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I'm a grad student, an avid reader, a huge nerd, fervent roleplayer, wife, cat lover, tea snob, and obsessive keeper of lists.

The Stranger

The Stranger - Albert Camus,  Matthew    Ward Another difficult book to review. It's hard to be attached to a character who has no real attachments himself, although certainly the absurdity of sentencing someone to death for not responding in "correct" ways is central to the story.

But I guess I didn't feel like Meursault achieved non-attachment, or was so honest he rejected all attempts at artifice. There are plenty of examples of him saying something that, had he thought about it, was demonstrably false, but he never thought about those issues. Or about anything. I never saw anything from him that was not reaction. His lack of attachment to the world, to me, bordered on sociopathy, not an ironic detachment, but a real inability to feel anything, to analyze anything, to think his actions or their consequences through. It went far beyond his lack of attachment to other human beings into a lack of attachment to his own actions. Nothing mattered to Meursault - and so, it's hard to feel like the book mattered to me.

And yet, that is not a criticism. I think Camus achieved what he was trying to do. He isn't looking to provoke extreme emotional attachment (and how many times have I used that word so far?). The Stranger made me feel as far and distant from the book as Meursault felt from his world.