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The weirdest thing about USA's limited series The Sinner that no one seems to be talking about is that it's the same premise as Albert Camus' existentialist novel The Stranger, which has been read by just about every American high school student, especially sad ones, but apparently no German ones (Petra Hammesfahr, who wrote the novel on which The Sinner is based, is German). In both novels and on the show, the action is incited when a person brutally murders a stranger at the beach for no good reason, and then everyone including the protagonist tries to figure out why. The Stranger must be in the public domain, because otherwise the Camus estate would have sued for copyright infringement.
The Sinner is not the first adaptation-in-spirit of The Stranger. English rock band The Cure's career-starting 1978 single "Killing an Arab" has lyrics inspired by the book. Any sad high schooler can tell you this. I wonder if Jessica Biel ever went through a Cure phase. Anyway, here are the ways that The Sinner is like "Killing an Arab" even when it's different. Maybe at the end we can determine which is the superior Stranger descendent.
Sinner - Sinner - Pace - Arab - Post-punk
1. The Sinner and "Killing an Arab" each have a gloomy, depressing atmosphere, but The Sinner moves at a languid pace, while "Killing an Arab" is a propulsive post-punk song. "Killing an Arab" is catchier.
2. In The Sinner, the killer is a woman named Cora Tannetti (Biel). In "Killing an Arab," the killer is an unnamed man, but presumably he's Meursault, the narrator of The Stranger, not Robert Smith, the leader of the Cure.
Arab - Victim - Man - Sinner - Man
3. In "Killing an Arab," the victim is an Arab man. In The Sinner, he's a white man named Frankie. Not...
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