Like many readers I know, my first experience with Camus was The Stranger. I read it, raised my eyebrows, put it away, and didn’t think much more about it beyond “That was kind of weird.” It’s one of those books that I wish I had been assigned in an English class, back when I was trying to analyze and deconstruct every single paragraph I read.
I went back to it recently and I’ll say that I think the novels by Albert Camus deserve that level of attention. He was a helluva writer and thinker and I wish he hadn’t been taken so early. I don’t find the novel less strange this time around, but I can see it with more adult eyes and there’s much to consider.
If you’re interested in seeing the breadth and depth of material he wrote, here’s the list, starting with the novels. At this point I think that The Plague might be the best introduction to many of Camus’ ideas, wrapped in a story that someone just looking for a gripping yarn could also get into.
I’ve read the first three here and found them all to be equally enjoyable/provocative.
A Happy Death
The First Man
I’ll be back with separate posts about his non-fiction and short stories. I’m less familiar with them right now, so I’ll save that until I can talk more knowledgeably about it.