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on 25 November 2016
It's the numb matter of fact way our hero looks at the world around him that makes this novel so appealing. Perhaps in shock and certainly without overt emotion he goes about his daily life so distanced from his surroundings that it almost doesn't exist - other than in his own head. A must read.
This Kindle edition is a wonderfully easy read. I heartily recommend it.
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on 12 May 2017
Absolutely love this book such fun and imaginative things to do. I have bought this for myself and for a few other people also.
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on 4 July 2015
Bought for a reluctant reader aged 12 yo. He couldn't put it down. Thoroughly recommend.
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on 5 July 2017
Full of great creative ideas...
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on 4 January 2016
Meant to be an excellent read. Delivery excellent and service excellent. Top marks!
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on 26 April 2017
Deep stuff. Good translation.
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on 7 March 2017
A brilliant aid for creative writing and generally great fun to complete!
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on 15 August 2017
Great book, fantastic, really worth the read.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 February 2014
I purchased this book along with Wreck this Journal on recommendation of my psychology student friend who suggested it for me as I do suffer with minor obsessive compulsive disorder in the sense that I need things to be organized and perfect.
This book is very similar to Wreck this Journal, as a matter of fact some of the pages are identical, the front of the book is more about general destruction, while the latter parts of the book are more about exploration of textures, materials, different paints, colours, techniques and also tells the user to reference people, places, things etc. There is a lot of general doodling, but usually with some sort of instruction - ie photo of landscape with instructions to draw a storm of some description. I am not looking forward to burying it for 3 days! I must say! I will probably do that when I am done with it.
I love that this book is a bit more educational to artistic techniques, people etc. The beginning of the book speaks about an interview with a Dutch Sailor summing up the work of Bas Jan Ader referencing a piece called "Broken Fall" which shows a man bouncing up and down swinging on a branch over a creek. The sailor references that "moment of transcendence when you leave everything behind and leap into the unknown". I feel this book encapsulates that statement very well. There is a lot of experimentation and tasks that do not have a particularly obvious outcome, and while not dangerous, the book challenges your views on what art or perfection is. I have done a few pages and in describing them verbally it sounds like I am destroying a perfectly good book, but actually when I look at pages there are little bits and pieces on some pages I love, some I hate. But the unknown has become known and I have referenced a lot of Ader's work, who i have become very intrigued with.
This book has become a permanent fixture with me along with Wreck this Journal. I find rather than pulling out a phone and going into my own little world on a bus, train etc this is a fun way to pass the time. Ive had several strangers ask me about the books and I've happily filled them in.
I would recommend this book to just about anyone. Some pages are fun to do with younger children. I feel it would be particularly good for an art student or fan. I haven't got to the pages yet, but I am looking forward to pages exploring textiles and texture. Its great fun, and I love it.
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on 8 April 2015
This is, I think, the fourth translation of Camus' L'Etranger that I've read, as well as the Gallimard paperback in French. The older translations (Gilbert and then O'Brien) now seem a bit dusty and rely too heavily on Americanisms that have a weird vibe of the Steinbeckian way o' talkin' yeah?

Joseph Laredo's translation then appeared some time later and is still the one for me. Sure, there are some minor semantic bumps in Laredo's text but a translator's never - ever - gonna get everything right. Laredo's genius was to get into the mindset of the principal character and take it from there. (Maybe not one for American readers so much. Maybe English has finally forked?)

Most of the spectral pied-noir Gaijin's French is fairly direct but even to this day there's still not been a truly satisfactory translation of the opening and closing sentences of this book into English. Laredo gets closest to a tolerable translation of these.

This edition (translator: Sandra Smith) is alright - but the English in it often doesn't sound the way people speak. Meursault refers to his mum as 'mama' in this - it comes across like one of Elizabeth Windsor's kids. The French 'maman' is mum and mother at the same time: 'mama' is just diddy speak. Almost literally!

This Camus novel is a must-read no matter your translation.
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