I've been reading fiction for over forty years and this is the first book I could not finish. I have trudged through some painful books in my time, but this one just killed me. The premise was interesting, but the writing style, overly-proper grammar, never-ending descriptions of minute details and the feeling of having to force myself to read caused me to simply give up.
Unfortunatly for me, I read A Year Of Wonders a few years back and that author seems to have ripped off monsieur camus so much so that i felt almost as if i already read this novel. he of course is a wonderful author so i give him all due credit to this novel.
In these days of concern about bird flu and world pandemics, this book addresses some of the problems inherent in such a situation. How do the local authorities respond? What happens when a whole town is quarantined?
The Nobel prize-winning Albert Camus, who died in 1960, could not have known how grimly current his existentialist novel of epidemic and death would remain. Set in Algeria, in northern Africa, The Plague is a powerful study of human life and its meaning in the face of a deadly virus that sweeps dispassionately through the city, taking a vast percentage of the population with it.
The New York Times Book Review, Stephen Spender
The message is not the highest form of creative art, but it may be of such importance for our time that to dismiss it in the name of artistic criticism would be to blaspheme against the human spirit.
As most literature translated to English, this loses something in the translation from Camus' native French. IMHO, of course. There's something about a "romance language" that that does not translate well to a Germanic language. So, that being said, I found this novel to be awkward at times - the patterns of conversation, the descriptions of the town, the inner thoughts of the subjects - but, overall, an interesting read for its time period. It made you think and consider how people react to tragedy, isolation, and fear, but you won't necessarily develop any strong feelings for any of the characters as you won't learn much about what makes them tick beyond the immediate emergency of the plague.
The Plague by Albert Camus opens in the town of Oran in Algeria. As the novel progresses it details the start and the progression of the plague in that town. The characters a doctor, a journalist, a priest, various bureaucrats, and citizens of the town are well developed and interesting. The story details the effect of the plague, its quarantine of the town and the lives of the town's people. An interesting read about the psychological effects of illness and confinement on people.