The Stranger (A New Translation by Matthew Ward)

The Stranger (A New Translation by Matthew Ward)

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by Albert Camus

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Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd." First published in 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward.  See more details below


Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd." First published in 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The Stranger is a strikingly modern text and Matthew Ward’s translation will enable readers to appreciate why Camus’s stoical anti-hero and ­devious narrator remains one of the key expressions of a postwar Western malaise, and one of the cleverest exponents of a literature of ambiguity.” –from the Introduction by Peter Dunwoodie
Library Journal
The new translation of Camus's classic is a cultural event; the translation of Cocteau's diary is a literary event. Both translations are superb, but Ward's will affect a naturalized narrative, while Browner's will strengthen Cocteau's reemerging critical standing. Since 1946 untold thousands of American students have read a broadly interpretative, albeit beautifully crafted British Stranger . Such readers have closed Part I on ``door of undoing'' and Part II on ``howls of execration.'' Now with the domestications pruned away from the text, students will be as close to the original as another language will allow: ``door of unhappiness'' and ``cries of hate.'' Browner has no need to ``write-over'' another translation. With Cocteau's reputation chiefly as a cineaste until recently, he has been read in French or not at all. Further, the essay puts a translator under less pressure to normalize for readers' expectations. Both translations show the current trend to stay closer to the original. Marilyn Gaddis Rose, SUNY at Binghamton

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.32(w) x 5.24(h) x 0.39(d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

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The Stranger is a strikingly modern text and Matthew Ward’s translation will enable readers to appreciate why Camus’s stoical anti-hero and ­devious narrator remains one of the key expressions of a postwar Western malaise, and one of the cleverest exponents of a literature of ambiguity.” –from the Introduction by Peter Dunwoodie

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The Stranger (thINKing) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 240 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You have to go into this book with an open mind, and a slight knowledge of Existentialism. It also helps if at one time in your life, you had questioned your existence. That is probably why I enjoyed the book so much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Stranger by Albert Camus is among the curious classics which seem to slowly lure you into the romantic plot of part one. Truthfully, the beginning goes at a snail¿s pace, introducing the characters and meeting the narrator Meursault. But, a chilling surprise waits for you at the end of part one that gets you right back into the story of part two, wanting you to flip through the pages to see what happens next. In this novel, the narrator does not tell it through his eyes. It seems as if we¿re listening to this novel through Meursaults thoughts and ideas. You¿ll read as this apparently average man shares his own philosophy on happiness and the absurdity of life. The author displays great acts of Meursault¿s absurdism and passiveness in many of the unfortunate events. He demonstrates being emotionally unfazed at his mother¿s funeral. Before the wake, he is found at her coffin, drinking and smoking a cigarette. It seems almost as if he is in a different world then others in the story live in, and he continues through his life unaffected by its consequences. You¿ll travel with him in his Meghreb town on the coast of Africa, you¿ll dine with him, visit the beach with him and even perform the unthinkable, as he challenges the world with Camus viewpoint. Together, Meursault and Camus will show you a new way of looking at the meaningless of life. This book will certainly delight both young adults and older readers alike with its fascinating plot. And unnerve you when you see what happens when one man is faced with the absurdity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read this book in my senior year in high school, and have kept the copy, not for interest, but rather I just kinda stole it. My first year of college I took a class in which we read The Plague, another book by Camus, and it is through that book that I related with Dr. Bernard Rieux, and realized that I am an existentialist. I just re-read The Stranger, and it has been some time since I have read The Plague, but have found that after a few years existentialism takes on a somewhat new meaning for myself, and it was really refreshing to now read The Stranger with an actual understand behind the philosophy of the novel and made it a very interesting, thought-provoking, and intellectual read for such a small book.
Estrellina09 More than 1 year ago
This is the very first time I read Camus and definitely "The Stranger" has become one of my favorite books. His style is not only original but dramatic at the same time. Camus can take the reader to unimaginable places where everything can be possible without being science-fiction. The themes within The Stranger makes a book to discuss over and over again.
DeDeFlowers More than 1 year ago
The Stranger focused on one main character. You get to know him; what he thinks, what he does, all that. It was written in a very unique and timeless way. Camus has a very distinct voice.
I could relate to the main character in so many ways. It was moving and touching. It makes you think about what your morals are and what the value of life is. It's a fast read with long-term thoughts that will linger in your mind. I think it's a book for most people. It might bother people with a lower maturity level because it can be kind of heavy.
Camus is brilliant.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the only book I ever fell in love with from high school English. It causes you to evaluate every day emotions, or the lack thereof, in a new light that is wonderfully crafted by Camus. This book is unlike anything I have ever read before. You feel nothing for the main character. You do not enjoy him as a person, yet you do not despise him either. He is the factual voices in our heads that relays the events of daily life without any feelings towards every action. Existentialism is a beautiful literary concept that commands us to reevaluate our ideals and the existence of human emotion and human identity. This book is a fast read that leaves an impact upon you like no other book has done before. The greatest literary favor you will ever do for yourself is to at least give this book a try and see how it impacts you. 
Guest More than 1 year ago
i can't exactly say what i thought about this book. i loved it and raced through it. until i got to the last 10 pages. they were very boring and it took me about a week to read those last 10 pages. while reading it though, it's very interesting and i'm sure everyone is trying to figure out what drives the main character a man without feelings. as i once read in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chobsky, this book is 'easy to read but hard to read well'. that is true and i think to truly take in the book and understand it, you must read it twice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Stranger is so strange,yet captivating. Marsol is the weirdest character I've ever met in a story. There is so much symbolism in this book. You have to wonder how any character could be this careless. Every writer should read this truly existenalist piece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This the first Camus book I've read and it was so incredible! I underline my favourite lines in books and I think that I underlined nearly the entire book. Personally, i wish that he had kept writing. I didn't want it to stop.
songofthestars91 More than 1 year ago
I studied this novel in English class this year, and although a fast-paced read, I had trouble getting into it. Reason number one? The narrator, Meursault, is the epitome of an existentialist, and proceeds to show hardly any emotion throughout the entire story. His mother dies, yet he feels no sadness. He kills a man and feels no guilt. He does this, he does that; but all with robotic acceptance and zero feeling. Who wants to read about that? Okay, well, a lot of people love the work of Albert Camus. He's very intelligent, and it's clearly evident in his writing (check out his thought-provoking essay, The Myth of Sisyphus). But instead of reading about existentialism (I guess I just don't understand the philosophy very well), I'd rather dig into the more emotional stuff that causes laughter and tears... Then again, I am just a teenage girl with a lot of opinions. My main point: while reading The Stranger, I might as well have been Meursault, accepting everything I took in with very little reaction. Not good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for class last Saturday and currently I'm quite indifferent about this book. I loved the subtle irony that is persistant throughout it. There is even irony in my indifference because what keeps me on the fence from saying I enjoyed this book is the narrator's consistant indifference about everything and his lack of ability to form true opinions about others or even the situation he is in. This bothered me and I would even go as far to say that it got on my nerves, but I think that I will read this again in the future and maybe my opinion will change...
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Stranger starts out with the main character, Monsiuer Meursault, finding out that his mother had died. Meursault was a low income hard worker who could not support his mother at home, so he sent her to an old peoples hime in the country. This was the first of Meursaults so-called sins, used against him later in the story. At first it would seem as though Meursault wasn't sorrowful of his mothers passing, but Meursault's main foible was that of his taciturn nature and unwillingness to show emotion. Later in the story he commits murder in a vehement moment of rage. All of a sudden he is thrown in to a trial with a magistrate. His little mistakes that he had thought nothing of before were sudenly brought to the jurys attention, including his unresponsiveness to a priest and religion. This author did a great job writing this book and showing how society can tear a person apart using small insignificant mistakes. The author shows exactly what Meursault is thinking throughout the book plus his views on certain matters. The author also points out the flaws of religion and how God is not for everyone and should not be pushed upon by someone. This book is insightfully written and give credit to Matthew Ward who translated it into English.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Stranger defines the meaning of a true existential novel. Bound together by a excellent plot, great chapters make you think. Camus truly expresses his existentialism through Meursault. I was truly dissappointed when I had to put this down. A must read book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite novels of all time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great introduction to existensialism
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gregg_Bell More than 1 year ago
This book was great. Powerful language. Gripping. Intense. I felt like I was there.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mind Stimulating and Fascinating Perhaps the most mind stimulating book anyone could ever read, I read this as a junior in high school and as any high school I thought it was going to be a pain to read. And luckily enough I was completely wrong. Though everyone seems to criticize the extent to which Meursault goes to 'show no emotion', I can't help but think those are the people that did not understand the book. Admittedly this is one of those books that you either, love, hate, or have a moot opinion about. If you are considering reading it, or if, like me, you were given it as an assignment, I sincerely hope you welcome it with an open mind. Stop criticizing the obvious victim and look at the people that surround him. He is perhaps the most incredible 'foil' of a character I've read so far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A philosophical process of humanity, not subjected in human thinking but rather in the acting or feeling in a living individual. In Albert Camus's "The Stranger", he brings a feel in both genres of crime fiction and absurdist fiction, establishing an extensive suspense for the reader. Camus was a philosopher but more so, a philosopher in absurdism, which contributed to his overall success in that field. Absurdism is the measure of human thought in inherent value or in the meaning of life. It is a universal ideology that formed his novel "The Stranger", because the fact that it tests the reality of which human existence comes by. Camus throughout his text shows his strengthened opinion about the inevitability of death itself. The entire novel is based around the rationality of existence and the reality of life in human life.  The overall message is conveyed through the novel of a lifeless man, Meursault who is strictly detached by the world that he lives in. He is rather desensitized and is convinced that people’s lives have no true meaning or importance. Several life- altering events occur throughout the novel, affecting everyone else but Meursault. He realizes his reasons of indifference and finally becomes at peace with himself. The novel is rather exhilarating, giving the reader a new, and unexplored way of thinking, questioning the relationship between existence and understanding. “The Stranger” is definitely a type of book I haven’t read before, but it most certainly pulled me in and gave me an insight on life that I never gave much thought on.