“The Stranger” novel review

Updated: 6 February 24



Have you ever pondered the meaninglessness of life in the face of an indifferent universe? Albert Camus’s masterpiece, “The Stranger” (“L’Étranger”), invites us into a world where the protagonist’s dispassionate view of life challenges our own perceptions of morality, justice, and the human condition. Published in 1942, this novel not only marked Camus as a leading figure in French literature but also became a cornerstone of existential and absurdist philosophy.

The Stranger

Author’s Background

Albert Camus, a French-Algerian philosopher, author, and journalist, was a towering figure in the existential movement, though he himself preferred to be associated with the philosophy of the absurd. His profound contributions to literature and philosophy earned him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957. Camus’s experiences in Algeria and France informed much of his work, which often explored themes of existentialism, absurdity, and the human condition.

The Stranger

Main Content of the Review


“The Stranger” narrates the story of Meursault, a French Algerian who lives a seemingly ordinary life until he commits a senseless murder on a sun-drenched beach. The novel is divided into two parts: the first explores Meursault’s mundane life and the events leading up to the murder, while the second delves into his trial and the philosophical musings that arise as he confronts his impending execution. Camus masterfully uses Meursault’s detached narration to pose deep existential questions.

The Stranger

Critical Analysis

One of the novel’s strengths lies in its stark portrayal of the absurdity of existence, reflected in Meursault’s indifference and the irrationality of the world around him. However, some may find the protagonist’s emotional detachment and the novel’s blunt narrative style disconcerting. Comparatively, “The Stranger” stands apart from existential works like Sartre’s “Nausea” for its straightforward prose and the compelling way it confronts absurdism without the dense philosophical jargon.

The Stranger

Personal Reflection

Reading “The Stranger” was a profound experience that forced me to question societal norms and the constructs of morality. Meursault’s character, with his stark honesty and refusal to conform to societal expectations, challenges readers to contemplate the authenticity of their actions and beliefs in an indifferent universe.

The Stranger


This novel is a must-read for those interested in existential philosophy, French literature, or anyone grappling with the concept of meaning in life. It’s especially relevant for readers seeking to explore the theme of absurdity in a clear, impactful way.

The Stranger


“The Stranger” by Albert Camus is more than just a novel; it’s a philosophical exploration that challenges the very foundations of our understanding of justice, morality, and the meaning of life. Its enduring relevance and thought-provoking themes make it a timeless piece of literature that continues to inspire and unsettle readers worldwide. Whether you’re a seasoned philosopher or a curious mind, this novel promises a journey into the depths of existential inquiry.

The Stranger


What genre does “The Stranger” belong to?

“The Stranger” is often categorized under existential and absurdist fiction, reflecting themes of existentialism and the absurdity of life.

Why is “The Stranger” considered an important work?

It’s considered pivotal for its exploration of absurdism and its impact on existential philosophy, as well as for its straightforward narrative that challenges conventional morals and societal norms.

Did Albert Camus receive any awards for “The Stranger”?

While “The Stranger” itself did not win specific awards, Albert Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957, recognizing his significant contribution to French literature, which includes “The Stranger.”

Is “The Stranger” suitable for all readers?

This novel is best suited for readers interested in philosophical themes and those who appreciate literature that challenges conventional thinking. Its mature themes might not be suitable for younger readers.

How does “The Stranger” compare to other existential works?

Compared to other existential works, “The Stranger” is notable for its accessible prose and the way it encapsulates the essence of absurdism through the protagonist’s life and perspective, making existential themes more approachable to a broad audience.

Author Bio of the Reviewer:

The team at My Review Book (MRB) is passionate about uncovering the layers of complex narratives and philosophical themes presented in literature. With backgrounds in literary studies, philosophy, and a collective love for reading, our reviews aim to provide deep, insightful analysis that resonates with readers and literature enthusiasts alike.

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