Classic Number Five: The Stranger

I’m falling behind on the classic challenge. I started and finished my May pick, The Stranger by Albert Camus, late. I bought this book at The Last Bookstore while I was on vacation and I’m so glad I did. What a great read although like many classic it is not a fairy tale. There is no happily ever after. Many may find the first person narrative boring since the main character, Meursault, is indifferent to all that is happening around him. The book starts with Meursault at his mother’s funeral. He express no remorse, and returns home. I had trouble with this scene. I felt it exhibit the expectation of certain emotions from others in different situations. But as the story goes on he is unaffected by the neighbor who abuses his dog, or a woman. The day after the funeral he meets, Marie. They go swimming, go to a comedy film, and he lives the appearance of a normal life. He expresses no issue with helping write a letter for his other neighbor, Raymond, to a girl who did him wrong. This indirectly gets him involved with the girl’s Arab brother. After a confrontation where Raymond is cut with a knife they return to the house. Meursault goes back out for a walk and ends up killing the Arab.

Part two of the novel follows Meursault’s thoughts during the trail and sentencing. He is prosecuted more for his moral character than the murder. After the trail Meursault finally has a moment of clarity when a priest comes to help him find solace and save his soul but Meursault sees “the benign indifference of the universe” like himself. Neither he or the world doesn’t pass judgement. Everyone will die and he finds a kind of freedom in this fact.

I can see this being a tough read for some. It is hard to follow Meursault and his lack of emotions. Readers will forever try to figure him out. This read will help you understand existentialism and make you think about life and how you relate to everything around you.

Advertisements

A Visit to The Last Bookstore

My resent vacation had me traveling through Los Angeles and we had just enough time to visit The Last Bookstore. It is a great bookstore with used and new copies of almost any book on any topic. The main floor has a comic book, children’s, teen, classic, history, and vinyl section. I loved the bank vault door leading to the room of rare books.

I loved the art piece at the top of the stairs, a bookcase surrounded by flying books. I believe it gave off a very Harry Potter essence. There is an art gallery, yarn shop and more books upstairs. Wish I had more time to search though the dollar books in The Labyrinth but there were just too many. I was able to walk through the book covered bridge into the horror room. There was a photo-shoot taking place and a really nice group a people allowing customers to shop while they worked. I didn’t realized until I was looking through the science fiction/fantasy section that I missed taking a picture at the porthole made of books since the shoot was using it. Guess I’l have to return one day and fix that error especially since there are so many books and little time to really explore the changing collection.

When it was time to leave I bought a few books. I loved the counter was made of stacked books. I took a picture of my book stash and I can’t wait to start reading them.

Comic Books!

View from upstairs and this is only half of the bottom floor.

Only three. I held back.

Vault to Rare Books.