, and that the true absurd hero embraces the meaninglessness of life, without resignation, as acceptance rather than surrender. Honesty, while something Camus did value, is irrelevant.

allie ronan said...
on Sep. 9 2011 at 6:25 pm
allie ronan, London, Other
0 articles 0 photos 9 comments
Waoh, you're really passionate about this book aren't you? The review is excellent! :) Keep it up please!

on Sep. 9 2011 at 5:33 pm
RedSapphire2000, Rotherham, Other
0 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna' get!

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! 

on Sep. 9 2011 at 7:54 am
musicisthegoodlife GOLD, Daegu, Other
17 articles 1 photo 8 comments
I'm planning to 'slap this book on my reading list' :) Great Review!

on Jul. 27 2011 at 12:02 pm
andromeda13 SILVER, Barrie, Other
8 articles 0 photos 174 comments
definetly going too read this book.

on Jul. 5 2011 at 10:25 pm
redhairCat PLATINUM, Pebble Beach, California
47 articles 20 photos 411 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I can do anything!"

Is it a play?

Great review!

shadow4ever said...
on Jun. 13 2011 at 1:35 pm
This book sounds fantastic.... i might read this book my self... yaaaa!!!!

person said...
on 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...
on Jan. 10 2011 at 8:42 pm
this looks great!!!

on Nov. 20 2010 at 10:17 am
teenbookworm14 PLATINUM, Plainfield, Connecticut
41 articles 0 photos 164 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Nothing gold can stay" -Robert Frost

you've totally convinced me to get this book! great review!

on Aug. 31 2010 at 4:16 pm
WritingLoverForever PLATINUM, Bowling Green, Ohio
32 articles 2 photos 198 comments

Favorite Quote:
It's not about success; it's about significance.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

I want to read this book really bad now! I've heard good things about it before, but your review has me convinced. Thanks.

on Mar. 8 2010 at 6:36 pm
StanHubertson, Oak Park, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 29 comments
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...
on 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.

on Jul. 31 2009 at 1:26 pm
Alyssa Cannizzaro BRONZE, Brooklyn, New York
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
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 much. With the little description of Meursault Camus provided, it seemed like we jumped to conclusions about him too easily. We really don't know that much about Meursault, even though he narrates the book. It's because he is so boring and strange. I don't know, I know Camus is an amazing author, it just wasn't one of my favorites.

on Jul. 1 2009 at 3:40 pm
Santosh Mohan BRONZE, Troy, Michigan
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment
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.