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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Novel
As a dedicated 'Absurdist' I purchased numerous Albert Camus books. The Rebel and The Outsider (also called The Stranger) left me cold. I lost interest in the first few pages due to boredom. The Myth of Sisyphus is fascinating, although the first half is heavy going.
The Fall is outstanding. It was Camus's final work and his crowning achievement. Like Thomas Mann's...
Published on 20 July 2010 by Justice Peace

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2.0 out of 5 stars Falling interest
Told in the second person, the story is a monologue to the reader by the speaker Jean-Baptiste who is a retired lawyer living in Amsterdam. He retells his life story to the reader, and we catch a glimpse of a privileged life: he had good looks, good education, good job, and a good life. Why then is he so miserable?

Albert Camus' novella "The Fall" is...
Published on 15 May 2012 by Sam Quixote


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5.0 out of 5 stars So Good I Read It Twice, 31 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Fall (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This is not a book for those looking for an easy storyline. It demands an open mind, a sense of social history and a willingness to accept an alternative point of view. After having read it, I immediately reread it and began to appreciate Camus' insight into ambition, egotism and arrogance and then, ultimately, the frantic search for some purpose to life when self-doubt punctures the bubble.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the Fall, 15 April 2014
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Excellent prose. I could not put it down. At one level the fate of man in mid 20th century after 2nd world war. At another level a psychological portrait of guilt and repentance. A must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Novel as Philosophy - Camus is highly original, 30 Mar. 2014
By 
Christina (London) - See all my reviews
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I would recommend _The Fall_, a
first person narrative of a barrister, a fellow
with an exceedingly high self-opinion. Through his actions and
thoughts, we soon discover he is flawed, and by the end of the book wonder whether he is not indeed entirely dissolute.

It is short pithy book written in beautiful, simple text, but with much food for thought.

The philosophical debate that this book
engenders relates to a famous painting from whence
the title of the novel is derived, which has
caused endless speculation about Camus' interpretation of the nature of 'integrity' and its corollary, 'corruption'
(the first person narrative is a barrister, after all).

As a highly stylised comment on hypocrisy and self-worth,
it is pure brilliance.

Highly readable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Camus' writing - however bleak and pessimistic - is often poignant and beautiful, full of aphorisms and immensely quotable., 25 Mar. 2014
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Camus was one of a number of post-war French writers who used the novel as a vehicle for their philosophy, using fiction to explore our place in the modern world. The story of 'The Fall', such as there is, unfolds not in actions or plot but in speech and the articulation of thoughts and ideas.

It consists of a monologue, spread across five days in Amsterdam and its environs, as the garrulous narrator Jean-Baptiste Clamance tells his story ("as soon as I open my mouth, the words pour out"). Clamance is a French exile who describes himself rather oddly as a "judge-penitent". Quite what he means by this will have to wait. He begins his monologue to an unnamed listener (the reader?) whom he meets in a sailor's bar he calls 'Mexico City' in the red-light district of Amsterdam and accompanies through the rain-soaked streets of the city at night. All the while he expounds his views on humanity, offering a jaded opinion of human freedom and liberty drawn from bitter experience. The monologue becomes a confessional, as though the narrator is overcome by a compulsion to speak, driven by a determination as dogged as that of the Ancient Mariner to tell his tale .

Camus wrote 'The Fall' in the mid-1950s and his setting is a Europe still recovering from the trauma of World War and preferring to forget the shocking events of that conflict. The world and mankind has descended into a Hell of its own making. The novel considers the question of how an intelligent person might formulate an intellectual response to such horrors, how to take any ethical stance in the face of absolute amorality.

'The Fall' is a short book, almost a novella, and just about sustains the narrative structure of a single character's monologue, which after a while can get somewhat wearing to read at length. In this edition, translator Robin Buss has captured the elegance of the author's pen, and Camus' writing - however bleak and pessimistic - is often poignant and beautiful, full of aphorisms and immensely quotable. The book was Camus' last finished work of fiction, published just four years before his death in a car accident in Villeblevin, northern France, on 4 January 1960.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Near perfect narrative., 25 Jan. 2014
Worthy of the Nobel prize for literature. Brilliant style and writing.... and philosophy. This man is a genius, and not too bad as a goalkeeper I hear.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gave me a sore head..., 17 Oct. 2012
By 
F Drew (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fall (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This didn't work for me and I don't really know why... I kept losing the thread of the story and found the monologue difficult to follow. The bits that made sense to me I enjoyed, a lot of it was humorous, but then the endless twists, turns and digressions in between just made me dizzy. I couldn't help thinking a lot of the story was lost in the translation, that the phrases, expressions etc. were difficult to convey in English. Too often a single thought or idea of the speaker seemed to spiral all over the place, which was ultimately very puzzling. Would a better translation make it all more meaningful to the reader? Not sure...

Camus' best books, it seems to me, have always been his non-fiction. 'The Myth of Sisyphus' or 'The Rebel' are brilliantly written, and have a stunning clarity to them. For whatever reason, I find his novels harder to enjoy. His most famous one, 'The Outsider' I thought was horribly depressing. Here in 'The Fall', the wit and ironic tone make it fun to read, but the endless, philosophical whirling about of the monologue left me far more confused than entertained.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Memorable, if not comfortable, 15 Feb. 2015
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A black mirror held up to oneself. Short but perfectly formed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 Aug. 2014
This review is from: The Fall (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Mind opening and beautifully written.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A jumble of unconnected thoughts makes this hard to follow, 23 Feb. 2009
By 
Norberto Amaral (Aveiro, Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Fall (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I'm just about finishing reading this novel and I'm getting a nagging sense of unfulfilment. Despite being written in a monologue and being full of fantastic insights about human nature, these thoughts are so unconnected and come at such a furious pace that after a while it is almost impossible to read this without wincing at the many twists and turns of the text. This despite the fact that the book is only about 150 pages long, which by any standard should be read and understood in a breeze.

The story itself is rather interesting and almost archetypal: it's about a man who was a lawyer and, through his own sense (complex) of superiority towards his always guilty clients, judges and his many lovers, and his notorious success, starts being the target of envy of half the world and the receiver of less than favourable comments from the other half. He then goes into a progressive spiral of self-destruction, with many examples of misogyny, ending, in fact starting the story, with him helping sailors and paupers alike in Amsterdam, very far from the heights of his previous professional life in Paris.

The fact that he's drunk throughout part of the books isn't explicitly apparent but will make it easier to understand why his speech is incoherent and even illogical at times, without a clear line of thought. However, it doesn't seem possible that he's drunk all of the time and in so many different circumstances or that even the person he's talking to would be willing to listen to him for so long and so often, so that is a very bad excuse for his terrible speech.

To me, this is an exemplary tale about despair, about the fear of lacking the respect of society, of lack of friendship, of lack of connectedness to the outside world, about the lack of a sense of 'spirituality' that so seemed to characterise life after WWII. Many other books go at the same subject through an entirely different way but no other offers so many interesting insights about human existence and condition. That means that this book isn't meant to be read in a sitting: give it enough time to ponder over each sentence.

Were it not for these insights and this book would receive a single star from me and still be overrated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 April 2015
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This review is from: The Fall (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
very good
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The Fall (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Fall (Penguin Modern Classics) by Albert Camus (Paperback - 6 July 2006)
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