‘The Meursault Investigation’ re-imagines Camus’ ‘Stranger’

La-afp-getty-france-algeria-literature-files-jpg-20150527David L. Ulin at The LA Times:

Give Kamel Daoud credit for audacity. In his debut novel, “The Meursault Investigation,” the Algerian journalist goes head-to-head with a pillar of 20th century literature: Albert Camus' existential masterpiece “The Stranger.”

First published in France in 1942, Camus' novel tells the story of Meursault — like the author, a French Algerian, or pied-noir — who under the influence of heat or fate kills an Arab on the beach at the peak of a summer afternoon. “I shook off the sweat and sun,” Meursault informs us. “… Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.”

“The Meursault Investigation” takes place on the other side of that door, offering a glimpse of the fallout from Meursault's futile violence. Its narrator is the victim's brother, an old man named Harun who looks back, from the perspective of the present, on the killing and what it signifies. “And there,” he observes, “I've always thought, is where the misunderstanding came from; what in fact was never anything other than a banal score-settling that got out of hand was elevated to a philosophical crime.
more here.