Friday, May 8, 2009

Camus - The Outsider aka The Stranger

The Outsider. Albert Camus. Penguin Books. 1988.

Albert Camus' The Outsider is his famous existential novel.

The trial portions are the most interesting and vital parts of the novel. And this from someone who normally is bored with courtroom stuff.

The earlier sections build the background needed for the later stages, and provide the needed plot developments that bring the hero to the his imprisonment. But the author seems impatient with these early portions, and writes in a minimalist style, not only for craft, but to get them over with quickly.

The brilliant dialogue, the philosophical theme, is packed into the trial stages. There are some great scenes here. And the hero is perhaps unique in literature.

I recommend reading through the first sections quickly, then after the arrest, especially once the trial begins, slow down the reading and think about what is being written. And enjoy!

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