is a contemporary book obviously targeted for somebody younger than myself, a reader perhaps zealous and vernal enough to connect the craft of writing to classics composed by literary icons such as Albert Camus. But a wider scope of experience would in addition reveal numerous other writing geniuses impossible in one lifetime to count. It is true. The more one reads, the less one knows.
This is not a revelation of course. Promoting, or even questioning, these irritatingly popular activities today that include texting, live tweeting, and “friending” on social sites such as facebook and the like are wasted on the true underground scholar who remains buried away in hiding. Few, if any, virtual “friends” will be discovered in concert with such an enviable subterranean as the serious bookworm who finds contemporary fiction a bore and severely regulates any reading time to be engaged with books that insist on, and achieve, their reaching some heightened posture for timelessness.
Perhaps it really was a clever ploy of Seidlinger’s to adapt [b:The Stranger|49552|The Stranger|Albert Camus|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349927872s/49552.jpg|3324344] into a rewrite of our present day, using the classic tale as a prop on the stage of his focussed bombardment of electronic social media. Obviously, as one reviewer has put it, the author takes us into the consciousness of a person so withdrawn that he must have some sort of social anxiety disorder.
But only if we met him in person. The fact that the narrator insists on relying constantly on his computer and cell phone for much of his social interactions is commonly true for what we currently all readily observe both publicly and privately happening all around us these days. And as much as I despise this epidemic of bulgingly selfish gadgetry users, and as dangerous as the constantly mindless activity seems to me, I managed to trudge on through at least a page or two of this book each day. Of course it took me several weeks to finally end this begrudging practice. And not one day of it did I ever savor my renewing of my read. But I did hold out hope always for a better tomorrow, and a future revelation that this Seidlinger was really onto something novel in his book.
Some reviewers have found his attempt to rewrite Camus impressive. As much as I animately cheer on the sidelines for every success a new writer can garner while attempting to make history and find meaning in their work, I doubt I will ever join in the lauding made by Seidlinger’s camp. I just do not connect. And perhaps it is I who am too attuned to the character Meursault and his personal difference
. His strangeness
. If I were he, the last thing I would seek out would be more friends, even though they might as well be virtual. And today’s internet generation seems to measure their individual worth in how many of them, or their likes, they can count as their own.
Midway through the book the pace does pick up steam as the predictably woeful results begin to proceed from a series of events seemingly thrown into the text uncharted. And nothing newly introduced seemed true or relevant given the narrator’s character of indifference to what occurs outside his sphere of obsessive electronic engagement. And though the book’s gait advanced at midpoint in what could be ironically construed as double time, no sand remained which might have quickened my own sphere of delight. Alas, it was, for me, too late. My glass had run dry.