Written by Books

The Outsider


Recently Penguin commissioned one of those spurious polls which suggested that men who read are more attractive to the opposite sex. This isn’t something that I’d previously noticed.
Anyway, there were various followups on stations like Five Live where I heard a discussion which threw around a few books which should do the trick. One of these was The Outsider by Albert Camus. So I eagerly consumed this short tome on the tube (prior to today’s strike) to see if it worked. I can report no luck at all. I did get nudged in the back by one woman, and another gave me a dirty look when my rucksack toppled over onto the back of her calves. But I don’t really think either of these count.
The protagonist, Meursault, really is an outsider, and I thought the snappy postscript was quite a good summary of the book. Despite not being the most descriptive of books, I certainly got an understanding of what it might have been like in Algeria in those pre(?)-war years.