Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Padfoot - Eighth Review - The Stranger

Howdy ya'll.
Padfoot here...bringing you a short review, which happens to be something I have not done in many a' moons. I recently stumbled upon my battered copy of Albert Camus's The Stranger, and after hearing many good things about it, I decided to give it a shot.

With big print, small format, and only 140-some-odd pages, this book flies by. The story is about a emotionally detached man, Meursault, who kills an Arab man on a beach in France; it starts out with this man recognizing the recent death of his mother:

"Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know.
These opening lines are very haunting, and show the impassive nature of this newly introduced French man. The story is a short glimpse of his life before the murder, of his joys of frolicking on the beach with his lover, Marie, to the period of his trial and sentence, where he is still lacking emotion.

But, at the very end of the story, you get a short but satisfying conversation with a religious man who visits Meursault in jail. This tiny part of the story left me smiling when I closed the book. Here's a small quote from the end to quench your literary thirst:
"I, too, felt ready to start life all over again. It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe. To feel it so like myself, indeed, so brotherly, made me realize that I’d been happy, and that I was happy still. "
Told you it was a short review! I am a simple being who like to get to the point and move quickly, and Prongs is good at going in depth critically. That makes us fit together nicely, with a view from both sides :) All in all this is a wonderful must read and is 100% Good Book Approved. Get in touch with your absurd-existential side and check this out!

Moving on...
I am currently reading
The Godfather by Mario Puzo, and boy howdy it is fantastic. Look forward to a (short) explanation of my feelings on it in a week or so when I have finished. Until then: the movie!

Exciting news...we are further along in the process of tshirt making. We know many of you have expressed interest in our designs so if you can just hold you excitment for a few more weeks...(stop camping out on our lawns! they will be done when we say so!!) in a week or two we should have some finals actually made, and ready to be ordered. We will keep you updated.

As always.....


  1. Hi Padfoot :) Very haunting hooked me right there. Definitely going to read this one.

    And the T-shirts....Yea!!!! I can't wait. They are super cool!


  2. Thank you!!!! Yes the book is quite a quick read...good for a few hours on a rainy day.

    I cannot wait to have the shirts made :) Thanks for your enthusiasm, as always, you as such a great blog friend to have!

    We will also have coffee cups too that are going to turn out great!!

  3. The Stranger is one of my very favorite books! Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

  4. I really enjoyed this book both times I read it. I wish I was good enough at my french to read it in the original.

  5. I definitely enjoyed this book..and it was nice to have a quick and easy read after all the small print 700-page classics I feel like I have been tackling a lot of lately.

    I would love to be able to read in a different language. My goal read the Iliad in it's original Ancient Greek! That'll be a while...hah

  6. Although I liked Albert Camus's The Guest from his story collection Exile and the Kingdom, I hadn't thought of reading his other work. But seeing that you enjoyed The Stranger, I'll definitely give it a shot. Those excerpts you chose (especially the opening lines!) tell me it will be worth the read.

    I noticed that a couple of his work has a two-word title: The Stranger, The Plague, The Guest, The Fall.. It makes me giggle. In a good way.

  7. I have Exile and the Kingdom...I should check that out as well!

    I was thinking about that the other day...does the guy have an obsession with the word "the"? haha

    I'll find out and let you know.

  8. I love the Harry Potter terminology :) I am currently rereading this series too, they are even better the second time around! (I plan to read them a third time as well)

  9. I have read this book at school and keep a good memory of it. If you like this author, I advice you to read also The Plague which is also another French classic. All Camus' work is very impressive and is a must-read all together :-)

  10. (Prongs here) I have actually read The Fall by him as all and was very impressed. I considered getting a tattoo from it 'Do not wait for the last judgment, it happens every day' in the original french. Maybe one day...

  11. I remember really enjoying The Stranger, but it's been about 20 years since I read it. I'll never forget a girl in a european lit class in college doing an oral presentation on this and getting up there with her boom box and playing "Killing an Arab" by The Cure. So weird.

  12. Lordy lordy .. I read this ... in French!!! Did I ever mention I was a French minor in college ... yet still had to look up the translation on the t-shirt you sent for my son. Needless to say, much of it didn't stick.

  13. This book is not about a man who kills an Arab. It is about the modern man and his loneless in this cold and burocratic society. It is about a man who appears not to have feelings, at least ordinary feelings. He is somebody who doesn't feel as most people. It is a really good book.


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