The Plague is the third book I have read from Albert Camus, and is by far my favorite novel of his. While it is a great book no matter the outside circumstance, reading it while experiencing the COVID-19 plague enhances the reading experience dramatically. There is so much more relatability and understanding for feelings we thought were so alienating from other times. For many, COVID-19 gave way to a massive personal transformation, and the way this novel explores it is fascinating. It puts the complex emotions I experienced during the isolation periods into words and characters, which gives these emotions a set of clarity. Camus uses his creativity to produce a very realistic scenario and set of characters to create a fascinating story. Combined with his philosophical insight, he explores how these characters transform during the plague, thus allowing the reader to transform themselves. It’s incredible how he understands human emotion and is able to form them into sentences.
While the story is the highlight of this novel, Camus’ prose should also be appreciated. His unconventional structure creates a strange, yet mesmerizing effect when read. It’s gloomy and mysterious, which adds effect to the grim narrative. His use of imagery also creates beautiful moments in the novel which are honestly magical to read and imagine. Overall, I really enjoyed this book; it was extremely moving and a true work of art to read.