Native Son and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$7.24
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Used condition, book is fulfilled by Amazon.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Native Son Paperback – 1996

367 customer reviews

See all 77 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, 1996
$12.97 $3.25
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$38.98

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Available from these sellers.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 594 pages
  • Publisher: HARPER PERENNIAL (1996)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0010WECYW
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (367 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 136 people found the following review helpful By KT8candy@aol.com on May 18, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I recently read Native Son,by Richard Wright, in my 8th grade English class while my class was reading To Kill a Mockingbird. Native Son is the shocking story of a young African American man, Bigger Thomas, living in the "black belt" of Chicago. Every second of his life he encounters the hateful separation society has put between blacks and whites. One night, caught in fear, anger and hate he commits his first murder against the daughter of his employer. Reading the two books simultaneously, I found many interesting comparisons between Native Son and To Kill a Mockingbird. They are both about the trial of a black man. In To Kill a Mockingbird the black man is innocent, however the racist town convicts him. Yet in Native Son he is guilty. Harper Lee tells her story through the point of view of a white person ( she herself is white) yet Richard Wright (a black man) tells the tale through Bigger's eyes. It is interesting to compare the two points of view, telling a similar tale through the two sides of racism. Both authors show their side of the story. Bigger's tale is told in a bigger and more dramatic way than how the whites regard the trial in To Kill a Mockingbird. Both stories portray the separation between African Americans and whites. Reading about this separation in both stories taught me a lot about this countries history. I learned about the strong hate that came between the races and the fear, anger and rage that results from it. The content of Native Son, is not always light. The hideous crimes Bigger commits are hardly small sins, but actions that effect an entire society. Wright's phenomenal writing described the hateful emotion of racism I will never understand. I found it difficult reading such horrible tales of hate, fear and anger.Read more ›
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey Halston on February 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
A compelling read from start to finish, this book tells the story of Bigger Thomas, a black youth living in the Chicago ghetto during the 1930s. Bigger Thomas is an archtype for the experience of black youths, the black struggle in America. I have read "Sonny's Blues," "Invisible Man," but I have found this novel the most powerful of the three.
This is also a great read for the would-be fiction writer. It's all here: plot, character, setting and gripping story telling that holds you to the end.
A must read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before I read this novel, I was burdened with a strong ambivalence. Certain people around me who have read NATIVE SON say that it's a horrible depiction of African Americans, structuring them as callous murderers and strictly unlikable. Yet others claimed it to be a masterpiece and when it ranked as one of the top 100 English language novels of the 20th century, I decided to give it a chance. WAKE UP. That's the feel when we start the novel and as it proceeds, nothing much happens for the first several pages. We familiarize with Bigger's violent temper and reputation for being the way he is. He gets a job working for a wealthy white family, a family very charitable to Negroes. Well, even though it seems they do it mainly to unhold the kindheartedness associated with their family name, the family takes in Bigger. There's the daughter, Mary, who introduces Bigger to her boyfriend, Jan, and they are sympathetic with the Negro race. Sympathetic to the point where Bigger hates them for it. While delivering Jan drunk to her room later that night, Bigger inadvertantly smothers her with a pillow while trying to cover up her unsobriety as her blind mother enters the room, killing her. Scared, Bigger cuts off her head and throws her remains into the furnace. Brutal, yeah. I won't say what else happens next but I will tell you my overall opinion on the novel. I think it's wonderful, excellent, and a masterpiece that simply has to be read. Even though if Bigger had been a real person and I was watching his trial on television, I would have said, "Yeah, execute the man", this novel does put something into perspective that some might find disturbing to ruminate over yet will have to agree with. HATE BREEDS HATE.Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 7, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book could have been written this year, the tenor is very contemporary. The themes and stereotypes are as prevelent today as they were then. The strength of the writing is timeless.The setting is gritty and real, the people are knowable. I enjoyed reading it again.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sean K on January 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
"The Native Son" delivers a chilling account of how an ordinary Black American, living in 1930s Chicago, can commit a heinous crime and subsequent cover-up, for the systemic racism and oppression present in America helped to create the conditions in which this horrendous act could occur. "The Native Son", written before the modern Civil Rights movement, does not issue a blanket amnesty for the crimes committed by Blacks, but helps the reader to understand the mindset of a Black living in this oppressed and segregated society where hope abounds only in the afterlife. Although Communists are portrayed sympathetically, this novel is not a call for a "revolution" or blatant propaganda against the "rich."

Wright explores racism and its effects, not only on the oppressed, but also on the oppressors. Bigger, the oppressed, fails to see whites as individuals and stereotypes all as racist bigots who intend only to harm him. Of course, there are plenty of these individuals about, yet there are genuine decent whites who Bigger fails to see as human. On the other side, of course, is the systemic abuse of Blacks as they are forced to live into a small section of the South Side in decrepit ghettos. Remarkably, this is a step up from their sharecropping days in the Jim Crow South, where Bigger grew up. However, even those whites who deem themselves to be sympathetic to the "Colored" cause, such as the Daltons, are condescending and arrogant. The Daltons, typical guilty liberals, have contributed thousands to the NAACP, yet they indirectly control the real estate company that reaps the benefits of the segregated society and the artificially higher rents in the black tenements.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?