The Outsider by Albert Camus

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Camus is quoted as saying, “…if you want to be a philosopher, write novels”. The Ousider is more of a novella than a novel and you could quite easily sit down and finish it in one sitting.

The protagonist seems to be devoid of empathy and while he often understands that it is strange for him to feel no pain at his mother’s death, to feel no sense of love for his girlfriend and no sense of remorse for his victim, he still shrugs off the confusion of others with the logic of an unflinching pragmatism. He exists in a void where all of the things we recognise as essential human characteristics, he eschews as frivolous embellishments to the reality of being.

While it didn’t provoke any crisis of faith in humanity for me, it did make me think. Well written, with a compelling narrator and perfectly crafted in length. Well worth reading.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

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