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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real bargain
If you want a really good edition of some of Camus' best works, this is it. Although I am a convert to Kindle, I couldn't resist this book. Apart from the content, the book itself, is a work of art; a beautiful, hardback edition. You will be hard pressed to find anything quite like this - at this price.
Published 16 months ago by P. Burnard

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amazon is sending out damaged books - their fault, or Everyman's?
Everyman hardbacks are beautiful things, but not, sadly, as being sent out by Amazon at the moment. Excuse them the completely wrong item (someone else's CD) that they sent out in the middle, and they have still sent me two badly damaged books. Had I known what the second one was going to be like, I suppose I might have accepted the tear in the pages of the first one! The...
Published 2 months ago by J. Hunt


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real bargain, 14 Dec 2012
By 
P. Burnard (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Plague, Fall, Exile And The Kingdom And Selected Essays (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) (Hardcover)
If you want a really good edition of some of Camus' best works, this is it. Although I am a convert to Kindle, I couldn't resist this book. Apart from the content, the book itself, is a work of art; a beautiful, hardback edition. You will be hard pressed to find anything quite like this - at this price.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Exile, and Suffering Illuminated by Life Around Death, 20 May 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 122,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Plague, Fall, Exile And The Kingdom And Selected Essays (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) (Hardcover)
What is the meaning of life? For many, that question is an abstraction except in the context of being aware of losing some of the joys of life, or life itself. In The Plague, Camus creates a timeless tale of humans caught in the jaws of implacable death, in this case a huge outbreak of bubonic plague in Oran, Algeria on the north African coast. With the possibility of dying so close, each character comes to see his or her life differently. In a sense, we each get a glimpse of what we, too, may think about life in the last hours and days before our own deaths. The Plague will leave you with a sense of death as real rather than as an abstraction. Then by reflecting in the mirror of that death, you can see life more clearly.
For example, what role would you take if bubonic plague were to be unleashed in your community? Would you flee? Would you help relieve the suffering? Would you become a profiteer? Would you help maintain order? Would you withdraw or seek out others? These are all important questions for helping you understand yourself that this powerful novel will raise for you.
The book is described as objectively as possible by a narrator, who is one of the key figures in the drama. That literary device allows each of us to insert ourselves into the situation.
Let me explain the main themes. Love is expressed in many ways. There is the love of men and women for each other. Dr. Rieux's wife is ill, and has just left for treatment at a sanitarium. Rambert, a journalist on temporary assignment, is separated from his live-in girl friend in Paris. Dr. Rieux's mother comes to stay with him during his mother's absence, so there is also love of parent and child. The magistrate also loses his son to the plague after a desperate battle. Separations occur because of the quarantine on Oran, which causes love to be tested. What is love without the other person being present? The characters find that their memories soon become abstractions. But they reach out to establish new love with each other. Tarrou, who is also caught in Oran, decides or organize a volunteer corps to help with the sick and dead. Rambert decides to stay in Oran to help after having arranged to escape the quarantine. The survivors find succor in increasing closeness with each other. Rieux and Tarrou become close, almost like brothers. Even Rieux's patients become people with whom he develops an emotional bond, even though the waves of death become an abstraction as he can do little to avert them. The priest figure also helps to explore the notion of love for God and God's love for us. The exile theme is reinforced by the quarantine. People cannot leave Oran. The disease itself causes that exile to become worse. If someone in your household becomes ill, each well person has to be quarantined. So you may be living in a tent in the soccer stadium wondering what is happening to the rest of your family. Cottard is a criminal who is on the run from the authorities. He is in despair as the plague begins, and tries to kill himself. The distractions of the plague keep the authorities from troubling him, so the period of the plague is an exile from his criminal past.
Suffering is easy to explain. Bubonic plague came in two forms in the book. Both brought painful and rapid death, with few reprieves. There is high fever, painful swelling or difficulty in breathing, and enormous pain. Those who tend the suffering also suffer, from the enormous workloads, the sense of futility, and the fear that they, too, will be next.
Camus does a nice job of pointing out that these themes also recur in everyday life. We just don't see them very clearly. The people in Oran live in an ugly city that deliberately built itself away from the beauty of the ocean on a sun-scorched plateau plagued by winds. They take little time to enjoy each other or the ocean, because they are caught up with making money. Commerce is their passion. So they cut themselves off from love, in an exile of spirit, which causes them to shrivel and suffer emotionally even before the plague comes. Tarrou also describes is own sense of the plague in everyday life when he discovers that his father is a prosecuting attorney who helps bring criminals to the justice of a firing squad. Even that faint connection of not trying to stop the legal killing causes Tarrou to feel like he carries the plague within him.
The book is masterful in its use of metaphor. In the beginning, dying rats and small animals presage the plague attacking humans. At the end, their return presages the return of normal life to Oran. The scenes alternate between illuminating the main themes in the context of the physical plague and the emotional plague. Religion is used as a bridge between the two, raising the fundamental question about what God's purpose is in unleashing the plague. The priest is fully tested in his love of God through this development, which is one of the most moving parts of the book.
I have read the book both in French and in English, and found this translation to be a perfectly appropriate one. There are few nuances that you will miss by reading this in English. Obviously, if you read French well, you should read the book in its original form.
This book is an excellent example of why Albert Camus was named a Novel Laureate in Literature.
After you read this great novel, I encourage you to consider the subject of complacency. That's the author's ultimate target. Where are you complacent in ways that cost you love, closeness with others, and happiness? What else is complacency costing you? How can you help others learn to overcome complacency in loving, happy ways without the spectre of death to help you?
Enjoy a more wonderful life by overcoming the plague of complacency about the most important human values and activities!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fine collection, 22 Feb 2014
By 
Mr. S. Harris (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Plague, Fall, Exile And The Kingdom And Selected Essays (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) (Hardcover)
This is an excellent collection containing all of Camus' greatest works, with the exception of the Outsider. It is beautifully produced and absolutely great value for money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've ever bought, 26 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Plague, Fall, Exile And The Kingdom And Selected Essays (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) (Hardcover)
Bought this book after having being recommended to read Camus and I wasn't disappointed. Great read, especially for anyone who wishes to explore existentialism even further. The book itself is beautiful, a real piece of art that will have a treasured spot on my bookshelf.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great ***, 13 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Plague, Fall, Exile And The Kingdom And Selected Essays (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) (Hardcover)
everymans is everymans. Great, but I can't really think of sixteen more words to say so! I mean really! Really.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amazon is sending out damaged books - their fault, or Everyman's?, 14 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Plague, Fall, Exile And The Kingdom And Selected Essays (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) (Hardcover)
Everyman hardbacks are beautiful things, but not, sadly, as being sent out by Amazon at the moment. Excuse them the completely wrong item (someone else's CD) that they sent out in the middle, and they have still sent me two badly damaged books. Had I known what the second one was going to be like, I suppose I might have accepted the tear in the pages of the first one! The second one had creases and crumples in each of the first twenty pages or so. Actually, I think both damaged books were the fault of Everyman, and it's sad to have to report that their manufacturing standards appear to have slipped with this particular book. The contents, had I received a decent copy, are still desirable to me. They are the "original" English translations of these texts, rather than the most recent ones published by Penguin, but I didn't see this as a drawback. The short story collection "Exile and the Kingdom" is no better reviewed in its new translation than in this original... But it looks as though I will have to go to Waterstone's (quite a drive from home) and hope to find a shop-soiled copy which is in better condition than the ones Amazon sells "new" from its warehouse. Ho hum!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High quality, 13 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Plague, Fall, Exile And The Kingdom And Selected Essays (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) (Hardcover)
I would say it's really high quality in terms of the printing I really like the feel of the paper and the bookmark. However, the translations are a little...odd in places.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Camus, 31 May 2013
By 
Duncan Bush - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Plague, Fall, Exile And The Kingdom And Selected Essays (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) (Hardcover)
A beautifully produced and inexpensive hardback edition of a great French writer. Camus's essays are an essential supplement to his fiction.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flee the flea, but enjoy The Plague and other tales from the Master, 30 July 2010
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This review is from: Plague, Fall, Exile And The Kingdom And Selected Essays (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) (Hardcover)
This review is for the Everyman's Library edition which seems to have mysteriously vanished from Amazon today?
Here is an example of how wonderfully Camus writes: '...ambulances clanging past, sounding the plague's dismal passionless tocsin under their windows'.
How is that for a homophonic metaphor? Using 'tocsin' meaning an alarm sounding bell in the context of the plague? itself a bacterial 'toxin'. Brilliant.
Camus's work is full of inspired authorial craftsmanship. He really is the master of language. Of course it might be accidental in the above example since this is translated from the French, but nevertheless his work is full of similar fascinating examples.
The Plague is not my favourite. It is too long at 272 pages. It could have been told better in half that. The Fall is the zenith of the author's literary brilliance.
The Plague is still excellent and of note is the character of Le Grand who struggles throughout trying to find the perfect opening sentence for his novel. Camus plays with the reader and shows how complex this process can be.
The Plague is a metaphor for conquered people learning to live with fear and oppression, and how they deal with the options: escape, suffering, capitulation, resistance etc.
I spotted an obvious error in David Bellos's introduction. He was very happy to admit it when I emailed him. Nice guy! Can you spot it?
At this price this book is a bargain beyond belief! Read it! Camus is as great a writer as his hero Dostoevsky.
JP :)
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0 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, bad service., 1 Feb 2006
By 
A. Teare "schmaidan" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Plague, Fall, Exile And The Kingdom And Selected Essays (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) (Hardcover)
I ordered this book so I could read the Camus titles to start my A-Level French coursework. I ordered this (along with the outsider {as it is the only correct translation of the title I have found})a full 11 days ago, plus paying full price on delivery. I expeted for them to come in 2-3 days so I waited and this turned into a week. I phoned amazon.co.uk (yes they do have a phone number!) and the nice lady re-sent them. I am not sure if it is the fault of amazon or Royal Mail, but these are some of the most important books of my school life and they took 11 days to come! I was nearly tearing my hair out! All in all, the books are good and the service (in this case) was bad.
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