Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison

Hey, did you know this book is about race and discrimination? If you pick up this classic, be prepared for 600 pages of race, race relations, black vs white, black and white, and at least a once a page reminder that black people are invisible/overlooked. I don’t mean to say this book isn’t good, it is. It is an important classic for a reason–but that reason isn’t it’s compelling writing. It’s the emotion and message it portrays–you just sometimes have to dig through the writing to get to that part which is compelling/worth reading. There are chapter-long external and internal speeches that isolate the reader, confusing and seemingly out of place passages that leave you stumbling along and a slew of personality-less secondary characters. But don’t let me slam this book too much (or let me feel like too much of an ass for criticizing an important book about racism)–it is a famous and important work, and I would rank it highly among books I’m glad I’ve read (although maybe not among those I’ve enjoyed).

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