The Stranger by Albert Camus

movie footage – opening sequence

Summary: (Translated from the French by Matthew Ward.) Mersault visits the group home where his mother has recently died for the funeral and is glad when it’s over. Mersault’s girlfriend wants to get married, though he admits he doesn’t think he loves her. He later becomes friends with another tenant in his building named Raymond who is wrapped up in an intrigue with a cheating girlfriend. Her brother and his friends want to beat Raymond up or worse for the way he abused her and a confrontation arises on the beach. Mersault awaits trial for the murder of her brother. Mersault’s neighbor Salamano hates his own dog until the day the dog runs away.

Personal Reaction: Just goes to show you that I’ve spent way too long reading teen/tween stuff to be able to appreciate “classic” literature. My neighbor’s kid (a 19yo boy) gave this to me and begged that I read it so he could have someone to talk to about it. He says he loves the description and how it made him feel like he was really there.
I didn’t like it. Yes, lots of description of the outside, but nothing’s going on inside the main character until the end. He doesn’t cry at his mom’s funeral because it’s too hot. He shoots a guy on a beach because it’s too hot. He gets convicted… and it’s really too hot, why wasn’t he given a fan like everyone else? He doesn’t think about why anything happens, just that it does and that’s all he needs to know.

Any Cautions: unmarried sexual relationships, not graphic

Connections to other books: Reminded me of The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger

Items to display with book: beach towel, black tie or armband, photo of casket & flowers, cigarettes, photo of jail cell or courtroom, fake gun

Food items connected to story: bread & wine (grape juice), cheese, blood sausage, fried fish

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