Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Fall by Albert Camus

We all have secrets. Sometimes we are dying to tell somebody. Most of the time we should keep our mouths shut. The unnamed narrator is one such person. He spends the first third of the book inflating his personality, integrity, intellect, and accomplishments. Then he slowly deconstructs himself in the last two-thirds.
I was completely unfamiliar with this work by Camus, even though I am a big fan. I have read The Plague, The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus, and A Happy Death, which was my introduction to the great French existentialist. It has been over ten years since I read the first two on the list, and maybe it is time to go back and have another look.
The Fall is a bit dense at times, and requires a good deal of concentration as you might imagine, but it is worth the effort. Threads of humor streak every page – even if the reader only laughs at the foolishness of the narrator, and Camus mixes in plenty of biting commentary in the tradition of Voltaire and Chaucer. I really enjoyed this. Five stars.
--Chiron, 12/12/07

1 comment:

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

I just finished reading 'The Fall' and now my husband- who normally would not read a novel- is absolutely enjoying it, having just finished 'The Stranger' while I have moved on to 'The Plague.'
So it's very much an Albert Camus week here in our home! I'm sure we'll have a big discussion when the last page of the last book is turned. There's nothing quite like his works.
'Exile and the Kingdom' is the only work of fiction of Camus' that I have not come across.
I found 'The Fall' to be very tense and with a very slow but engrossing build-up. Yes, I also found humour in it which was unexpected.
Good blog, and eclectic choice of reading!