A philosophical novel described by fellow existentialist Sartre as ‘perhaps the most beautiful and the least understood’ of his novels, Albert Camus' The Fall is translated by Robin Buss in Penguin Modern Classics.Jean-Baptiste Clamence is a soul in turmoil. Over several drunken nights in an Amsterdam bar, he regales a chance acquaintance with his story. From this successful former lawyer and seemingly model citizen a compelling, self-loathing catalogue of guilt, hypocrisy and alienation pours forth. The Fall (1956) is a brilliant portrayal of a man who has glimpsed the hollowness of his existence. But beyond depicting one man’s disillusionment, Camus’s novel exposes the universal human condition and its absurdities - for our innocence that, once lost, can never be recaptured …If you enjoyed The Fall, you might like Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
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