Invisible Man

Invisible Man

Book - 1994
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In the course of his wanderings from a Southern Negro college to New York's Harlem, an American black man becomes involved in a series of adventures.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 1994
Edition: Modern Library ed
ISBN: 9780679601395
Branch Call Number: CF ELLISON
Characteristics: xxxiv, 572 pages ; 20 cm


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List - Afrofuturism
ArapahoeKasey Mar 13, 2018

Ralph Ellison's classic novel about black masculinity is considered an early example of Afrofuturism.

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Aug 11, 2019

Profound and touching. I can see some of myself in the hero, naive and hopeful when young, disappointed to encounter betrayal, still trying to be resilient. I thought of this book after seeing the exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins about African-American artists; the Kansas City Public Library has a list of recommended books related to the exhibit. The exhibit, like the book, shows African-Americans counter to stereotypes: bold and resourceful. I regret that women are stereotyped in the book.

Jul 26, 2019

Absolute torture. Written with a sledgehammer, not a pen.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jul 10, 2019

I'd never read this and decided to rectify that fact. There is so much about the world today that resonates with the experiences of the nameless narrator of this book. Picaresque novels aren't my fav...but this one packs a punch.

HCL_featured Sep 19, 2018

"Retained in the Yakima, WA schools (1994) after a five-month dispute over what advanced high school students should read in the classroom. Two parents raised concerns about profanity and images of violence and sexuality in the book and requested that it be removed from the reading list. " from American Library Association

Jul 18, 2018

Did not finish

May 08, 2017

The plot construction is (post) modern, his approach of blackness leads to a universal reality, akin to every race.
The narrative style, Ellison's flamboyant passages, maybe a thing of past (in contrast with short and fragmented sentences filling our modern time), is still a timeless classic, to reveal inner and outer landscapes, powerful.

"I'm invisible, and not blind." - me too, and wish everyone read this book, then how many can be awaken from hibernation, feeling ashamed?

triptophan Feb 11, 2017

I didn't even finish Invisible Man, because the main character didn't even have a name and he put up with a lot of things that he didn't have to. Very frustrating! Don't even bother reading this.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 02, 2016

Invisible Man is the author's only complete novel, which is unfortunate, because it is such a spectacular story. This is one I'd like to return to someday.

Nov 21, 2015

Ralph Ellison does an excellent job of identifying the societal blinders that influence the perception of not just the African American, but in particular, the specific individual, in this great classic. Perhaps that is what makes this book the celebrated masterwork that it is. Because he crafts varied situations that illustrate the impact of preconceptions and the way they alter true discernment. Ellison does not spare the protagonist his own moments of 'blindness', leading the reader to surmise once the book is read, that the title alludes to the way "man" in its totality remains somehow cloaked to its peers; misread, misinterpreted to its own folly and detriment.

Mr. Ellison certainly wrote this book informed by his experience as an African American and maybe because of this perspective, rather despite it, the document is a universal statement about the reality of the way humans mis-see or fail to connect with one another.

Why did I wait so long to read this excellent book?

Oct 08, 2015

Watch any Hollywood movie released in the 1940’s and 1950’s and you will realize what Ralph Ellison means by Invisible Man. African-Americans are either totally absent in all white Hollywood films or in them only briefly to carry luggage at train depots or to invisibly serve coffee to their masters in their mansions. And in real society, African-Americans were segregated in ghettos so that White people would not have to see them or to even think about them. In the South it was called slavery, segregation, lynching (de jure) and in the north it was called ghettoization or death by police or mobs (de facto). Ellison explores both North and South in this often surrealistic hell to which African-Americans were subjected on an hourly basis (and often even today in the 21st century). This has to be in the top 5 of all African-American novels written before the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s.

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?

Feb 14, 2015

“To Whom It May Concern . . . Keep This Nigger-Boy Running"


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Feb 14, 2015

Mhailu98 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Aug 07, 2011

- Just not in the mood for a southern bigotry novel and the damage done to people. Didn’t read much of it.


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