Title: The Plague
Author: Albert Camus
Page Count: 300
When I picked this book up, I was joking that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t already got to it. I’ve been getting into Camus more and more over the last year or so, and this is arguably the single most relevant of his books at the current time, as well as one of his most famous.
I’d always been a little intimidated by Camus, because I knew of him more as a philosopher than as a novelist. These days, though, I love a little bit of philosophy in the books I read, and I think that’s one of the main reasons why I’ve been enjoying Isaac Asimov a lot of late.
And so perhaps I’m a little bit biased because I tend to like books like this more than average to begin with, but I thought this was a cracking read. It’s a gripping novel in its own right, but it also has plenty of questions to ask the reader along the way.
Perhaps most importantly of all, though, is the way that it holds a mirror up to our society, not just at the time that Camus lived but also in our own time. In fact, with a little optimism finally in the air and the promise of a vaccine to help us out, I figured I ought to hurry up and get to this sooner rather than later.
It’s impressive to me that Camus was able to write about such a brutal and disturbing subject with such beauty. There were paragraphs about doctors lancing boils that blew me away, as well as insights into the human mind that rivalled the very best in literary fiction. The result? A great novel.