Albert Camus

The Outsider

The Outsider or The Stranger or L’Étranger is a novel about a man called Mersault who doesn’t cry at his mother’s funeral and is sentenced to death. I mean there’s quite a bit that happens between those events but that’s my one sentence summary. It’s a philosophical novel and is often cited as being existentialist although Camus apparently rejected that label.

This is my favourite short story of all time, so far. Every time I read it I feel so immersed in the story and Meursault’s relationship with his own mind. I really enjoy fiction with first person narratives as I feel as though it allows the author to put a lot of depth in the character which you become immersed in much more than other mediums such as film and TV. I think this is due to the insight into the character’s thoughts and their stream of consciousness which I love so much. There’s a lot to be analysed within the novel but it can easily be enjoyed as a quick read.

The story is so well written and progressively shapes your mood throughout with an openness towards how it should be interpreted, thus leaving the reader to make their own judgements on the meaning.