Get a free audiobook

The Plague

Written by: Albert Camus
Narrated by: James Jenner
Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

In the small coastal city of Oran, Algeria, rats begin rising up from the filth, only to die as bloody heaps in the streets. Shortly after, an outbreak of the bubonic plague erupts and envelops the human population. Albert Camus' The Plague is a brilliant and haunting rendering of human perseverance and futility in the face of a relentless terror born of nature.
©1947 Librairie Gallimard (P)2006 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
No reviews are available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Plain English
  • 2011-06-04

Translator Please!

Please please list the translator for books that come from other languages. Who did the translation and when makes an enormous difference in what we are reading! It is hard to make a choice without this knowledge.

In this case it is Stuart Gilbert, done in 1947 just as it was released in French. He renewed the copyright in 1975, presumably with some changes. But there is also a 2002 version by Robin Buss edited by Tony Judt -- so please, help us out here!

79 of 82 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • smarmer
  • 2014-11-13

Brilliant as description and as metaphor

Any additional comments?

This is an amazing book. It works on so many levels. It is about plague itself, a topic of great interest in the Ebola, West Nile, and SARS era. It is about personal courage and duty. It is an exploration of human nature under stress. It addresses the nature of fate and individual response. It is about loyalty and friendship. It is also about how any plague spreads, be it viral, bacterial, or ideological.

Camus writes with a sparse but pungent style. He is intensely unsentimental. This is not to everyone's taste but I found it penetrating and moving as well as profoundly insightful.

The narration is excellent, capturing the subtleties of the various characters and situations.

Not an easy book and not "fun" but extremely worthwhile.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. M. Rice
  • 2015-01-09

Great read

This was one of the best reads I have had in a long time. I recommend this book to everyone.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Hayden
  • 2016-09-23

great book

The writing of Camus has always been an inspiration for me and it was only made better by James Jenner's calm clear reading

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Gregory
  • 2015-01-09

It teaches the reader the value of patience.

Interesting history and insights into human behavior but a tedious and labored read at best. However, it has its moments if the reader can "hang in there" long enough to find them.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Betsey
  • 2012-09-03

Like Saramago's Blindness, but with less action

Where does The Plague rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top third.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The man who is constantly rewriting his masterpiece.

What does James Jenner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

There's a lot of compassion for the characters in his voice.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No.

Any additional comments?

There's plenty of depth to this book, but you can enjoy it on many levels.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Andy I Alegria
  • 2019-06-20

A good tale of how select people react to a crisis

The reader's voice is easy to understand, distinguishes well between most (but not all) characters, and goes just the right speed for my taste. The prose is well written to the point that I was sometimes concentrating less on the story and more on the author's choice of words, how he strung the words together, and his use of metaphors and similes. The message of the novel was not lost on me. *** That said, I will warn you that this is not a story about a plague, it is a story about people reacting to a plague. This is not action, horror, mystery, or suspense. This is a look into the minds and hearts of people as they deal with a crisis. If the prose were not so well written, I would have grown bored of the entire story - I did, in fact, get bored and distracted on occasion, but I was pulled back in when the author moved on to another character or another day's events. Though the setting is historical, the emotions the characters feel and the decisions they make are timeless. If you like when an author paints a vivid portrait of people with words, this book may be for you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • phillip joe fitzsimmons
  • 2019-06-17

All time favorite

This has been one of my all time favorite novels for decades. It is an engaging account by a medical doctor of the progress of a plague. The book contains memorable characters who demonstrate many aspects of humanity throughout the story.

The voice talent is solid. He doesn't change voices for characters. It is a straightforward performance.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Saralinda
  • 2019-02-08

The novel closest to my heart

We cannot read this book to many times.
It defines all of us in this apocalyptic era, by defining resistance. Unable to be saints, but refusing to bow down to pestilences, we strive our utmost to be healers.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Tad Davis
  • 2019-01-17

Disappointing

I missed the boat on this one. I know many people who admire this novel, and one member of my family was profoundly moved by it. But somehow I wasn't able to connect with it.

After several striking scenes in the beginning, the book settles down into a glacial pace. There are a number of key characters in the story, and their viewpoints are effectively represented, but there's no real conflict. Everybody works together to get through the terrible calamity of bubonic plague — evolving later into the far more deadly and contagious pneumonic plague. The city is blocked off from the outside world in an effort to contain the epidemic. The death toll rises; every man — and they are all men — sucks it up and keeps working stoically.

And eventually the plague dies down, goes back into hibernation, and the city is reopened. Nobody knows why the plague erupted; nobody knows why it went away. There's a philosophical point to be made here, but I didn't find the story compelling enough to connect the dots.

James Jenner is an OK narrator, though his very American voice (certainly at least North American) doesn't mix well with the European ambience of the story. (It takes place in North Africa, but it's a French colony, and virtually everyone in the novel is French.) Some of his characters sound like they would feel at home in a Dashiell Hammett story.

It just didn't work for me.