09 January 2013

Review: The Plague by Albert Camus

The Plague by Albert Camus book cover
I've wanted to read The Plague by Albert Camus for a long time. It's a classic and I've been fascinated by the plague and what it did to people and their communities for as long as I can remember. Heroes and acts of mercy in plague time by doctors, nuns and volunteers who treated and took care of the sick and dying. Loved ones faced with despair, risking their own inevitable death to nurse their loved ones on their death bed.

On the flip side, the greed and fear driving the masses and hysteria that often led to unimaginable acts and decisions. The potions and tinctures that didn't work but sold for small fortunes and theories that abounded regarding the cause of the plague are all fascinating to me.

On to the book now. The Plague by Albert Camus was published in 1947 and the setting is the town of Oran, it's people slowly infected by plague. The happenings are recounted by a narrator who occasionally refers to other citizens in the town for their own personal accounts. At the end of the book, the narrator reveals their identity as one of the main characters we had been following.

A strong theme throughout the book is that of being separated and isolated from the ones we love. This is evident in the separation of the sick from the healthy in camps and the town of Oran that is closed to all from entering and leaving.

I'm sorry to say I found The Plague dull and dreary. Each time I picked it up and started reading, I began to feel sleepy which means a poor star rating for me, despite the classic status and cult popularity of this book. I understand that many academics claim this book is an allegory and although I could see and understand the impact on human behaviour, the tale was told in such a rambling way it was impossible for me to be intellectually stimulated or excited in any way to delve deeper or explore this further.

My rating = *

Carpe Librum!

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