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Book Review: The Sea Close By by Albert Camus

Book Review: The Sea Close By by Albert Camus

The Sea Close By
Author: Albert Camus
Genre: Essays
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 1st August 2013
Goodreads Summary: Part of the Penguin Classics campaign celebrating 100 years of Albert Camus, The Sea Close By reveals the writer as a sensual witness of landscapes, the sea and sailing. It is a light, summery day-dream.

Accompanying The Sea Close By is the essay Summer in Algiers, a lovesong to his Mediterranean childhood.

The Sea Close By Book Review

At only 22 pages long, this is a short and sweet read. This a collection of two essays by Camus: The Sea Close By and Summer in Algiers. The former is about the sea whilst the latter is about the city and so these two essays compliment each other very well in this short collection.

The Sea Close By is an absolutely beautiful little book with quote after quote after quote that will make your heart swell. I have to admit, I often had to reread lines to grasp the intricacies of his work. This didn’t bother me in the slightest as the way he expresses himself in The Sea Close By is just sublime.

In order to truly appreciate this piece of work, I imagine one would have to read it incredibly slowly and carefully so as not to miss one single adjective. Whilst reading this, I felt like I had been transported to another world because Camus descriptions are so real and so beautiful.

For me, The Sea Close By was a case of style over substance. I don’t feel that these works had a particular aim or purpose other than for Camus to put his thoughts down, and my, what beautiful thoughts. Both of these essays are observations, not stories, so you’re really just following a trail of thought.

All in all, this little book contains a mere 22 pages of the most beautiful writing you’ll ever read. If writing in books wasn’t one of my pet peeves, I would’ve definitely highlighted passages of this book so that I could remember my favourite parts. That said, I probably would’ve highlighted the entire novel.

The Sea Close By is a lovely little booklet that one could spend a summer afternoon devouring. It’s also the sort of book that you can pick up time and time again, flick to a random page, read a random passage and just sigh at the beauty of life. Highly recommended.

Buy The Sea Close By:
Amazon | Book Depository

If you like the sound of this, you’ll also like:
The Poetry Pharmacy by William Sieghart
The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

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Laura is a culture and travel blogger based in London. She studied French at Oxford University and now studies Law in London. She’s an avid reader and traveller and loves to combine the two with literary travel. Find her tips and reviews on the best reads, eats and destinations on whatshotblog.com.

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  1. Bex
    8th February 2014 / 12:27 AM

    At 22 pages long, I think I need to pick this up and give it a read 🙂 Great review!

    • Laura Hartley
      8th February 2014 / 12:35 AM

      You definitely should! The writing is just too beautiful for this little book to go unnoticed!

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