Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Plague post I

Because things have gone a bit wonky with the holiday reading running over the weekend I am going to get through The Plague for the next couple of days and bolster that with a book of books reviews of The Outsider and The Fall.

Bullet points from part I (chapters 1 - 8) pages 5 -56

* Introduced to the town of Oran, on the Algerian coast, part of the French Empire. An ugly town with very few good things to say about it

* Dr Bernard Rieux becomes the focus of the story and he is the first to discover a dead rat on the stairs and over the next few days thousands come out of their holes to die

* The porter of Dr Rieux's building goes down ill and develops a fever with swellings and dies in agony

* Other cases crop up and Dr Rieux utters the word plague with a colleague for the first time but the city is unaware of the spreading epidemic

* The usual battle between the authorities and the doctors ends in compromise with the efforts made by the authorities falling far too short to stop the spread of the plague

* Part one ends dramatically with the hospital full of cases, the death rate hitting 30 a day and ends with the Prefect of the town getting an order to declare a state of plague and close the town

For Camus fans there is a great moment when the customers in the tobbaconists shop are overheard discussing the crime committed in The Outsider
"An animated conversation was in progess and the woman behind the counter started airing her views about a murder case which had created some stir in Algiers. A young commercial employee had killed an Algerian on a beach." (pg49)

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