As booksellers, we often overhear customers lamenting that they've always meant to read “that other Jane Austen novel,” or Graham Greene, or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but just never found the time. We've tried to remedy that with our Classics I Forgot to Read Book Club by providing motivation and a welcoming space to share your thoughts.

In choosing our ‘classics’ over the past few years, we've tried to select titles that had some visibility among readers, but were not necessarily included in the standard high school English class. We've also sampled a range of genres, from mystery (The Long Goodbye) to comedy (Cold Comfort Farm) to stream-of-consciousness (To the Lighthouse). So, whether our picks are already gathering dust on your bookshelves or this is your first encounter with the literary canon, we encourage you to join us on the last Wednesday evening of every month for conversation about the classics.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

July 2006--The Plague

by Albert Camus

When dead rats begin to appear in the streets of the Algerian city of Oran, some of its citizens are upset, others indifferent. Dr. Bernard Rieux is one of the first to realize what's happening.
And as an epidemic of bubonic plague grips the city, again, reactions differ. Some are stoic, some are terrified, some search for a way to profit. Camus recounts the city's ordeal in an artfully simple, unemotional style, much the same way that Rieux goes about the frightful work of tending the sick and dying. In tracing the paths of his characters, Camus creates a surprisingly uplifting exemplar of everyday existentialism. One is alone; one sees suffering and death; how does one act? Camus, who fought in the French Resistance during World War II, knew a little about resisting evil, and shares it movingly in The Plague.


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