Top 10 Books by Albert Camus

 

Albert Camus, a renowned French philosopher who was instrumental in creating the theory of Absurdism had gone on to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1956. This list showcases some of his best works to date. The list has been collated from several sources and features some of his top bestsellers.

 

The Outsider

This novel revolves around the life of the main protagonist as he refuses to conform to our generally held beliefs and societal norms. The novel manages to perfectly showcase Camus’s theory of absurdism as the protagonist is charged with a murder but shows little or no emotion. This is further exemplified when he attends his mother’s funeral but refuses to cry. The book certainly underscores the fragility of our society as a large with Camus at his creative best; this is why this book is ranked as one of the top 10 Albert Camus books

Read it For:
what it means to be an absurdist
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into philosophy then you may want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
Camus evocative storytelling

The Plague

This book takes you to an Algerian city that wakes up to confront pests in the form of rats and the bubonic plague. The story has bee well developed by Camus who manages to weave a masterful tale of desire, frustration as well as the urge to live no matter the cost to one’s self. The book manages to highlight the fact that when faced with certain stressors we often tend to give all the societal norms and conventions a miss.  A beautifully developed novel from start to finish which is why it is ranked as one of Albert Camus best books.

Read it For:
a gritty and realistic take on life
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into philosophy then you would want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
Camus at his creative best

The fall

As the name suggests, the story revolves around an ex-lawyer as he confronts his own failings. The book is but a frank appraisal as the main protagonist confronts his worse demons.  As the ex-lawyer soon reviews his whole life he sees his failure in vivid detail and is able to better understand what he did wrong. The novel was developed to push you to confront your own failings and it does just that right from page one. This book is a must-read for all Camus fans, and moreover, it has been ranked as one of Albert Camus best books.

Read it For:
if you love Albert Camus you would love this book
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into philosophy you may want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the gritty realism

The Myth of Sisyphus

The Myth of Sisyphus perfectly encapsulates Camus’ own theory of absurdism and his own innate beliefs. This book manages to showcase the absurdity that is inherent in our daily lives and our frustration which stems from the fact that we are often unable to achieve our goals. The book has been well developed and provides you with more information on Albert Camus himself which is why it is ranked as one of the top 10 books by Albert Camus

Read it For:
A gritty take on Camus’ core philosophy
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into philosophy you may want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the way Camus builds the narrative
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The Rebel

One of his famous books to date, this one explores our motivations and dissects our actions through some of the most turbulent parts of our history including revolutions. This book forces you to confront the baser elements of human nature and the inbuilt fragility. This book certainly showcases Camus at his creative best for all the right reasons; this book certainly stands out from all others which is why it is often pegged as one of the top 10 Albert Camus books.

Read it For:
A surreal take on revolutions and what it would take to be a rebel
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into philosophy then you may want to give this book a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
Camus at his creative best

Caligula

The story revolves around Caligula, the Roman emperor who descended on hearing the death of his sister Drusilla. He realizes that life is empty, without meaning and immediately revolts at the very idea. While Camus portrayal of Caligula is based on historical sources, the fact remains that Camus manages to shine a new light on the erstwhile mad emperor and deconstructs him effectively. This book has been well developed and researched;  more importantly, it is a must-read for all Camus lovers as it ranks as one of the top 10 Albert Camus books.

Read it For:
A new take on Caligula with Absurdism holding sway
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into Camus, you may want to give this book a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
Camus at his creative best

Exile and the kingdom

These essays were developed around the time that Campus was at his creative best which is one of the reasons that this book stands out for all the right reasons. These essays delve into important and revolutionary moments which often challenge the very best of humanity.  This book definitely showcases Camus at his creative best and this is why it is one of Albert Camus bestsellers

Read it For:
for a creative take on absurdism
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into philosophy then you would want to give this book a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
Albert Camus at his very best

A happy death

One of his early novels, the basic premise is simple and revolves around a simple question as to whether we can die happy. The question is explored in detail as Camus manages to weave a brilliant narrative which showcases his absurdism theory. The story revolves around a murderer who manages to escape from the clutches of the law and yet continues to lead a fulfilled life till the end. This book forces you to confront some key questions like happiness and morality.

Read it For:
it is certainly Camus at his very best which is why this book is tagged as Albert Camus best books
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into philosophy you would want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
Camus’ wonderful narrative which makes this book engrossing to read

The first man

Arguably one of his best works to date; the novel was unfinished and was discovered in his car wreck – Albert Camus sadly passed away as a result of this accident with the book being published nearly thirty years later. The book is as close to an autobiography as Camus was ever going to get, for he used his formative years as the base for this book. So for all the Camus lovers out there, you would definitely need to read this book as it is one of Albert Camus bestsellers. The book follows the main protagonist as he expresses his love for his illiterate mother with his teacher making an impact on his life as well. With Camus narrative, this book makes for an engrossing read

Read it For:
Camus at his creative best
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into Camus, you may want to give this book a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the fact that it closely represents Camus formative years and his narrative.

The guest

it should be remembered that Camus spent his early years in Algeria which is why most of his novels are based on the same. This one consists of an Algerian schoolteacher who is asked to watch over an Arab prisoner. What follows next is how each man comes to terms with his current circumstances and tries to reach out to the other. As a novel, it is a standalone one for the simple fact that it is widely different from most of his other novels. It is nevertheless Camus at his creative best; moreover, this book features as one of the top 10 Albert Camus books.

Read it For:
if you love Camus, you would definitely want to read this book
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into Camus, you would want to sit this one out
What makes this book stand out?:
Camus at his creative best

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