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The Meursault Investigation Summary and Reviews

The Meursault Investigation

by Kamel Daoud

The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud X
The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud
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  • Published Jun 2015
    160 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

He was the brother of "the Arab" killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus's classic novel. Seventy years after that event, Harun, who has lived since childhood in the shadow of his sibling's memory, refuses to let him remain anonymous: he gives his brother a story and a name—Musa—and describes the events that led to Musa's casual murder on a dazzlingly sunny beach.

In a bar in Oran, night after night, he ruminates on his solitude, on his broken heart, on his anger with men desperate for a god, and on his disarray when faced with a country that has so disappointed him. A stranger among his own people, he wants to be granted, finally, the right to die.

The Stranger is of course central to Daoud's story, in which he both endorses and criticizes one of the most famous novels in the world. A worthy complement to its great predecessor, The Meursault Investigation is not only a profound meditation on Arab identity and the disastrous effects of colonialism in Algeria, but also a stunning work of literature in its own right, told in a unique and affecting voice.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Camus's The Stranger is vividly reimagined in Daoud's intensely atmospheric novel...readers will be captivated." - Publishers Weekly

"The nameless Arab victim of Albert Camus's The Stranger receives a biography and a name in this thoughtful, controversial rejoinder from the other side of the colonial question...Fiction with a strong moral edge, offering a Rashomon-like response to a classic novel." - Kirkus Reviews

"Nothing…prepared me for [Daoud's] first novel, The Meursault Investigation, a thrilling retelling of Albert Camus's 1942 classic... The premise is ingenious: that The Stranger, about the murder of an unnamed Arab on an Algiers beach, was a true story." - The New York Times Magazine

"A tour-de-force reimagining of Camus's The Stranger, from the point of view of the mute Arab victims." - The New Yorker

"[A] retelling of Albert Camus's classic The Stranger from an Algerian perspective...[this] debut novel reaped glowing international reviews, literary honors, and then, suddenly, demands for [Daoud's] public execution." - New York Times

"A superb novel…In the future, The Stranger and The Meursault Investigation will be read side by side." - Le Monde des livres

"Very beautiful writing, original, located between suppressed anger and bursts of elation." - Les Echos

"A breathtaking and effectively realized novel. The Stranger becomes a palindrome… The Meursault Investigation approaches the incredible, in that it reverses the perspective and point of view not without an emphatic ferociousness, all while playing with the prose and perspective of The Stranger." - La Croix

"A remarkable homage to its model." - Le Nouvel observateur

"An intense and surprising story." - La Montagne

This information about The Meursault Investigation was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Kamel Daoud

Kamel Daoud is an Algerian journalist based in Oran, where he writes for the Quotidien d'Oran—the third largest French-language Algerian newspaper. He contributes a weekly column to Le Point, and his articles have appeared in Libération, Le Monde, Courrier International, and are regularly reprinted around the world. A finalist for the Prix Goncourt, The Meursault Investigation won the Prix François Mauriac and the Prix des Cinq-Continents de la francophonie. International rights to the novel have been sold in twenty countries. A dramatic adaptation of The Meursault Investigation will be performed at the 2015 Festival d'Avignon, and a feature film is slated for release in 2017.

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