14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
La Peste (1947).,
This review is from: The Plague (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
The Plague is probably Camus's greatest novel, a wonderful allegory of the Nazi occupation during World War II- it extends its philosophies from Myth of Sisyphus/The Outsider towards a more interesting realm of existentialism- thus, The Rebel is a companion to this text (and would result in the big fall out with Sartre).
As with his other works, this is seemingly simple, perfectly written and completely engaging- as with Kafka's The Castle- a timeless work. In the 3rd paragraph alone he decries the existence we would call the free market (work to shop etc) and thus predates books like Fight Club in that theme. The way this book builds is brilliant- tying in with Bergman's The Seventh Seal: death always there and unavoidable, it chooses its victim with a vague bias...
I don't know if existentialism is out, or whether Camus is in- what I can say is that he is a great writer- much greater than the secondhand associations with pseud's like The Manic Street Preachers- who quote him frequently, as if his genius could sink in by association (though to be fair Scott Walker, The Fall The Cure & Echo and the Bunnymen have made great stuff Camus-inspired). This is one of the most interesting approaches to World War II in cultural form- something that most people now only know through Hollywood entertaiment such as Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor (sic) & Schindler's List.
The Plague is one of the great novels of the 20th century and a book that is more than welcome in this new edition (and both introduction and translation make this a much sounder purchase than the budget edition a pound or so cheaper).