The Boxer and the Goalkeeper by Andy Martin

This is in interesting combination of intellectual history, humour and biography. The ‘boxer’ is Jean-Paul Sartre and the ‘goalkeeper’ is Albert Camus. The book follows their relationship by way of their distinct approaches to philosophy and recounts how it ended in estrangement, until Camus’ death in a car crash.

It is full of fascinating detail – did you know that 2 people died in that fatal car crash, 2 people were thrown clear but no trace of the dog that was also a passenger was ever found?

It also gives a clear picture of the personalities of the philosophers and of Simone de Beauvoir, whom Sartre nicknamed ‘The Beaver’, who was the trois in the menage.

I enjoyed it a lot. It is funny as well, at certain moments, as the author highlights some of the absurdities of his own position. A very good read.


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