Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: "The Fall" by Albert Camus

After reading six incredible books in a row, a record for me, I am finally met with one that I didn’t really like. I know they can’t all be winners, and I came into this book with great trepidation, but The Fall by Albert Camus did nothing for me, except remind me why some classic literature is not as good as the academic and hipsters say it is. It has been awhile since I have read anything by the Algerian Nobel-laureate. I remember reading The Stranger in high school and The Plague after I had graduated, and both shaped my young at the time in a positive way. Now, as a much different adult, I find the philosophy that Albert Camus is expounding on in this and, retroactively, his other two more famous novels, to be quite bland and something that has not aged well in the decades since its publication. The whole novel is written as a dialogue between Clamence, a lawyer who is living in Amsterdam, and someone else, possibly a person at the bar that is the setting, called New Mexico, or simply the reader themselves. He talks about how he has always lived a proper life, even focusing his practice on helping orphans and widows, but it is confrontation with a suicidal woman that forces him to really look at his actions, and ask himself if they were for the good of people, or just for the good of his own soul? It is an interesting question, but if it were posed instead by a writer today, who was more interested in the intrigue and pathos of the story instead of just the philosophy, the book would have been much better, instead of something as dry as it is short, so at least it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.

Rating: 2/5

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