[Note: First question on this site - I've used other StackExchange sites but this is a first for me. Be gentle.]
I recently began reading Albert Camus' "The Rebel" because it was referenced extensively in another book I'd recently read ("Terror and Liberalism" by Paul Berman.) However, I'm somewhat stumped by "The Rebel." It reads like the second book in a series - like the continuation of some other work. It seems to pick up the story "in the middle," so to speak. For example, Camus by page 5 is indulging in an extensive discussion of his view of the "absurd" nature of existence:
But, for the moment, this train of thought yields only one
concept: that of the absurd. And the concept of the absurd
leads only to a contradiction as far as the problem of murder
is concerned. Awareness of the absurd, when we first claim to
deduce a rule of behavior from it [...]
But he never bothers to define what he means by the concept of "the absurd." This omission renders the rest of his argument somewhat mysterious to someone coming to it cold, without preparation.
I'm not sure if it's the French-to-English translation, or the fact that Camus' book is now almost 60 years old, but I'm finding some of it pretty impenetrable. I'd really like to make some sense of it, but I wonder if there's such a thing as an "Annotated Rebel" for those of us that need it, or is there another book that I need to read first?