Home > Books > The Literary Lounge: The Stranger, by Albert Camus

The Literary Lounge: The Stranger, by Albert Camus

Don’t judge a book by its title. There in the library I stood, flummoxed, wondering why I never knew that the French absurdist had written a book on the popular move known as ‘The Stranger.’

From what some guy, no, some girl told me, a really hot girl to be honest, I think she was a model actually, ‘The Stranger’ is a tactic where you sit on your hand to cut off the blood flow, inducing a tingly, numb sensation. Then you use that hand to touch your, well, you can touch whatever you want with it, and the experience is not unlike that of a ‘stranger’ fondling you.

How could Camus possibly write an entire novel on this (what I have heard from very attractive women, but never, ever experienced myself) gratifying act?

Unless there were arcane metaphors that went way over my head, he didn’t. I burned right through this thing, the anticipation growing with every page, waiting to be slapped with the titular maneuver. Over 80% of the way through, I was ready to give up, until I recalled Moby Dick rarely appears in the novel that bears his name.

Turns out The Stranger is about a man who kills a stranger. Kind of a letdown.


  1. January 29, 2014 at 4:14 am

    Ooooooh, you missed the entire point of it! This is one of Camus’ greatest works. Meursault is one of the most terrifying characters ever conjured by any writer, for we fear there’s a Meursault lurking deep inside each and everyone of us. Is he a cold asshole, or is he simply us if we ever chose to just stop pretending? Yes, he shot a man, an Arab. His excuse: it was too hot. Fair enough, but did you have to shoot him SIX times? Wait up, wait up… You shot a man because it was too hot!? WTF!!?? I can grant you shooting an Arab, that’s no biggie, they’re subhuman to we French here in Algiers, but you did it because of what? And why didn’t you mourn your mother? What is wrong with you? Who are you? Put that mirror down!

    • January 29, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      So in essence, we all have a ‘Stranger’ living inside us………

      • January 29, 2014 at 5:27 pm

        The fear is we’re mostly all (presently) well-behaved Meursault’s… and what should happen to this illusion of ordered civilisation if one day we decide, like the character, that its just too hot?

  2. January 31, 2014 at 4:34 am

    What if it gets too hot to wield the stranger? Can you imagine???

    • February 1, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      If it’s too hot for The Stranger, then you just use ice packs to numb your hand…..

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