The Stranger by Albert Camus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The abdurdist masterpiece. Meursault is the antithesis of the emotion obsessed post-modernist who checks his feelings as if they were a thermometer registering reality, and not the result of a reactionary culture's indoctrination against the stoical, jingoistic Roman inheritance. He is not immoral, but amoral, and he sees no point to anything other than physical desire. Finally, he arrives at the conclusion that the question of the meaning of life is meaningless, that the only logical response to an indifferent universe is indifference toward the universe.
If a case can be made for the maxim that "less is more", The Stranger would be the literary example. At just over one-hundred pages, and with the most basic vocabulary of our taciturn protagonist, this novel speaks volumes on the absurdity of the human condition. It should not, however, be understood as the philosophy of Camus in microcosm. Camus's myth of Sisyphus is a succinct answer to the problem of nihilism for those with existentialist leanings. The Stranger presents this problem in spartan first-person prose wonderfully.
Best book ever.
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