Summary

He was the brother of "the Arab" killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus' classic novel. Seventy years after that event, Harun, who has lived since childhood in the shadow of his sibling's memory, refuses to let him remain anonymous: He gives his brother a story and a name - Musa - and describes the events that led to Musa's casual murder on a dazzlingly sunny beach. In a bar in Oran, night after night, he ruminates on his solitude, on his broken heart, on his anger with men desperate for a god, and on his disarray when faced with a country that has so disappointed him. A stranger among his own people, he wants to be granted, finally, the right to die.
The Stranger is of course central to Daoud's story, in which he both endorses and criticizes one of the most famous novels in the world. A worthy complement to its great predecessor, The Meursault Investigation is not only a profound meditation on Arab identity and the disastrous effects of colonialism in Algeria, but also a stunning work of literature in its own right, told in a unique and affecting voice.
©2013 Editions Barzakh, Alger. 2014 Actes Sud. Translation 2015 Other Press. (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
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Critic reviews

"A tour-de-force reimagining of Camus’s The Stranger, from the point of view of the mute Arab victims." ( The New Yorker)
"Fajer Al-Kaisi's performance of this fascinating and disturbing book is crisp and beautifully articulated.... This audio production makes a striking novel of ideas a rich and human experience." ( AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By GC on 22-07-15

'Publishing Sensation of the Summer'

Any additional comments?

If you are familiar with The Cure's song 'Killing An Arab', you will know that it is based on the incident in Albert Camus' 'The Outsider' in which the central character, Mersault, shoots and kills an Arab on an Algerian beach.This book, 'The Meursault Investigation', which has won several awards in France, takes the form of a first-person narration by the dead man's brother (who we find out was called Musa - he remains nameless in 'The Outsider'), putting across his version of events.This is a good idea, and well executed. I thoroughly recommend it - though it makes little sense unless you've already read 'The Outsider'.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By jesjaspers on 15-09-16

phenomenal.

a must read for anyone who is reading or who has read Albert Camus's The Stranger. a postcolonial mirror / companion piece giving voice to Camus' unknown Arab victim through his brother and providing great insights into Algerian politics and psyche pre and post independence. A fascinating read.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Kaui on 28-06-16

An enthralling double feature!

Any additional comments?

In The Meursault Investigation, the "stranger" is fully developed, at once resented, loved and mourned. The tone is searing (v. Stranger's detachment); the language equally sparse. This book has been hailed as a loving tribute to Camus' masterpiece. It has also been recommended as a mandatory accompaniment to The Stranger. I agree with both conclusions. I strongly recommend (re-) reading The Stranger then immediately delving into The Meursault Investigation. You will be enthralled.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By CHET YARBROUGH on 15-06-15

AN ALGERIAN LIFE

Kamel Daoud resurrects Camus’s main character from the book, “The Stranger”, by recounting the imagined life of an Algerian killed by Merusault. Nothing is absolutely known about Merusault’s victim. Camus suggests Merusault believes the victim is one of two people who assaulted himself and a friend on an Algerian beach. Merusault is sentenced and executed for murder but less for being guilty than of not caring for his dying mother, not believing in God, and living life without purpose.

Harun, Daoud's main character, and Merusault are the same; i.e. both are nihilists (neither believing there is meaning in life); both have little regard for their mothers, both live lives that demand nothing, give nothing, and mean nothing. Both are immoral. Neither believes in God or religion. Life is trivialized in both Daoud’s and Camus’s stories; i.e. Daoud represents an Arab perspective, and Camus a French perspective; similar outlooks, different ethnic backgrounds, but the same point of view. The devastating conclusion infers Algeria is as doomed by independence as by colonization.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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