This week’s book recommendation is The Stranger by Albert Camus. This book comes in at 134 pages (depending on the edition you choose) which makes not quite a novella so it is deemed a book. A short one. Semantics aside, the book was written in 1942 and follows a young man named Meursault. I don’t want to give anything away about the story itself so all I will say is that Meursault kills someone for no reason (but there must be reason, right? I guess you’ll have to read to find out).
Was that a bit unfair? Sorry (not sorry). It’s a good book for many reasons. My reasons for liking it include the way Camus makes you think of your how you’re living your own life and about what’s important to you and what’s important in general. Meursault seems to live a simple, non-exciting, non-committal, unemotional life, but when you reach the end you realize that he lived his life his way. Who are we to tell him it was a wrong way?
I do believe that you will get out of this book more than what you invest. Just make sure you go in willing to discover something. Camus does what all writers aim to do with this short book, which is to contemplate life. Yeah, we like to entertain and oftentimes that causes several stories to be purely entertainment, but I think all writers desire to write something that changes something in the reader. Makes them richer for the experience. The 134 pages makes The Stranger a fairly quick read. Could easily be read over a weekend. Why not give it a shot (pun slightly intended)?
One last fun fact, The Stranger was once synonymously published as The Outsider. I’ve never discovered how or why, but I think it had to do with translations as the book was originally written in French.