The First Man by Albert Camus

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Synopsis

Camus tells the story of Jacques Cormery, a boy who lived a life much like his own. Camus summons up the sights, sounds and textures of a childhood circumscribed by poverty and a father's death yet redeemed by the austere beauty of Algeria and the boy's attachment to his nearly deaf-mute mother. Published thirty-five years after its discovery amid the wreckage of the car accident that killed Camus, The First Man is the brilliant consummation of the life and work of one of the 20th century's greatest novelists. Translated from the French by David Hapgood.



"The First Man is perhaps the most honest book Camus ever wrote, and the most sensual...Camus is...writing at the depth of his powers...It is a work of genius."--The New Yorker


"Fascinating...The First Man helps put all of Camus's work into a clearer perspective and brings into relief what separates him from the more militant literary personalities of his day...Camus's voice has never been more personal."--New York Times Book Review
 

About Albert Camus

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Albert Camus (1913-1960), Algerian-French novelist, essayist, and playwright, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.
 
Published August 8, 2012 by Vintage. 343 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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and incisive characterizations of such beloved family members as Jacques's steely paternal grandmother, volatile Uncle Ernest, and beautiful, illiterate, sorrowful mother, grieving all her life--as will Jacques himself--for her young husband, who died at the Marne in WW I.

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Publishers Weekly

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Among the wreckage of Camus's fatal car crash in 1960 was a 144-page handwritten manuscript, a first draft of a projected epic, the Nobel Prize winner's final novel. Suppressed by his family for decad

Jul 31 1995 | Read Full Review of The First Man

Publishers Weekly

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Camus was working on this novel, an autobiographical coming-of-age story, when he died in 1960. (Aug.)

Aug 05 1996 | Read Full Review of The First Man

Publishers Weekly

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for instance, as when he calls Jacques's mother the ``Widow Camus.'' The profuse footnotes can make the reading slow going, but the novel is a vital example of the writer's craft, its pages filled with alluring passages depicting an exotic world so removed it feels like part of another century.

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Publishers Weekly

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Camus was working on this novel, an autobiographical coming-of-age story, when he died in 1960.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Early on, the hero stares at his unknown father's gravestone in Saint-Brieuc, France (where Camus’s father is buried), contemplating “the statue every man eventually erects and that hardens in the fire of the years, into which he then creeps and there awaits its final crumbling.” Against this pet...

Jan 04 2013 | Read Full Review of The First Man

Variety

Gianni Amelio uses such an excessively subdued approach in his filmization of Albert Camus' final, unfinished novel, "The First Man," that the whole is less than the sum of its select, often beautiful passages.

Sep 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The First Man

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