Title: The Stranger (Goodreads)
Author: Albert Camus
Published: Knopf Doubleday, 1942
My Copy: Library
Literary Achievements: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die List, PEN Translation Prize (1989)
L’Étranger, known as The Outsider, or The Stranger by Albert Camus offers an interesting perspective of the philosophical movement; existentialism. Though, as a stand alone novel, it was very simple and uneventful. You need to read this book for its philosophical merit or not read it at all. Previously, I wrote a post about this book and The Cure song Killing An Arab, in which I talked about how the book covered topics like; absurdism, atheism, determinism, existentialism, nihilism, and stoicism.
I thought I needed to read the book and try to understand the connections. The book does an interesting job at covering this issues without being too noticeable. Sure, if you spend your time digesting or picking apart books, you are sure to notice it, but if you are reading the book just for the story, then you may miss the complexity of the story.
It is unusual to read a book that has a complexity to it, but still tells the story too simply. It might have lost some of its density when translated from French to English. I just look for more substance in my books, so I was a little disappointed.