The Stranger (A New Translation by Matthew Ward)

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Overview

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.

"Matthew Ward has done Camus and us a great service. This is now a different and better novel for its American readers."--Chicago Sun Times

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The Stranger

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Overview

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.

"Matthew Ward has done Camus and us a great service. This is now a different and better novel for its American readers."--Chicago Sun Times

Read More Show Less

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679720201
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1989
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 21,229
  • Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 5.24 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Algeria in 1913, Albert Camus published The Stranger–now one of the most widely read novels of this century–in 1942. Celebrated in intellectual circles, Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. On January 4, 1960, he was killed in a car accident.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 228 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(105)

4 Star

(76)

3 Star

(32)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(9)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 228 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2006

    wow

    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.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2008

    A Fascinating Read

    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.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    X

    This was the most disturbing, disgusting and most depressing book that I have ever read in my life. We had too choose a french author and read a book by them. Im in seventh grade and boy did i choose the wrong book to read. Let me just give you the last line of the book; i will go to my execution tomorrow and hope there will be a big croud full of hate. What kind of book is that.

    3 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One strange book.

    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.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2008

    truly awful

    This is one of the worst books I've ever read, in French or English. If this is a classic for the existentialists, I deeply pity those people. For chapter after chapter, Marseult does nothing but smoke, drink, eat chocolate, whine about aches and pains, chat with neighbors, and flirt with his girlfriend. It's boring! When I finally got to the part about the murder of the Arab, I was so disgusted that it barely registered. I thought I was imagining things! Honestly, this book is about as dull as damp cardboard. Don't waste your money!

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Camus Made me an Existentialist

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Genius Albert Camus

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A classic

    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.<BR/>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.<BR/>Camus is brilliant.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2006

    stuck

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2006

    Could have been better

    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...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2006

    The Stranger is Strange

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2005

    WOW!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2003

    The Stranger

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Great read!

    I read this book when I was going through a diffcult time in my life and really felt with the charcter in this book. Well written, this is one of my all time favorite books that I would recommend to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    Simple and clean writing

    Written in a clear and clean style. Refreshing to read. I was surprised at how quickly it grabbed my attention.

    If you like this, you may also like The Trial by Franz Kafka.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 11, 2013

    "The Stranger" is told in first person-style from the

    &quot;The Stranger&quot; is told in first person-style from the character of Meursault, who is a murderer. It is divided into two parts with part one being everything that leads up to a murder and part two being everything that happens after the murder. This book is written in a very spicy writing style and revolves around the humanization of the modern psychopath.




    Basically, the character of Meursault is missing the ability to connect on an emotional level with anything around him and this is what &quot;does him in.&quot; He can't fully express his feelings because he doesn't really have that many feelings to start with. In this story, the author gradually massages the psychopathic elements of Meursault slowly into the narrative so you won't judge it too quickly. What the author is able to do is to show how easy it is for society to label somebody as a psychopath and lock him into jail, and that nothing is ever black and white. There is always a gray area.




    The most intriguing part about this book is the discussion about free will and mankind's ability to adapt to any circumstance given enough time. Meursault goes from being a free man to being locked in solitary confinement, and so the story challenges you to think about what that kind of lifestyle would do to the human soul. What would it take for you mentally to be able to survive?




    All in all, the book deserves 5 stars because it does make you think and you probably will read it again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    Impressed!

    I had to read this book for my honors english class, senior year. Going into it I had a fear that I would have a terrible time getting into it or enjoying it whatsoever. I was soon in a different mindset, by the 5th page in I was hooked, and it proved to be a short, enjoyable read in which I had some thought provoking moments and truely completely enjoyed the novel. I definitely would recommend this to anyone who has ever thought older novels are hard to read and boring!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    Stunning

    This is pretty much the golden book whwn it comes to 20th century exestentalism

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Perception changer

    This book, with a slight knowledge of exiatentialism, brings the world around you closer to grips and sheds an entire new light on things typically seen as menial. It does the opposite with those subjects one would see as a "big deal" and makes them entirely accessible. It was a great-- albeit short read that is definently worth picking up! Approach it with an open mind and you may walk away a more wholesome person.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    I liked the book.

    I was made to read the book. I actually like the fact that it does not go into depth. It is not so analytical. It is easy to read. Should research about Nigeria in the 1940s.

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