5 Best Albert Camus Book To Start With

BookSummaryClub Blog 5 Best Albert Camus Book To Start With

Are Albert Camus’s books worth reading? Are you confused about which book to start with? Find out in this article.

Popularly called the “Absurdist Philosopher,” Albert Camus was born in 1913 to parents of French descent in Algeria, and his background features significantly in most of his books.

Albert Camus’s famous work has achieved widespread recognition. In 1957, three years before his death, Albert Camus’s’ artistic skill got him the Nobel Prize for Literature.

He studied philosophy at the University of Algiers and was one of the most influential and important pioneers of absurdist philosophy in the 20th century.

His essays and fiction are philosophical in their approach and outlook to understanding the present world.

If you want to read some of the best Albert Camus books, follow the list in this article to have a great start.

Books By Albert Camus

1. The Stranger.

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The Stranger
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The Stranger
  • Vintage, A nice option for a Book Lover
  • It comes with proper packaging
  • Ideal for Gifting
  • Albert Camus (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 123 Pages – 03/13/1989 (Publication Date) – Vintage (Publisher)

If you are a lover of thrillers and also want to have a better understanding of the theory of the absurd, then this book is for you. Published in 1942, this explicitly written book is one of Albert Camus’s best-known novels.

The author was inspired by his personal experiences as the story centers on the main character, Patrice Meursault- a French man living in Algeria.

In the wake of his mother’s death, the protagonist ceases to care about everything and one fateful day, he kills an Arab man and blames his act on the unbearable heat. With a simple plot and style, this book is the perfect starting point for readers new to Albert Camus’s work.

The author later describes Meursault as the only Christ we deserve. This book shows modern life jam-packed with alienation, loss of purpose, and boredom.

2. The Myth Of Sisyphus. (le mythe de sisyphe).

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The Myth of Sisyphus
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The Myth of Sisyphus
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Albert Camus (Author) – Edoardo Ballerini (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 02/20/2019 (Publication Date) – Recorded Books (Publisher)

This Albert Camus’s essay is his rallying call for surviving life in an absurd world empty of meaning. The author compares our existential state to the unfortunate protagonist in the ancient Greek myth, Sisyphus.

Sisyphus’s ultimate fate for eternity is to push a boulder up to a high mountain, only for the boulder to roll back down once it reaches the top. Still, despite the meaninglessness and absurdity of this situation, Camus argues that facing it head-on and ridding ourselves of comforting delusions and myths will help us find a way to be happy and live a life filled with meaning and beauty.

If you need a detailed introduction to Alberts’s philosophy, the myth of Sisyphus is the best. This essay will help you better understand most of his books.

3. Exile And The Kingdom.

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Exile and the Kingdom
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Exile and the Kingdom
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Albert Camus (Author) – Jefferson Mays (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 09/12/2019 (Publication Date) – Recorded Books (Publisher)

This book is a comprehensive collection of 6 short stories that mirrors the underlying theme of loneliness and how it feels to be a foreigner in one’s country. The six stories in this book focus on foreigners living in Algeria and the difference between France and the Muslim world.

All the stories are fascinating and reveal the depth of Albert Camus’s’ work. The Renegade or a Confused Spirit shows a missionary who changes his religion to that of a tribe he came across on his journey, while The Silent Man focuses on the lives of low-class laborers.

4. The Plague.

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The Plague
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The Plague
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Albert Camus (Author) – James Jenner (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 10/25/2006 (Publication Date) – Recorded Books (Publisher)

This book is one of the author’s most famous works that gained even more popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. This renowned book tells the story of a plague that ravages the Algerian city of Oran and the efforts everyone puts in to fight off the deadly epidemic.

The Plague is perceived as an existentialist classic even though the author opposed the book being called such. In this book, you’ll notice how everyone’s response to the plague varies, with many accepting their fate, few resisting, and others seeking to escape.

It’s quite notable how exact the author’s summation of the experience of a plague and its aftermath is. This book might bring back a few memories of darker times, making it one of Albert Camus’s best books.

5. A Happy Death.

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A Happy Death
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A Happy Death
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Albert Camus (Author) – Jefferson Mays (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 07/12/2019 (Publication Date) – Recorded Books (Publisher)

This book is one of the shortest books by the author. This novel focuses on a particular question- is there anything like a happy death? This question draws from the author’s experiences working at a maritime commission in Algiers, his travels, and his struggles with tuberculosis.

This particular novel and “The Stranger” has similarities- the protagonist is called Mersault, which is quite close to Meursault mentioned in The Stranger. This Camus writing is worth reading as you’ll get profound insights into the author’s mind.

Final Thoughts;

The books mentioned here are some of Albert Camus’s best stories. Camus’s writing is easy to follow and written in simple languages to suit everyone and their reading abilities. Begin with the first book on this list, and watch how you’ll become an avid reader of his books. Have a great read ahead!

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