Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review Book: Invisible Man

Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
581 pages


It's been a while since my last book review, and although I don't normally do books I've read for school, I think I'll make an exception for this one. I would highly suggest Invisible Man to those of you who are serious about reading and don't mind a bit of a challenge.  The prose itself is actually quite accessible; rather, the text is saturated with allusions and historical references that make reading it like digging through a treasure chest.  Finishing it is very satisfying.

That being said, I think that because of it's very complex nature, this book is best read in the context of a class or book club.  Not only will this help you get more out of the book, but the discussions that arise from reading certain passages are all but guaranteed to be interesting.  This novel is concerned with ideas of race, identity, and individuality vs. the community.  These all make great discussion points, even if you're just talking to one friend about it in a rather casual manner.

So, for a quick summary: Invisible Man is about a young African American man who is searching for himself.  We follow him through his memoir from his time at a black college in the south to his work as a young man for an American Communist group in Harlem, New York.  He faces many challenges along the way, not only from the white community, but from himself as well.

Too vague for you?  I guess you'll just have to read it!

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