|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
As the book gets started, the narrator is expelled from his Southern Negro college for inadvertently showing a white trustee the reality of black life in the south, including an incestuous farmer and a rural whorehouse. The college director chastises him: "Why, the dumbest black bastard in the cotton patch knows that the only way to please a white man is to tell him a lie! What kind of an education are you getting around here?" Mystified, the narrator moves north to New York City, where the truth, at least as he perceives it, is dealt another blow when he learns that his former headmaster's recommendation letters are, in fact, letters of condemnation.
What ensues is a search for what truth actually is, which proves to be supremely elusive. The narrator becomes a spokesman for a mixed-race band of social activists called "The Brotherhood" and believes he is fighting for equality. Once again, he realizes he's been duped into believing what he thought was the truth, when in fact it is only another variation. Of the Brothers, he eventually discerns: "They were blind, bat blind, moving only by the echoed sounds of their voices. And because they were blind they would destroy themselves.... Here I thought they accepted me because they felt that color made no difference, when in reality it made no difference because they didn't see either color or men."
Invisible Man is certainly a book about race in America, and sadly enough, few of the problems it chronicles have disappeared even now. But Ellison's first novel transcends such a narrow definition. It's also a book about the human race stumbling down the path to identity, challenged and successful to varying degrees. None of us can ever be sure of the truth beyond ourselves, and possibly not even there. The world is a tricky place, and no one knows this better than the invisible man, who leaves us with these chilling, provocative words: "And it is this which frightens me: Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?" --Melanie Rehak
The novel memorably deals with many themes of great importance to African Americans, from poverty to racism to identity issues.
It was the kind of book you backtrack while reading, retracing chapters you just read to see if the initial impact of the words was really that forceful.
There were many portions of the book that were difficult to follow due to the diction and style of writing that Ellison uses to develop his story.
There is great material in this book, some fascinating passages. But tightening it up to about half its present length would make it a great book.Published 12 days ago by warren crain
It was a different cover, but I actually liked the other one betterPublished 15 days ago by Larry inox
This book is hands down my favorite novel I have ever read. I originally read it as a high school senior as part of a class project, only because it was the most quoted book on the... Read morePublished 16 days ago by traildigger15
The book is difficult to read because there are markings of blue pen all over every page. I can deal with high lighting marks but this book is too much. Read morePublished 19 days ago by sheila maurice