The Outsider (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 31 Oct 2013
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Smith's new version ... treats Camus' text with respect, directness and an unexpected delicateness. She reveals, and permits, an original edgy strangeness in the prose itself; she treats it sensually, listening to Camus' original sentence structures and lengths, and to the rhythmic fall of his prose (Ali Smith The Times)
About the Author
Albert Camus (1913-1960), French novelist, essayist and playwright, is one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. His most famous works include The Myth of Sisyphus (1942), The Plague (1947), The Just (1949), The Rebel (1951) and The Fall (1956). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, and his last novel, The First Man, unfinished at the time of his death, appeared in print for the first time in 1994, and was published in English soon after by Hamish Hamilton.
Sandra Smith was born and raised in New York City and is a Fellow of Robinson College, University of Cambridge, where she teaches French Literature and Language. She has won the French American Foundation Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize, as well as the PEN Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize.
Customers who bought this item also bought
298 customer reviews
Review this product
Read reviews that mention
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
First published in 1942 this was not a big hit, in fact it did rather poorly although it was much appreciated. This was to change when Sartre wrote about it, and since then this has come on to be something that many have read throughout the world. Here then we meet Meursault who when this opens has just received a message that his mother has died. Thus he has to make arrangements quickly to get to the home she was in as the funeral is held quickly due to the heat of Algeria.
Returning back home after the funeral, so he carries on as normal, going to work, and meeting a woman he used to work with, and forming a relationship. From there he helps a friend and ends up shooting a man, although we are never really given any reason for this by Meursault, who does seem to be someone who has a certain deadness when it comes to expressing different emotions. Indeed we only ever see him get angry once in this short novel, and that is near the end.
Being prosecuted for the killing, so he is incarcerated with a death sentence hanging over him. What will happen though? As Meaursault realises, his not crying at his mother’s funeral seems to have more bearing on his crime than the actual killing itself. Camus really brings to life the absurdism of life and all the elements of his philosophy in this book, which will make you think and also laugh. After all, one of his neighbours has a dog who he always moans and complains about, but when it goes missing is devastated.
Since this was first published it has caused much debate and many papers on various aspects have been written, it has also influenced many and it has to be admitted is a joy to read. In all then if you want to read about alienation and not conforming, then this is a must have.
I liked the short direct sentences of this powerful first person account, which dislocate the reader from Meursault, cleverly replicating his isolation from the other characters. For me part of the satisfaction of Camus's treatment of his theme was the journey of discovery that Meursault and the reader undertake together, since it is only towards the end of the novel, when Meursault finally discovers the value of his own life, that the reader gets to know the narrator.
This is my first exposure to Camus - and won't be my last.
When I did my French A level back in the mid-80s, this was one of set texts some of us studied - though in my class we did Sartre's Les Mains Sales, which was more interesting than this, and for which I am retrospectively grateful to my teachers of 1984.
To anyone familiar with Meursault, restricting sentiment to an acceptable minimum bears his trademark frankness and it considered ‘quirky’. To others, his irregular reactions are received with suspicion and his economical emotional responses ultimately damn his otherwise unblemished existence.
His views of time, place and other people are relayed as if he’s an observer, never quite connecting with any tangible piece of it, while not pretending to either. It’s not until near the end of this short novel that we witness a passionate and profound shift in his perception.
An interesting and thought-provoking read which has encouraged me to read more by this author.
I understand how it can be seen to highlight the absurdity of human life, and of everything for that matter. However, from time to time I felt as though I was in the mind of a man with a slight leaning toward Asperger Syndrome. By that I mean his lack of empathy, his inability to think and feel outside of himself, other than to analyse what was happening but from his inner world. He was unable to make sense of other people's ways of being and seemed to consider things they said and did with an impartiality that would fit with AS.
On saying that - it made me think about Asperger syndrome differently and how this might actually be how the world is seen through the eyes of autism.