Book Review: The Stranger by Albert Camus

I finished Albert Camus’ novel The Stranger this week, my classic novel number 12. I had no idea what to expect going in, but it certainly left me curious, yet puzzled in a way.

Camus lets you in on Meursault’s thoughts and point of view for the duration of the whole novel, yet when the turning event occurs, I felt like I had no idea what he was thinking – at least not all of it.

Meursault strikes me as a man that is watching life pass by as he goes through the motions, not attaching himself fully to anything, as if he hasn’t found any motivation for actually living.

I find myself thinking, is that the point? Is there sometimes no logical motivation for one’s actions?

Or is there a reason I feel like I didn’t receive all of his thoughts? Do even the most seemingly honest – or at least open – people still keep thoughts to themselves, never divulging them to anyone?

One thing I did find interesting is that he didn’t seem to once think about the consequences of his actions, not until after the trial. Towards the end of the book, all he could think about was Marie and eventually, all he could think about was the life he wouldn’t get, the one he didn’t realized he actually wanted.

You don’t know what you have until you lose it. You don’t realize you want something until it’s no longer an option.

I think Camus expertly illustrated the complexity of us humans, from our thoughts to our actions, in this simple story.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Stranger by Albert Camus

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