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      Antoine Online

      The Plague

      by Albert Camus
      Our price: LBP 120,000 / $ 80.00Available
      *Estimated delivery time in Lebanon is from 2 to 5 working days
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      Product Details

      • Publisher: Vintage
      • Publishing date: 07/05/1991
      • Language: English
      • ISBN-13: 9780679720218
      • ISBN: 0679720219

      Synopsis

      A haunting tale of human resilience in the face of unrelieved horror, Camus' novel about a bubonic plague ravaging the people of a North African coastal town is a classic of twentieth-century literature.

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      • A study in humanity
        From Amazon

        A sensitively written piece of literature examining the strength and weaknesses of the human spirit and ultimately a study in humanity. Bound together by a common tragedy (the plague itself), the reader sees through the eyes of an array of characters, each with their own philosophies and convictions and ways of handling the stress that the plague brings upon the town. This is a philosophical tale sure to leave the reader with much to think on upon its conclusion.

        I enjoyed this book, found the language very colorful and vivid, and paused a few times to jot down quotes. I believe this to be a book that anyone interested in sociological studies, psychology, ethics, and humanities would be interested in. Not to mention that this is a must-read for lovers of the existential Camus.

      • The Nobel Prize makes objective assessments difficult
        From Amazon

        Add to that the author's early death, still fashionable and cool Existentialist connections, and well, Frenchness, and it is hard for anyone to consider his work objectively. The only true test would be to imagine the response of a modern day critic who had no idea who the author was. If I were to put this book to that test, I'm afraid many would say that although competently written, to place this in the top ten books ever written would be a gross overrating of its qualities. A different reaction would result from The Stranger/Outsider, a strikingly original work that few who've read it will forget. I would have given the book 3 and a half stars if that was an option, but 4 just seems too many.

        Why Camus only reveals who the narrator is till very late in the book, forcing some to re-read it, is revealed in the Appendix of The Myth of Sisyphus, in his analysis of Kafka's writings in the light of his concept of 'the absurd'. He points out here that part of the magic of Kafka is that very often the unexpected or open endings of his stories force a re-read on the reader. However, a re-read of this book in the light of the information of who the narrator is only brings to light several flaws in the story, situations where the narrator was not present, and could not possibly have had any idea of what had happened. It is hard to believe that the author overlooked this, but equally hard to believe that the oversight was intended for some effect it would have on the reader. Thus, when it is ultimately revealed that the whole time it has been Dr Rieux narrating, it's rather hard to believe.

        Finally, the book has some moral ambiguities, such as a doctor fighting to control an epidemic, who out of 'humanitarian' grounds allows an individual to break the quarantine and possibly cause it to spread to other cities or countries. It is truly immoral behaviour for any doctor not to prevent such a breaking of the quarantine, as hard as it must be on the individual, and it is the height of selfishness for anyone to think that they should be the exception to the rule, when all others remain separated from their loved ones, or have lost them. All in all, I'd find out some more about this book before buying it, and don't assume that because you like the genius of The Stranger/Outsider, that this is anything like that. Like I said, a large part of Camus' fashionability in the English world is due to his Frenchness (many English speakers have a snobbish passion for French literature that throws a golden light on anything of French origin), his Existentialist connections, Nobel Prize and early death. Keep that in mind when trying to judge this book's qualities by the rave reviews you'll read here. Interesting, but not essential reading.

      • Stark Reminder of the Human Condition
        From Amazon

        Albert Camus never fails to shed light on the stark being of the human condition. The Plague is a thought provoking, page turning, mind boggling, and philosophically-laced novel. If you're looking for a book that creates an existentialist vibe and evokes drastic change in society during a period of turmoil, then The Plague is for you.
        The Plague begins with a gruesome and unexplainable observation of rats coming out of the woodwork and dying in some of the most painful ways possible. From the deaths of the rats stem a series of similarly bizarre human deaths in which the protagonist, Dr. Rieux, is assigned to investigate. Rapidly and unmercifully, the death toll rises and no effective cure is available. The city becomes quarantined and Dr. Rieux enlists the help of some of the unexpected characters. Soon enough, the society evolves into a more pacifist state that comes to terms with the plague that ravages what they once knew and loved the most.

      • Great Book
        From Amazon

        I really enjoyed this book for its insightfulness and bringing a sense of reality to a fictional plague. The book is basically about the plague and the tolls it takes on a city and the ways that the people remain buoyant. The narrative is compelling and analyzes the ways in which different characters, but mostly what the whole town loses and gains in the plague. This is the third book I've read by this author, and they all explore the theme of dying a happy death if there is such a thing. Don't know what else to say but that its insightfulness into a fictional plague will keep you going.

      • "... One Way to Make People Hang Together is to Give'em a Spell of the Plague."
        From Amazon

        A book that watches a city's population slowly die of a plague will never be an uplifting book. Other reviewers have suggested that this book gives a glimpse into a dying man's soul. At least to analyze the surface, one can analyze the book as a city's reactions when they are quarantined for a period of plague.

        Readers may find the book difficult to follow as the perspective of the story changes often. It is not until the last chapter that we discover the narrator. As the book begins with rats dying, people deny the existence of a problem. Even as people begin to die, the denial continues. As the bureaucrats decide if a problem exists, people die in greater quantities. This is the expected shot at an unfeeling bureaucracy that one expects from Camus. As a plague is recognized, the people must make unpopular sacrifices and decisions. While one might not expect the entire town to die out, the morbid nature of the story leaves some doubt in the readers mind.

        Many reviewers give this book lofty praise, calling it one of the best books ever written. In truth, I do not even think it is the best book by Camus. I prefer "The Stranger". Yet I respect that each has his/her own tastes.

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