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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 29 April 2017
The book itself is a classic, an introverted look at a man who's lost his raison d'etre. His existential reflections at the end are very insightful.
In all it's a very relatable and good book. most people will connect with it to some degree.

About the quality of the book itself, nicely made, no type errors or build errors, all good there.
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on 21 June 2017
Quick delivery.. I am still reading but just what i wanted.
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on 6 May 2012
I first read this book when I was a student, in the original French. Then, frankly, I thought the protagonist, Roquentin (and by extension the author, Sartre) was a social misfit, a bore and half-mad to boot. The book depressed me: it was de-stabilising, I felt vaguely threatened by it. 40 years on and the situation - and by that I mean primarily the psychological situation, although 'external' circumstances have changed too - is quite different. So my first observation is that if you are young and still full of the joys of Spring, it is possibly more difficult to connect with this book, which is ostensibly about a man for whom the chewing-gum of life has lost it flavour. Ultimately, the novel is about the nature of meaning, in particular the absence of it. Loss of meaning is something which may strike many of us at some point or other: the question is whether we confront and deal with it, or ignore it and anaesthetise or distract ourselves. Roquentin is a man of few roots, which makes it difficult for him to avoid the issue of meaninglessness. As he describes his experience, we get to grips with the related ground: reality/perception, alienation/relationship, time, identity, despair, freedom, action and art - indeed the whole kit and caboodle of so-called existential angst. Clue: the book does not take you to a destination but it may lead you to a jumping-off point. Tip: don't take it too seriously :-)
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on 14 December 2009
I wondered whether after all the other reviews it would be worth adding another opinion, after all would my view, existing only on the absurdity that is the net, mean anything and could or would it exist for all time or until no one was around to see it; would it come into existence when someone else had read it. Am I only providing this review to validate my reality?

Nausea was Sartre's first novel demonstrating his existential philosophy. It is very much more the monolog of Roquentin; there really are very few other characters only Anny and the Autodidactic - who I took to represent as it were `love' and `other people' in anyone's life experience. I suppose like most first novels Sartre was honing his craft perhaps even his philosophy. The story itself is quite shallow but the ideas about life inflate the tale to something significantly more worthy (so job done!). It is more readable as a narrative than say Pessoa's "Book of Disquiet" but perhaps doesn't have the colour or humour. If you wondered what you might expect I now present a few quotes from the book:

"It is I, it is I who pull myself from nothingness to which I aspire: hatred and disgust for existence are just so many ways of making me exist, of thrusting me into existence."

"I exist that's all. And that particular trouble is so vague, so metaphysical, that I am ashamed of it."

"....there's nothing, nothing, absolutely no reason for existing."

"I dreamed vaguely of killing myself, to destroy at least of these superfluous existences. But my death itself would have been superfluous......I was superfluous for all time."

I had previously passed the time enjoying the trilogy of Age of Reason, Reprieve and Iron in the Soul. These offer a much more engaging story with an arc of characters that develop in a very interesting pre to post war France period but you still get the existentialism. If you like stories and haven't read any Sartre before, I'd suggest you start with AofR first and progress from there.
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on 10 February 2015
At first It took me some time getting used to the writing style. It was different, unlike anything I had ever read before. Written in the style of diary entries by a character named Antoine Roquentin, a writer who lives alone spending his time wandering the streets of Bouville, reflecting on his past times when he was an adventurer and had a wife named Anny.
This Isn't one of those novels that you would pick up when you're bored or need something to pass time. To really appreciate it you have to read it slowly. Many of you will relate to Antoine deeply and if you're one of them then you'll be so very glad to have found this book. Sartre is able to express through words what we often think but struggle to verbalise.
Each chapter is beautifully written, you may find yourself smiling or laughing at times at the brilliant use of satirical humour.

I have to say that this is definitely my favourite book so far. Oh and if you have ever or do presently suffer with depression then you will either be thrilled to have discovered it or leave it incomplete. So anybody out there with depression, or other mood disorders, just to warn you, you may find this book triggering.
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on 10 May 2002
When I initially picked this book up, I couldn't wait to put it down again. As a student of philosophy it was required reading and every time I would pick it up I could just about manage to read a page or two and would then have to reconcile it to the pile in the corner, to be attempted again when I could muster the strength to drag myself through the apparently relentless waffle. Came the day when I could procrastinate no longer and I found to my utter surprise that when I really submerged myself in the text it utterly came alive. I believe that many may have perhaps missed the beautiful, humorous irony secreted within the pages of this book. It is indeed the tale of the existential struggle of the 'despairing' consciousness; a consciousness desperately seeking certainty in a wholly contingent universe in which existence knows no beginning. There are moments of rare, sublime beauty as Roquentin seeks to define himself purely by self-reflecting - there is no significant 'other' that can give meaning to one's life; the answers - if there are any - are all to be found within. The pathos and tragedy of his relationship with Anny made my heart almost implode. There are moments of incredibly raw, real beauty within this book, along with some wonderfully observed reflections on the human condition. Absolutely not to be missed.
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on 2 January 2001
Granted Sartre leaves one feeling empty and worthless in one sense, but he also gives the reader the ability to view the world in it's true form: a soup of superfluous existences. If ever you asked yourself what the world is beneath the materialist skin, Nausea answers the question perfectly.
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on 21 October 2010
In this, his first novel, Sartre explores what will become the main theme of his philosophy: how can we give our lives meaning when we are aware that there is no point to our existence? We are free to do what we want, within certain constraints, but what should we do with this freedom?
The theme is explored here through the eyes of Roquentin, a historian who is trying to write a biography of some minor French nobleman. It suddenly dawns on him that his life is pointless and he begins to question everything around him, trying to find a reason to keep going.
When looked at as a conventional novel this doesn't provide much in the way of plot or action, though the few characters that figure here are very well drawn, if not particularly likable. Most of the story revolves around sessions in cafés or the library, with Roquentin examining the random nature of events as people come and go.
Although I wouldn't recommend this to anyone looking for a rollicking thriller, as a philosophical novel it is an easy read and a very interesting example of existentialist thought.
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on 9 August 2000
'Nausea' was first published in 1938. I read it for the first time in the early seventies, at which time it still seemed absolutely contemporary (far more alive in fact than many more recent books). It remains one of my touchstones, one of the few books from that period of my reading which I still reread.
'Nausea' is one of the defining texts of existentialism, which, if now unfashionable, still looks like the most seriously intended and influential philosophy of the second half of the twentieth century: it is also a fine novel, which anticipates many of the trends of postwar fiction. It should be on anybody's list of the most significant fiction published in the last century.
Much fiction written between 1900 and 1945 seems almost unreadable now because the world has changed so much: but as with the stories of Kafka, this is not the case with 'Nausea'. Certainly the way in which it deals with the most serious questions without descending into pedantry or obscurity is a model for the philosophical novelist, and makes much contemporary fiction appear trivial and underachieving by comparison.
If you have read and enjoyed this book and want to explore further in French fiction of the 30s and early 40s, I would suggest trying Drieu la Rochelle's 'Will o'the Wisp' ('Le feu follet', 1931), Saint-Exupery's 'Night Flight' ('Vol de nuit', 1931), Celine's 'Journey to the End of the Night' ('Voyage au bout de la nuit', 1932) , Queneau's 'The Bark Tree' ('Le Chiendent', 1933) and Camus's 'The Outsider' ('L'etranger', 1942), all of which are in the same league as 'Nausea', though only the Camus has been as influential in the English-speaking world. None of Sartre's other fiction is as achieved as 'Nausea', though the early short stories are interesting.
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on 11 November 2003
I can see how it might be easy for someone to dislike this book: its central concern is the main character's inability to act, which for some might go against the very point of writing a story. But Sartre's genius comes in being able to highlight the many different sides to a seemingly simple problem.
This was (I think) Satrte's first published work of fiction, and really its an exposition not of his ability to handle multiple stories and different narrative styles, but of the philosophical ideals which he went on to write in Being and Nothingness. If you can't tolerate existentialism in its rawest form, its probably not worth trying to enjoy this book.
The story is essentially about a man who lives alone in a small French town, attempting to produce a book on the Marquis de Rollebon, an obscure french noble, having up until this point lived what he had previously believed to bed a fulfilled life. But in the writing of the book he soon comes to question what he is doing with his life now, and whether in fact he has ever lived. He soon finds himself falling apart, as he looks in the mirror, the deeper he looks the less he recognises in his own face.
The book is, due to its subject matter, a very isolating experience: Roquentin only really comes into contact with two people, both of whom he resents absolutely. Its the expression of an angry young man, angry as much at himself as at the world and other people. In this way it is hard to stomach, but this is what Sartre intended, hence the title. Every time Roquentin feels himself overwhelmed by his disgust at being alive he feels the nausea overcome him. This makes the book at times, for those who are able to empathise with Roquentin, very uncomfortable reading, but through this it s very rewarding, when we, with him, see some hope behind his anguish, some conclusion to it. Much like Camus's Le Etranger it is in the height of his suffering that he reaches real elation of self-knowledge.
In fact Camus's work is a good book to compare it to. That in itself is a fairly short and sparse work, and both describe a character who are confronted by the absurdity of their life. The difference however is the lack of a political edge to Sartre's work (though he does criticise humanism): Roquentin brings his suffering upon himself, while Camus's character is the victim of a legal system. For me, Sartre's approach is preferable, though others might prefer a character who is less passive than Sartre's.
Sartre's book is a book with we can question ourselves. Some might prefer his later more political orientated works, but for its intensity, Nausea is for me the more complete work. I gave it four only because it makes such difficult reading, describing both complex and disturbing issues about an individual's worth.
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