Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Stanger -and - The Plague by Albert Camus

I'm posting this review just to purge my system and get ready to start "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time." Amanda recommended that book and I'm pretty sure I'll like it. I'm starting it today.
Why I decided to read Camus, I have no idea. He's one of those authors you are supposed to read to broaden your thoughts. I'd finished "In Cold Blood", an excellent book about senseless deaths and their aftermath. So what did I do? Read two more books about senseless death and its aftermath. Not a good idea at the tail end of winter. "Stori Telling" (or however it's spelled) is probably more recommended but the local book store didn't have it.
Anyhow, "The Stranger" involves a man who drifts through life, not really caring if he decides for or against any action, and ends up killing someone for no good reason. He's sentenced to death and may or may not be executed at the end of the book. There may or may not be a God, an afterlife, or meaning to any event other than its immediate utility. In "The Plague" the murderer is a disease that kills tens of thousands in the same meaningless environment. It's probably a thought to consider (if you haven't already), but you can just read this paragraph and skip the books to get the idea. Unlike "ICB" the writing was not compelling, even though the characters were reasonably lifelike and sometimes likable.
It was interesting reading a copy of "The Plague" that was Jackie's in nursing school. Turns out her dog ate nine pages just before the end of the book, plus a few paragraphs at the beginning. It didn't mater. I didn't know why the police were suddenly rushing an apartment building and dragging a man into the streets after just finishing the chapter where the plague has run its course and the city is about to be set free to resume its normal life. Had the pages been left in the book, I might not have understood why the man went crazy anyhow.
Any questions? Answer them yourself.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

There you go...just as Camus explored the age old question(s) "Why are we here? Why do we exist?" you're doing the same thing, asking yourself "why the h... did I read these books?!!!And what's the purpose?