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Is it possible to die a happy death? This title tells the story of a young Algerian, Mersault, who defies society's rules by committing a murder and escaping punishment, then experimenting with different ways of life and finally dying a happy man. Is it possible to die a happy death? This title tells the story of a young Algerian, Mersault, who defies society's rules by committing a murder and escaping punishment, then experimenting with different ways of life and finally dying a happy man.


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Is it possible to die a happy death? This title tells the story of a young Algerian, Mersault, who defies society's rules by committing a murder and escaping punishment, then experimenting with different ways of life and finally dying a happy man. Is it possible to die a happy death? This title tells the story of a young Algerian, Mersault, who defies society's rules by committing a murder and escaping punishment, then experimenting with different ways of life and finally dying a happy man.

30 review for A Happy Death (Twentieth Century Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    La Mort Heureuse = A Happy Death, Albert Camus A Happy Death was the first novel by French writer-philosopher Albert Camus. The existentialist topic of the book is the "will to happiness," the conscious creation of one's happiness, and the need of time (and money) to do so. It draws on memories of the author including his job at the maritime commission in Algiers, his suffering from tuberculosis, and his travels in Europe. عنوانها: «مرگ خوش»؛ «خوشبخت مردن»؛ نویسنده: آلبر کامو؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: La Mort Heureuse = A Happy Death, Albert Camus A Happy Death was the first novel by French writer-philosopher Albert Camus. The existentialist topic of the book is the "will to happiness," the conscious creation of one's happiness, and the need of time (and money) to do so. It draws on memories of the author including his job at the maritime commission in Algiers, his suffering from tuberculosis, and his travels in Europe. عنوانها: «مرگ خوش»؛ «خوشبخت مردن»؛ نویسنده: آلبر کامو؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و چهارم ماه آگوست سال 1985میلادی عنوان: مرگ خوش؛ نویسنده: آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: علیرضا طاهری؛ تهران، آسیا، 1363؛ در 150ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسه (فرانسوی) - سده 20م عنوان: مرگ خوش؛ نویسنده: آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: احسان لامع؛ تهران، نگاه، 1387؛ در 144ص؛ شابک 9789643513474؛ عنوان: خوشبخت مردن؛ نویسنده: آلبر کامو؛ مترجم: قاسم کبیری؛ تهران، ادیب پور، 1370؛ 147ص؛ رمان «مرگ خوش» از نخستین آثار نویسنده ی مشهور فرانسوی «آلبر کامو» است؛ «مرگ خوش» را «کامو» زمانی که بیست و پنج سال داشتند نوشتند، و گویا همین داستان پیش زمینه ای برای نوشتن کتاب «بیگانه» بوده است؛ نویسنده در «مرگ خوش» یادمانهای خویش را از سفر به منطقه ی «بلکو» در اروپای مرکزی، و نیز به «ایتالیا» شرح میدهند، و از همه ی توانشان در به کارگیری واژگان، و جملات، و حتی تصویر پردازیها، و گفتارهای فلسفی، سود میبرند نقل از متن: «هر غروب وقتی مورسو از خیابان می‌گذشت، و مغرورانه درخشندگی و سایه‌ ای را که بر سیمای مارت، نمایان بود، تماشا می‌کرد، همه ‌چیز به طرز عجیبی، ساده به نظر می‌رسید: حتی شجاعت، و استقامتش؛ از مارت سپاسگزار بود، که زیبایی ‌اش را هرروز، در کنار او چون مستیِ لطیفی به نمایش می‌گذاشت؛ مارتی ای که مورد توجه نبود، به همان اندازه‌ ی مارتی شاد، که به مردان دیگر علاقمند بود، او را رنج می‌داد؛ او بیشتر از این مسرور بود، که قبل از شروع فیلم، وقتی سالن پر بود؛ همراه وی وارد سینما ‌شود مارت، پیشاپیش او حرکت می‌کرد؛ بر چهره‌ ی گلستانش، تبسمی نقش بسته، و زیبایی ‌اش کشنده بود؛ مورسو کلاه به دست، تحت تأثیر حس عجیب راحتی که نوعی آگاهی درونی، و وقارش بود، قرارگرفته بود؛ گفته‌ هایش جدی، و دور از ذهن بودند؛ او در رفتار رسمی خود، بسیار اغراق می‌کرد؛ لحظه ‌ای ایستاد، تا کنترلچی رد شود؛ صندلی مارت را پایین زد؛ بیشتر کارهایش، از سر قدردانی بود، تا از سر کبر و خودنمایی، و آن، آکنده از عشقی بود، که نسبت به همه‌ ی افراد پیرامونش داشت؛ اگر انعام زیادی به کنترلچی داد، به خاطر این نبود، که نداند چطور شاد باشد، بلکه با این عمل، الهه ‌ای را پرستش می‌کرد، که تبسمش مانند چراغی، در نگاه خیره ‌ی وی، می‌درخشید؛ در طول میان ‌پرده، زمانیکه از راهرو می‌گذشتند، تصویرشان در آینه ‌ها، منعکس می‌شد، و او می‌توانست، تصویر شادی خود را، در آن ببیند، که آن مکان را، پر از تصاویر سرزنده، و خوش‌ترکیب می‌کرد؛ پیکر بلندبالا، و تیره ‌ی خود، و تبسم مارت را، در لباس روشن؛ بله، او چهره ‌اش را، همان‌طور که در آنجا می‌دید، دوست داشت؛ دهانش میان دو لب می‌لرزید، و شور و شوق در چشمانش دیده می‌شد؛ اما زیبایی مرد، نشانگر حقایق درونی و توانایی اوست؛ چهره‌ ی او توانایی ‌اش را نشان می‌داد؛ اما اين در مقایسه با بیهودگی بیش ‌ازاندازه‌ ی سیمای زن، در چه جایگاهی است؟ مورسو اکنون، به خوشی بیهوده ‌ی خود، آگاه بود، و بر روی دیوهای مرموز درونش لبخند می‌زد وقتی به سالن نمایش برگشتند، به یاد آورد، زمانی که تنهاست، هرگز در طول میان ‌پرده‌ ها، از جای خود، تکان نمی‌خورَد، و ترجیح می‌دهد، سیگار بکشد، و به آهنگ‌هایی گوش کند، که بعد از روشن شدن چراغ‌ها، نواخته می‌شوند؛ اما امشب، شادی ‌اش پایانی نداشت، و احساس می‌کرد، هر فرصتی ارزش تجدید شدن دارد؛ مارت موقع نشستن، برگشت، و با مردی که پشت سرشان نشسته بود، احوالی پرسی کرد؛ مورسو هم، به ‌نوبه‌ ی خود، سری تکان داد، اما احساس کرد، تبسم کم‌رنگی بر لبان مرد، نقش ‌بست؛ مورسو بدون توجه به دست مارت، که برای جلب ‌توجه، روی شانه ‌ی او گذارده بود، نشست.؛ تا لحظاتی پیش، می‌توانست با شادی، به آن واکنش نشان دهد، و این دلیل دیگری بود، که مارت به قدرت وی پی برد»؛ پایان نقل تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 18/09/199هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    Swaroop

    masterful! "The craving for happiness seems to be the noblest thing in man's heart." "When I look at my life and its secret colors, I feel like bursting into tears. Like that sky. It's rain and sun both, noon and midnight. I think of the lips I've kissed, and of the wretched child I was, and of the madness of life and the ambition that sometimes carries me away. I'm all those things at once. I'm sure there are times when you wouldn't even recognize me. Extreme in misery, excessive in happiness." Al masterful! "The craving for happiness seems to be the noblest thing in man's heart." "When I look at my life and its secret colors, I feel like bursting into tears. Like that sky. It's rain and sun both, noon and midnight. I think of the lips I've kissed, and of the wretched child I was, and of the madness of life and the ambition that sometimes carries me away. I'm all those things at once. I'm sure there are times when you wouldn't even recognize me. Extreme in misery, excessive in happiness." Albert Camus's Happy Death is a wonderful philosophical take on "how to die a happy man?". "And stone among the stones, he returned in the joy of his heart to the truth of the motionless worlds."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Parthiban Sekar

    “You make the mistake of thinking you have to choose, that you have to do what you want, that there are conditions for happiness. What matters- all that matters, really- is the will to happiness, a kind of enormous, ever present consciousness. The rest- women, art, success- is nothing but excuses. A canvas waiting for our embroideries.”

  4. 5 out of 5

    James

    this is the Richard Howard translation, hardcover. I rescued it from a dumpster last summer. There is a napkin inside between pages 114 & 115 with scribbling most likely intended for a journal. There is no name. It's dated 7/20/72. Here is what it says: May not go to California afterall, going due N.E. through New England as planned and still on schedule. Drifted through winchester to see Emily, and did, from a distance in a bar. May be back in 2 wk. but hard to say. like to get to Mexico in Dec. Saw exh this is the Richard Howard translation, hardcover. I rescued it from a dumpster last summer. There is a napkin inside between pages 114 & 115 with scribbling most likely intended for a journal. There is no name. It's dated 7/20/72. Here is what it says: May not go to California afterall, going due N.E. through New England as planned and still on schedule. Drifted through winchester to see Emily, and did, from a distance in a bar. May be back in 2 wk. but hard to say. like to get to Mexico in Dec. Saw exhibit of Aztec relief prints that took mind away, have to see real thing. Considering abode in Shannandoah Valley. Finally saw summer but the Northern humidity twice as bad as southern heat. Seen 8 art depts. + bored shitless but have plans for portfolio + completed sketches for christ. Will have to decifer mind doodle of premtory pieces... to fulfill lost deceptive plans It's still in pretty decent shape though its vintage certainly shows. The printing is by KNOPF and from May 1972 which is interesting because I believe it was first published back in '71. This may be a run of the first English translation? Not sure. The jacket features a close up of Camus with a high collar, smoking the stub of a cigarette. The cover itself is white with indented gold lettering. The tip tops of the pages are red which makes for a nice bird's eye view (and one you just don't see anymore).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ammara Abid

    "Nothing is more uglier or more degrading than sickness". I have mixed feelings regarding this book. I like it but didn't adored it, something is missing. Few pages left me in ambiguity and there's a lot of repetition about his women talk & life. Though an interesting read, not brilliant like his other works but still a decent book. (I know the reason after reading the articles about it) Camus didn't publish it in his life, his widow do that, after 10 years of his death, there must be some reas "Nothing is more uglier or more degrading than sickness". I have mixed feelings regarding this book. I like it but didn't adored it, something is missing. Few pages left me in ambiguity and there's a lot of repetition about his women talk & life. Though an interesting read, not brilliant like his other works but still a decent book. (I know the reason after reading the articles about it) Camus didn't publish it in his life, his widow do that, after 10 years of his death, there must be some reason behind not publishing it, only he & THE Creator of all of us knows that. In some articles it's said that basically this book is a draft of The stranger. Few took it as a predecessor of 'The stranger'. God knows what's the truth.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Camus takes us through the maze of self discovery...showing us that what we seek and what we find are often two very different outcomes. Read this before you read The Stranger...it will help "flesh out" the book for you. Camus takes us through the maze of self discovery...showing us that what we seek and what we find are often two very different outcomes. Read this before you read The Stranger...it will help "flesh out" the book for you.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Smiley

    3.5 stars From his unique, powerful narration, I found reading Albert Camus’s “A Happy Death” fascinatingly pleasurable since he, as one of the great world-class authors, has famously written his fiction like the flowing tide as we can see that it in some pages rarely ends, for instance, in pages 4, 6, 9, etc. So some readers might find such pages boring for such seemingly never-ending prose. However, his uncommon writing style is like magic worth reading and studying because we can be literarily 3.5 stars From his unique, powerful narration, I found reading Albert Camus’s “A Happy Death” fascinatingly pleasurable since he, as one of the great world-class authors, has famously written his fiction like the flowing tide as we can see that it in some pages rarely ends, for instance, in pages 4, 6, 9, etc. So some readers might find such pages boring for such seemingly never-ending prose. However, his uncommon writing style is like magic worth reading and studying because we can be literarily thrilled due to his innumerable unusual sentences tinged with philosophy-like ideas or viewpoints. Interestingly, Camus has probably tried writing a new technique by mentioning the protagonist’s first name, Patrice, and family name, Mersault interchangeably and unpredictably from the start till the end. At first, I found such reading strange and annoying since I’ve never read any fiction written like him. For instance, “… But Patrice, watching him, saw his eyes fill with tears. It was Patrice who closed his eyes. … Mersault began to tremble. … Now Mersault noticed the cripple’s mouth and chin – he had the same serious and sad expression as when he was staring at the window. … Mersault, still leaning over the armchair, did not move. … Mersault picked up his suitcase, turned the doorknob gleaming suddenly in a sunbeam, and left the room, his head throbbing, his mouth parched. …” (p. 6) So we readers should be aware of his technique and keep this in mind while reading or else we would find it unnecessarily confusing. As a doctor and Mersault’s friend, Bernard has told him, “you have to be a man who lives either on a tremendous despair, or on a tremendous hope.” (p. 134) in which we can notice the two opposite poles, that is, “tremendous despair” versus “tremendous hope”. Probably caused by his absurd killing, in cold blood, without the right motive of a crippled man named Zagreus (p. 6), his despair as such has since urged him to be on the run. Why? His flight might be interpreted as his hope of perfect crime since we would encounter no trace of police or legal actions in the novel; this is, I think, one of the reasons why his homicide is suspiciously absurd. I am not sure if this illegal action signifies a kind of absurdism.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Farhana

    "Happiness is a butterfly Try to catch it like every night It escapes from my hands into moonlight" - Lana Del Ray Occasionally in dreams I see stories and characters from the books I read. This afternoon I dozed off and saw Mersault in a dream! I stormed out of the house following some events and met him on the street ~ - "I don't know if you understand what I mean." - "I think I understand." She suddenly turned her head toward Mersault. "You're not happy." - "I will be," Mersault said violently. "I "Happiness is a butterfly Try to catch it like every night It escapes from my hands into moonlight" - Lana Del Ray Occasionally in dreams I see stories and characters from the books I read. This afternoon I dozed off and saw Mersault in a dream! I stormed out of the house following some events and met him on the street ~ - "I don't know if you understand what I mean." - "I think I understand." She suddenly turned her head toward Mersault. "You're not happy." - "I will be," Mersault said violently. "I have to be." [Note: this dialogue is actually from the book, not from my dream] Well, the story feels like recent weather ~ the scorching heat that imposes a lazy vibrance and lulls into an absence of action! The story lacks the elegance of "The Stranger" even though both of them have the same protagonist! Mersault is more developed, wholesome, and comes with surprise elements in The Stranger. Here, he rode on the waves of his will to-be-happy and his bad conscience particularly enabled him to attain it. The narrative centers around this theme: "The craving for happiness seemed to me the noblest thing in man's heart. In my eyes, that justified everything." This ideology to put happiness in the lime light of life may ensue philosophical debate. However, it's 3am and I'm not in a great mood! However, following the afternoon dream it occurred to me that as a character Mersault feels like a nemesis!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Something and nothing - A Happy death serves as a precursor to arguably, his most famous work: The Outsider. Exploring similar themes such as, existentialism, life and dealing with death. The long-term ramifications of committing murder is central to the story, but having read a lot of Camus previously, it just didn't seem as good. Meursault, is looked at in a more lyrical way. Instead of going through the motions of an alienated character who was unconvincing then and is stereotypical now, the Something and nothing - A Happy death serves as a precursor to arguably, his most famous work: The Outsider. Exploring similar themes such as, existentialism, life and dealing with death. The long-term ramifications of committing murder is central to the story, but having read a lot of Camus previously, it just didn't seem as good. Meursault, is looked at in a more lyrical way. Instead of going through the motions of an alienated character who was unconvincing then and is stereotypical now, the earlier Meursault looks for something that resembles religion, a form of pantheistic oneness of self and world. What he wants comes very close to Spengler's definition of religion: a tension between man and the universe that man can love. That's the sort of thing philosophical novelists give us to love: a tension. Not a god, or a good, or a woman, but a needle trembling on a cosmic dial. Like The Stranger he performs only gratuitous acts, and achieves some sort of beatitude. An interesting read, but there are so many other's that stick in my mind more.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Henry Martin

    Camus' A Happy Death is presented as "May be read as a preamble to The Stranger" (The Stranger, being one of my favorite books). So, where shall I begin? There are, undoubtedly, very strong similarities between A Happy Death and The Stranger. As a reader, I could view A Happy Death as a hint of what The Stranger would be. After all, both books feature a protagonist named Mersault, both books deal with death, and both books deal with a character who is, in a way, unaffected by the world that surr Camus' A Happy Death is presented as "May be read as a preamble to The Stranger" (The Stranger, being one of my favorite books). So, where shall I begin? There are, undoubtedly, very strong similarities between A Happy Death and The Stranger. As a reader, I could view A Happy Death as a hint of what The Stranger would be. After all, both books feature a protagonist named Mersault, both books deal with death, and both books deal with a character who is, in a way, unaffected by the world that surrounds him. As a writer, I should view A Happy Death as an incomplete The Stranger. An attempt to put forth ideas expressed in the latter, a writing that is not as good as Camus' later works, a writing that dances around more than takes you towards the destination, a writing where metaphors and side stories are used excessively and distract more than add to the text. For the writer here struggles at times to be concise and on point, and there seems to be an unnecessary array of poetic prose which does nothing for the text at large. Academia, however (and especially the Afterword) disagrees with my views from both of the above angles. Having been both the benefactor and the victim of readers' (and academia) interpretations of my own texts, I must admit that the academia often looks for hidden meanings in anything which does not follow a clear path or the established ideas of who a writer is. Nevertheless, as a writer, I must acknowledge that, at times, instances and incidents just are random. So, I largely disagree with the academia when it comes to interpreting literature, as it often writes more theses and books about a book than the author himself/herself. But I shall approach Camus' A Happy Death as neither a reader nor a writer. Instead, I shall approach it as a thinker. (How dare I call myself that?) A Happy Death consists of two books: The Natural Death, and The Conscious Death. In The Natural Death we meet Mersault, a man whose mother passed away, who works a lousy job, rents the empty rooms in his house to derelict individuals, and stays in the room that used to be his mother's. Mersault is a vain individual who does not really care about anything (on the surface) a dates a girl because he enjoys the attention he receives when they are out together. It would have been fine, except, he is also jealous. He makes her talk about her past lovers, and she introduces him to Zagreus, her ex-lover who is now crippled. This book opens interestingly, with its ending, followed by a flashback of sorts where the circumstances leading to Mersault's crime are explained. It comes full circle quite nicely, and we learn a great deal about Mersault, his life, and his state of mind. The language itself has a raw quality to it, matching well with the theme. There were times when I enjoyed The Natural Death more than The Stranger, as it seems more real, more thought-through. In The Conscious Death, Mersault appears on the scene in Prague, and with a completely different mindset. He is growing derelict, both in his appearance and in his inner state of mind. He is becoming a haunted human being seeking a meaning to his life. Through a series of travels, he eventually ends back in Algiers where he finds himself, and, in the end, finds a happy death. This book did not satisfy my cravings for more Camus. It is more fragmented, and, at times, appears unnecessarily distracted with snippets of poetic verse that add little to the character himself. Mersault grows tormented, abandons civilization, and then longs for it again. He makes inconsistent choices (and not in the 'unreliable narrator' way). He is at once a hedonist and a puritan, talkative and silent, a seeker who is blind. There were choices that did not sit well with me, and, personally, I felt the build-up to the conclusion (which came at random) was rather drawn-out. All in all, The Conscious Death was an interesting exercise in thinking about the complicated human nature, but it did not live up to the expectations. Compared to Camus' later works, A Happy Death seems unfisnished (to this reader). It was still worth the read, but not likely a reread any time soon.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Beatrice Santos

    We all know the proverb: "Money doesn't bring happiness". I always thought that was bullshit. The proofs were lying on the corner spots of my city, waiting for some kind of warm food and warm shelter. Money itself doesn't make people happy, but the power it gives them, does. The security does. The lack of worrying does. The endless opportunities and all the doors it opens, does. This book takes an interesting element into my opinion. It adds time. "I like to be conscious. And what I've noticed is t We all know the proverb: "Money doesn't bring happiness". I always thought that was bullshit. The proofs were lying on the corner spots of my city, waiting for some kind of warm food and warm shelter. Money itself doesn't make people happy, but the power it gives them, does. The security does. The lack of worrying does. The endless opportunities and all the doors it opens, does. This book takes an interesting element into my opinion. It adds time. "I like to be conscious. And what I've noticed is that there's a kind of spiritual snobbism in certain 'superior beings' who think that money isn't necessary for happiness. Which is stupid, which is false, and to a certain degree cowardly.... For a man who is well born, being happy is never complicated. It's enough to take up the general fate, only not with the will for renunciation like so many fake great men, but with the will for happiness. Only it takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience. And in almost every case, we use up our lives making money, when we should be using our money to gain time." The book itself was a bit of a challenge for me, since I took way more time to finish it than I thought I would, and to be honest, I think I like its concept more than I enjoyed the actual story, but nonetheless, it was still a pleasent read and I'm looking forward for reading The Outsider and The Stranger, that have been on my to-read list for ages now.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Darryl

    A Happy Death was Camus's first attempt at writing a novel, which he worked on from 1936-1938 when he was in his early to mid twenties. He (wisely) chose not to submit it for publication, but after his death in 1960, his widow (unwisely) decided to allow the unfinished manuscripts to be corrected and compiled into a book, which was published in 1971. This book is based in part on Camus's early experiences, including his childhood in a blue collar neighborhood in Algiers, his early troubled marria A Happy Death was Camus's first attempt at writing a novel, which he worked on from 1936-1938 when he was in his early to mid twenties. He (wisely) chose not to submit it for publication, but after his death in 1960, his widow (unwisely) decided to allow the unfinished manuscripts to be corrected and compiled into a book, which was published in 1971. This book is based in part on Camus's early experiences, including his childhood in a blue collar neighborhood in Algiers, his early troubled marriage to Simone Hié, a heroin addict who was unfaithful to him, his travels to central Europe and Italy in 1936 and 1937, his confinement in a sanatorium for treatment of tuberculosis which he contracted as a teenager, and his return to Algeria in 1938. The main character in A Happy Death is Patrice Mersault, a young office worker in Algiers who is bored and unsatisfied with his life. His current lover introduces him to Roland Zagreus, an slightly older man who has accumulated a large fortune but is unable to derive benefit from it due to an accident that led to the amputation of his legs. The two men become friends, and Zagreus shares his philosophy of life with the younger man. In his view, man is able to create personal happiness through money, which allows him time to achieve freedom from responsibility and the drudgery of everyday work: "You see, Mersault, for a man who is well born, being happy is never complicated. It's enough to take up the general fate, only not with the will for renunciation like so many fake great men, but with the will for happiness. Only it takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience. And in almost every case, we use up our lives making money, when we should be using our money to gain time." Mersault decides to test Zagreus's theory, as he murders the invalid and takes his money. Soon afterward he becomes ill with fever and fatigue, but he decides to go to Warsaw. He is miserable there, due to his illness and to the squalid conditions that exist in the depressed city, and he leaves there to travel to Genoa, and eventually back to Algiers. He stays with three younger women in a house overlooking the city, which brings him some degree of pleasure but not contentment, and he marries a woman who he is physically attracted to but does not love. Later he purchases a house in a small village on the Algerian coast, which provides him with security and comfort, but he remains vaguely unsatisfied. His health worsens, and he realizes with the utmost dread that death is slowly creeping upon him: He realized now that to be afraid of this death he was staring at with animal terror meant to be afraid of life. Fear of dying justified a limitless attachment to what is alive in man. And all those who had not made the gestures necessary to live their lives, all those who feared and exalted impotence—they were afraid of death because of the sanction it gave to a life in which they had not been involved. They had not lived enough, never having lived at all. For me, A Happy Death was difficult and, at times, painful to read despite its short length. I found Mersault to be largely inscrutable, and the female characters were poorly developed and portrayed as vain and shallow creatures. It is best viewed as a precursor for his first published novel The Stranger (whose main character is named Meursault) rather than a unique work in itself, and all but the most ardent Camus fans should avoid it, unlike The Plague.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was written by Albert Camus, who also wrote The Stranger. Actually, A Happy Death is considered a predecessor to The Stranger, and is supposedly very similar in many ways. That being the case, I have no desire to ever read The Stranger. Halfway through this book, I seriously considered not finishing it. When I had finished it, I regretted not acting on that impulse. What didn't I like? 1- The protagonist is a detached man without morals who murders a crippled man and takes his fortune. 2 This book was written by Albert Camus, who also wrote The Stranger. Actually, A Happy Death is considered a predecessor to The Stranger, and is supposedly very similar in many ways. That being the case, I have no desire to ever read The Stranger. Halfway through this book, I seriously considered not finishing it. When I had finished it, I regretted not acting on that impulse. What didn't I like? 1- The protagonist is a detached man without morals who murders a crippled man and takes his fortune. 2- The philosophy/conclusion of the book is that obtaining wealth is a necessary step in achieving happiness, and the main character eventually achieves this state of happiness, thanks largely to his murdering and stealing. 3- The book was extremely boring. This is the worst of my complaints. 4- As I was reading the book, I considered the fact that many people probably considered it to be a work of creative genius. I'm sure that Albert Camus was one of them. This caused me to become angry. I would only recommend this book to that Carrot Top guy, because I always thought he was really annoying.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pardis

    -Great Agony for the translator- I found Sth very disappointing about this book. Maybe it is because of the translator or maybe the writer itself. The translator is not good and describing and I hated the scenes, because I didn’t understand and feel how they were. There were mistakes, he used some expressions and some words in a wrong place, I also found some errors of the absence of concordance between subject and the verb! All of those factors played a role, for me not to enjoy the book by me. -Great Agony for the translator- I found Sth very disappointing about this book. Maybe it is because of the translator or maybe the writer itself. The translator is not good and describing and I hated the scenes, because I didn’t understand and feel how they were. There were mistakes, he used some expressions and some words in a wrong place, I also found some errors of the absence of concordance between subject and the verb! All of those factors played a role, for me not to enjoy the book by me. And didn’t have much ideas. Probably he wanted to say: happiness is not a matter of time but the happiness itself, that action is the thing. And....

  15. 4 out of 5

    Francesca Calarco

    A friend of mine lent me a copy of "A Happy Death" about a decade ago, and today I finally made good on reading it... sorry buddy. "The Stranger" blew me away when I read it in my formative years, and for this very reason I have been reluctant to read to the novel billed as its preamble. That said, my reluctance was probably warranted. While this has many hallmarks of a Camus narrative, it is still an underdeveloped product compared to his later works. Not just with character and plot developmen A friend of mine lent me a copy of "A Happy Death" about a decade ago, and today I finally made good on reading it... sorry buddy. "The Stranger" blew me away when I read it in my formative years, and for this very reason I have been reluctant to read to the novel billed as its preamble. That said, my reluctance was probably warranted. While this has many hallmarks of a Camus narrative, it is still an underdeveloped product compared to his later works. Not just with character and plot development, what makes Camus so great is his ability to craft tone that simultaneously weighs on you and evanesces into the stratosphere of your mind. His characters embody detachment, and tend to oscillate between manic highs (hope) and depressive lows (existential dread). This is something that is highly relatable, especially when coming to terms with trauma, even damage that a "protagonist" may have caused. A problem with published volumes released posthumously is that they are inherently curated by someone other than the author. Intention is everything in a Camus novel, so this is a factor that definitely impacts the overall work. One might say that this whole business is... absurd? Don't worry, I'm done.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Edita

    This life which devours me—I won’t have known it to the full, and what frightens me about death is the certainty it will bring me that my life has been consummated without me. * An intense and secret fervor swelled within him, and it was a nostalgia for cities filled with sunlight and women, with the green evenings that close all wounds. Tears burst from his eyes. Inside him widened a great lake of solitude and silence above which ran the sad song of his deliverance. * At the strange peace that fill This life which devours me—I won’t have known it to the full, and what frightens me about death is the certainty it will bring me that my life has been consummated without me. * An intense and secret fervor swelled within him, and it was a nostalgia for cities filled with sunlight and women, with the green evenings that close all wounds. Tears burst from his eyes. Inside him widened a great lake of solitude and silence above which ran the sad song of his deliverance. * At the strange peace that filled him as he watched the evening suddenly freshening upon the sea, the first star slowly hardening in the sky where the light died out green to be reborn yellow, he realized that after this great tumult and this fury, what was dark and wrong within him was gone now, yielding to the clear water, transparent now, of a soul restored to kindness, to resolution. * He felt free of his past, and of what he had lost. He wanted nothing now but this contraction and this enclosure inside himself, this lucid and patient fervor in the face of the world. * When he got up, the foothills of the Chenoua were covered with flowering trees, all the way to the sea’s edge. Never had spring touched him so deeply. The first night of his convalescence, he walked across the fields for a long time—as far as the hill where the ruins of Tipasa slept. In a silence violated only by the silky sounds of the sky, the night lay like milk upon the world. Mersault walked along the cliff, sharing the night’s deep concentration. Below him the sea whispered gently. It was covered with velvety moonlight, smooth and undulating, like the pelt of some animal. At this hour of night, his life seemed so remote to him, he was so solitary and indifferent to everything and to himself as well, that Mersault felt he had at last attained what he was seeking, that the peace which filled him now was born of that patient self-abandonment he had pursued and achieved with the help of this warm world so willing to deny him without anger. He walked lightly, and the sound of his own footsteps seemed alien to him, familiar too, no doubt, but familiar the way the rustling of animals in the mastic bushes was familiar, or the breaking waves, or the rhythm of the night itself in the sky overhead. And he could feel his own body too, but with the same external consciousness as the warm breath of this spring night and the smell of salt and decay that rose from the beach. His actions in the world, his thirst for happiness, Zagreus’ terrible wound baring brain and bone, the sweet, uncommitted hours in the House above the World, his wife, his hopes, and his gods—all this lay before him, but no more than one story chosen among so many others without any valid reason, at once alien and secretly familiar, a favorite book which flatters and justifies the heart at its core, but a book someone else has written. For the first time, Mersault was aware of no other reality in himself than that of a passion for adventure, a desire for power, a warm and an intelligent instinct for a relationship with the world—without anger, without hatred, without regret. Sitting on a rock he let his fingers explore its crannies as he watched the sea swell in silence under the moon. He thought of Lucienne’s face he had caressed, and of the warmth of her lips. The moon poured its long, straying smiles like oil on the water’s smooth surface—the sea would be warm as a mouth, and as soft, ready to yield beneath a man’s weight. Motionless now, Mersault felt how close happiness is to tears, caught up in that silent exultation which weaves together the hopes and despairs of human life. Conscious yet alienated, devoured by passion yet disinterested, Mersault realized that his life and his fate were completed here and that henceforth all his efforts would be to submit to this happiness and to confront its terrible truth.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sully (thysaltymar)

    Another philosophical book by Camus. They said it's the first draft for 'the stranger' but I appreciated 'The Stranger' more. I feel like I want to re-read this before deciding exactly what I think of it because I kind of feel terrible for the way he describe women in this novel -_- but, despite that odd factor, I really enjoyed it. This book is really a tough read since i felt like reading a very deep poetry (well, I should have prepared myself for that...it is Camus' novel) ;) September 01 ,2012 Another philosophical book by Camus. They said it's the first draft for 'the stranger' but I appreciated 'The Stranger' more. I feel like I want to re-read this before deciding exactly what I think of it because I kind of feel terrible for the way he describe women in this novel -_- but, despite that odd factor, I really enjoyed it. This book is really a tough read since i felt like reading a very deep poetry (well, I should have prepared myself for that...it is Camus' novel) ;) September 01 ,2012 I re-read it and I finally confirmed his cruelty in describing women...But, if you look deeper, he divided the mindset of women into three, mainly: an IDEALIST, REALIST and PRAGMATIST. I think I'm an idealist by heart but pragmatist in nature. @[email protected]

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sajid Ahmed

    A Happy Death is a short novel with so much compressed into its pages, but Camus delivers with a simple and beautiful unraveling of the character’s story.  Like most of Camus’ works, A Happy Death is worth reading; in its pages is sadness, despair, loneliness, unhappiness, and existentialism. You’ll find yourself feeling sympathetic towards Mersault because he is obviously so lost and drowning in his own inability to understand happiness in both staying and going. His random surges of love and p A Happy Death is a short novel with so much compressed into its pages, but Camus delivers with a simple and beautiful unraveling of the character’s story.  Like most of Camus’ works, A Happy Death is worth reading; in its pages is sadness, despair, loneliness, unhappiness, and existentialism. You’ll find yourself feeling sympathetic towards Mersault because he is obviously so lost and drowning in his own inability to understand happiness in both staying and going. His random surges of love and passion for life are constantly pulled back by his weighted despair of being. Just now as i have finished reading this novel,i am by my heart and body desiring to die with enough consciousness and happiness to grasp the unknown sensation of death.What do we really want of life? Isn't it happiness? What is happiness for us?It may vary from person to person.But isn't there something common about our fixed idea of happiness? Though having pleasure is common nowadays,we all know that happiness is totally a different dimension of mind.Can it be achieved consciously? Maybe.But Mersault,the protagonist of this novel made an experiment with life by walking a very distinct and strange path of mind.He tried to buy happiness by time.Yes,by time.There are several occasions in this book where Mersault was reflected or confronted with deep angsts and emotions whether he can be happy at last.And by desiring and affirming life/happiness with so much passion he discovered himself with another deep question and it is whether a man can die happily? And if you have ever asked yourself this question you might have hesitated over the notion of being brave and satisfied. But again we are confronted with an everlasting paradox–are we ever satisfied? No,i wouldn’t go any further.You can experience an alternative way of dying happily and also contemplate upon all of those questions i have lamented above if you read this book.Read it.It is not such a book to discuss in so many words.

  19. 5 out of 5

    M. Sarki

    I haven't quite finished the Afterword but the deconstruction isn't all that interesting to me. Neither was the book. There was obviously some very good writing in it, precursors to what was to come, but in no way did the book connect with me. The subject matter was superb but Camus failed in making a believer of me. Too many things were left unsaid and I imagine he was afraid to put too much of himself out there for all the world to see. Another reason why I think it is terrible that heirs or e I haven't quite finished the Afterword but the deconstruction isn't all that interesting to me. Neither was the book. There was obviously some very good writing in it, precursors to what was to come, but in no way did the book connect with me. The subject matter was superb but Camus failed in making a believer of me. Too many things were left unsaid and I imagine he was afraid to put too much of himself out there for all the world to see. Another reason why I think it is terrible that heirs or executors publish posthumous works that the author never intended to see the light of day. Also, somewhat important to note that iconic memoirist/singer/poet/performance artist Patti Smith lists this as one of her all-time favorite reads.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Suha

    <3 A happy death, Camus’ first ever written novel (1936) was not published until 10 years after his death. It is the baby form of The Outsider (L’etranger) in which the protagonist “Mersault” our same “Meursault” of The outsider looks for happiness as “a will to happiness” and the money/time dilemma to achieve this goal “Happiness too, is a long patience. And in almost every case, we use up our lives making money, when we should be using money to gain time.” I felt that this Mersault of “A Happy D <3 A happy death, Camus’ first ever written novel (1936) was not published until 10 years after his death. It is the baby form of The Outsider (L’etranger) in which the protagonist “Mersault” our same “Meursault” of The outsider looks for happiness as “a will to happiness” and the money/time dilemma to achieve this goal “Happiness too, is a long patience. And in almost every case, we use up our lives making money, when we should be using money to gain time.” I felt that this Mersault of “A Happy Death” is less indifferent, more engaged in life and more human than the dark Meursault of The Outsider. I sensed Shopenhauer’s cycle in this book as for example, he sleeps with a girl then abandons her, he has money to travel to Prague, he travels but the smell of pickles suffocate him and then comes back to live with 3 of his lady friends. In this book, Mersault is seizing his passions while oscillating between happiness and despair. It was a joyful read to me. As always Camus <3 and I wonder why he decided not to publish it as in my opinion it is as good as The Outsider. I quote: “the beauty she offered him day after day like some delicate intoxication” "You make the mistake of thinking you have to choose, that you have to do what you want, that there are conditions for happiness. What matters -- all that matter is -- is the will to happiness, a kind of enormous, ever-present consciousness. The rest women, art, success -- is nothing but excuses…. “He realized now that to be afraid of this death he was staring at with animal terror meant to be afraid of life…they were afraid of death because of the sanction it gave to a life in which they had not been involved. They had not lived enough, never having lived at all.” “Fate was not in man, but around him… he did not want to abandon his thirst of life, his jealousy of life… he did not want that image to persist without him.”

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rami Hamze

    The first novel by Camus, written in his early 20s and which he chose not to publish. It is often compared to “The Stranger/Outsider” in its themes and protagonist (Mersault). Both are existential but in this book, the main character/ author comes across more lively, experimental, and emotional; one who smells the soil and sleeps with his ear to the ground feeling the throbbing of the mountain. The first 3 chapters were a typical Camus style but chapters 4 and 5 on solitude and conquering of happ The first novel by Camus, written in his early 20s and which he chose not to publish. It is often compared to “The Stranger/Outsider” in its themes and protagonist (Mersault). Both are existential but in this book, the main character/ author comes across more lively, experimental, and emotional; one who smells the soil and sleeps with his ear to the ground feeling the throbbing of the mountain. The first 3 chapters were a typical Camus style but chapters 4 and 5 on solitude and conquering of happiness before death were a new kind of treat from Camus. Close to the moment of death: “he did not want to abandon his thirst for life… he realized he was crying. A strange weakness, a kind of cowardice born off his sickness gave way to tears, to childishness” I would have preferred if the ending was 10 pages earlier, when Mersault swam away too far into the sea and surrendered to nature; he felt “attracted to the depth laying beneath him like an unknown world, an extension of darkness, a salty center of life still unexplored”… I thought he didn’t have to swim back, letting go at this high (same time low) point would have been punchier than the ending that Camus chose.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Todd

    "he realized that he must come to terms with time, that to have time was at once the most magnificent and the most dangerous of experiments. Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre." "it takes time to live. Like any work of art, life needs to be thought about." "It takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience. And in almost every case, we use up our lives making money, when we should be using our money to gain time." "he realized that he must come to terms with time, that to have time was at once the most magnificent and the most dangerous of experiments. Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre." "it takes time to live. Like any work of art, life needs to be thought about." "It takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience. And in almost every case, we use up our lives making money, when we should be using our money to gain time."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Turkel Afandiyev

    Even though this is the first known book written by Camus, it was published posthumously, only ten years after the author's death. And I have a clue why. Even though this is the first known book written by Camus, it was published posthumously, only ten years after the author's death. And I have a clue why.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Engy Habib

    A Philosophically-coated worth reading and studying novel!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Megha Chakraborty

    This book has a lot in common with The stranger and somehow feels a precursor to it. The book starts with Meursault, and his search understanding of happiness. The book is deep and dark, it touches you on so many levels. Meursault lives for nothing; he appreciates the night and the sea but knows they're meaningless too. He lives and meets death with open hands, because it too is meaningless, and that only makes his life more free and beautiful. The only issue which I had is with the timeline, it This book has a lot in common with The stranger and somehow feels a precursor to it. The book starts with Meursault, and his search understanding of happiness. The book is deep and dark, it touches you on so many levels. Meursault lives for nothing; he appreciates the night and the sea but knows they're meaningless too. He lives and meets death with open hands, because it too is meaningless, and that only makes his life more free and beautiful. The only issue which I had is with the timeline, it was very messy, but nevertheless, it was engaging. If you have read Camus before, you'll surely enjoy this. Ill recommend it. Happy Reading!

  26. 5 out of 5

    E.

    "A Happy Death" is an important aid to cataloguing the mindset of Camus as a developing artist. The style is very good, particularly the imagery. That being said, there is probably a reason that Camus did not publish this book himself. The first division of the book--"Natural Death"--is fairly good, and has good plot direction. The second section, "Conscious Death," gets very annoying very fast. By the end of the first chapter in that section, I hated Patrice Mersault, the protagonist. By the en "A Happy Death" is an important aid to cataloguing the mindset of Camus as a developing artist. The style is very good, particularly the imagery. That being said, there is probably a reason that Camus did not publish this book himself. The first division of the book--"Natural Death"--is fairly good, and has good plot direction. The second section, "Conscious Death," gets very annoying very fast. By the end of the first chapter in that section, I hated Patrice Mersault, the protagonist. By the end of the second, I wanted him dead. And I was doubly annoyed at the end of the book when he actually does die, because his death doesn't shake him into reality; it is as self-absorbed as his life. The book overflows with thought at the expense of dialogue and action, which probably adds to my impression that Mersault is overly self-absorbed. (That he thinks he murdered a man in what he considers "innocence" doesn't detract from that impression.) Of Camus's works, so far I have only read "A Happy Death" and "The Plague." The former compares very unfavorably with the latter. I do not recommend reading "A Happy Death" unless you have an interest in Camus's life as well as his art. Sometimes I regret that an author did not publish more of his manuscripts. In this case, I think Camus was very wise.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian Radu

    For him, too, starting over, departures, a new life had a certain luster, but he knew that only the impotent and the lazy attach happiness to such things. Happiness implied a choice, and within that choice a concerted will, a lucid desire. He could hear Zagreus: "Not the will to renounce, but the will to happiness." "You make the mistake of thinking you have to choose, that you have to do what you want, that there are conditions for happiness. What matters - all that matters, really - is the will For him, too, starting over, departures, a new life had a certain luster, but he knew that only the impotent and the lazy attach happiness to such things. Happiness implied a choice, and within that choice a concerted will, a lucid desire. He could hear Zagreus: "Not the will to renounce, but the will to happiness." "You make the mistake of thinking you have to choose, that you have to do what you want, that there are conditions for happiness. What matters - all that matters, really - is the will to happiness, a kind of enormous, ever-present consciousness. The rest - women, art, success - is nothing but excuses. A canvas waiting for our embroideries." (..) "What matters to me is a certain quality of happiness. I can only find it in a certain struggle with its opposite - a stubborn and violent struggle.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Okay. Weird book. I should have expected something a bit on the existential side when I picked up a Camus work. And as usual, despite it’s odd factor, I really enjoyed it. It is a little bit of a tough read – so descriptive in nature that it’s kind of like reading very poetic poetry. (redundant, I know). And similar to other Camus books I’ve read, it took till the last third of the novel for me to grow to appreciate and love the main character. I’m not exactly sure why Camus didn’t care for this Okay. Weird book. I should have expected something a bit on the existential side when I picked up a Camus work. And as usual, despite it’s odd factor, I really enjoyed it. It is a little bit of a tough read – so descriptive in nature that it’s kind of like reading very poetic poetry. (redundant, I know). And similar to other Camus books I’ve read, it took till the last third of the novel for me to grow to appreciate and love the main character. I’m not exactly sure why Camus didn’t care for this novel, but I certainly enjoyed it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Moe Jawich

    Until now he had lived. Now he could talk of his life. Of that great ravaging energy which had borne him on, of that fugitive and generating poetry of life, nothing was left now but the transparent truth which is the opposite of poetry. Of all the men he had carried inside himself, as every man does at the beginning of this life, of all those various rootless, mingling beings, he had created his life with consciousness, with courage. That was his whole happiness in living and dying.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laetitia Wu

    The writing is too dense, too verbose, almost superfluous at points. Also, Mersault here is very difficult to like or empathize with, which makes finishing this book very hard despite its short length. His reincarnation in The Stranger is much more well-developed and likeable as a character. Recommend reading The Stranger first.

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