If you have read The Stranger or The Outsider by Albert Camus, The Meursault Investigation becomes almost like a must-read after that. This novel by author Kamel Daoud digs deeper into the story and gives voice to those events and characters Camus didn’t pay much attention to.
In the 1942 released novel, the protagonist, Meursault, kills an Arab and gets sentenced for his crime. But Daoud is not bothered about Meursault. He has his eyes on the Arab. Nobody knew the identity of the Arab or where his body went after his death.
The Meursault Investigation takes some bits from The Stranger and creates a unique story involving the Arab and what happened to him. This book’s protagonist is Harun, the dead Arab’s brother. He reveals his brother was called Musa. Since Musa’s body disappeared after he was killed, there is no evidence to prove Meursault’s crime. So Harun takes it upon himself to investigate the wrongdoing and prove his brother’s existence.
The story is definitely intriguing, but there are parts in this novel that are very weird. For e.g., at one point in the book, we find out even Harun is guilty of killing a person, a Frenchman. He justifies the crime by saying he needed to counterbalance the absurdity of his and his brother’s situations!
You will find a lot of resemblance to Camus’ The Stranger and other novels in The Meursault Investigation. The author has taken parts from the Stranger and reworked them to suit his investigative book. But you will also find the writing of Daoud a refreshing break from Camus’ cold and unemotive one. His writing is bursting with humour and passion that makes it more delightful and gripping read than The Stranger.
The Meursault Investigation gets 3/5 stars from us. Anyone who has read The Stranger should definitely go for this book. If you haven’t read The Stranger, do it now and follow it up with Meursault Investigation.