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Book Suggestion: “The Plague” by Albert Camus

Last night I finished reading The Plague by Albert Camus. I found it interesting and decided I’d like very much to share it with you! I’m going to warn you right at the start, though, that the plot of The Plague moves rather slow compared to a lot of other books, particularly those that are more current. But if you have the patience and the interest, The Plague is rather fascinating.

The Plague was written in 1946 and there are plenty of underlying messages about the world at that time. But even on the surface its a very good story.

The setting is a city called Oran in Northern Africa. In this city, there is a sudden increase in the amount of rats that are coming out…and dying in the streets, in homes, in businesses. There are more and more dead rats. Then people begin to show symptoms of having plague and they begin to die off, just as the rats did. The city comes under quarantine. No one may come or go. Resources begin to dry up. And people continue to die from the plague.

I’ll give you yet another warning about this book. It is in no way a “thriller” about a virus that is out of control and must be stopped at all costs. The Plague is genuinely about the plague, and how it would and could affect a civilized city of people who were faced with being infected. In The Plague, people die regardless of age, wealth, or race because the plague does not discriminate. Everyone can be infected by it. And the inhabitants of the city sit back and basically wait for the end of the sickness that has consumed their lives.

The Plague is narrated by one of the characters as he documents the events that have occurred. The catch is that the narrator doesn’t want readers to know who he is…though at the end, he reveals himself as one of the characters that was often discussed in his writings. I loved being able to read through, trying to decide which of the people in the book was the narrator. In most books where there is a narrator who tells a story from the first person, they refer to themselves in the process of events, saying “I did this” or “I said that.” Not in this case. He refers to himself in the third person while telling the story, though sometimes gives his own opinions, without actually saying who he is until his big reveal at the end.

I quite enjoyed The Plague by Albert Camus. The plot isn’t action packed and does move slowly, as I said. But that makes complete sense for the book because it’s about average people, their day to day lives, and how their daily lives were overturned by the coming of the plague. I definitely suggest that you give it a try. Maybe it won’t be for you. From opinions I’ve heard about The Plague, people either love it or hate it. So as I said. Give it a try! Maybe you’ll love it!

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