Okay, nothing Albert Camus writes is ever likely to be a bundle of fun – and “Exile and the Kingdom” is no exception. But what it is (as usual) is compelling. In the short stories in this book, Camus digs deeply – and remorselessly – into the psyche of his characters, laying them bare for us.
Each of the protagonists is an outsider of some kind, either geographically or emotionally, often isolated or lonely and castaway in entirely foreign situations. Particularly striking are ‘The Artist at Work’ (a remorseless exposé of naïvety leading to madness) and ‘The Growing Stone’.
Not a book for a ‘light read’, but one which serves to remind you what great literature was produced during the 20th century.