Invisible Man (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Sep 29, 2010 - Fiction - 581 pages
1777 Reviews
Invisible Man is a milestone in American literature, a book that has continued to engage readers since its appearance in 1952.  A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century.  The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.  The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
  

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5 stars
822
4 stars
451
3 stars
257
2 stars
162
1 star
85

Great writing, characters, and storytelling. - Goodreads
The prose was a little wordy for my preferences - Goodreads
Masterful! Educational! - Goodreads
The plot was just too boring for me. - Goodreads
Brilliant opening, genius ending... - Goodreads
I made a great error by skipping the introduction. - Goodreads

Review: Invisible Man

User Review  - Laura Engelken - Goodreads

This is an amazing work that skillfully and passionately addresses the complexities of racism in the United States, particularly as it impacts the lives of African Americans. I was particularly ... Read full review

Review: Invisible Man

User Review  - Abby Larock - Goodreads

Very interesting story and depiction of how discrimination can change a person. Can't remember a lot about the book, but remember it was dark. Read full review

All 9 reviews »

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
15
Section 3
34
Section 4
71
Section 5
98
Section 6
109
Section 7
136
Section 8
151
Section 15
261
Section 16
296
Section 17
318
Section 18
333
Section 19
356
Section 20
383
Section 21
409
Section 22
423

Section 9
162
Section 10
172
Section 11
174
Section 12
196
Section 13
231
Section 14
251
Section 23
445
Section 24
462
Section 25
479
Section 26
513
Section 27
572
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 28 - A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal: "Water, water, we die of thirst." The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back, "Cast down your bucket where you are.
Page 29 - Cast down your bucket where you are " — cast it down in making friends in every manly way of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded.
Page 29 - Cast down your bucket where you are." And a third and fourth signal for water was answered, "Cast down your bucket where you are." The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket, and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River.
Page 25 - Get down around the rug now," the man commanded, "and don't anyone touch it until I give the signal." "This ought to be good,
Page 15 - I'm gone I want you to keep up the good fight. I never told you, but our life is a war and I have been a traitor all my born days, a spy in the enemy's country ever since I give up my gun back in the Reconstruction. Live with your head in the lion's mouth. I want you to overcome 'em with yeses, undermine 'em with grins, agree 'em to death and destruction, let 'em swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open.
Page 7 - Invisibility, let me explain, gives one a slightly different sense of time, you're never quite on the beat. Sometimes you're ahead and sometimes behind. Instead of the swift and imperceptible flowing of time, you are aware of its nodes, those points where time stands still or from which it leaps ahead.
Page 6 - Without light I am not only invisible, but formless as well; and to be unaware of one's form is to live a death. I myself, after existing some twenty years, did not become alive until I discovered my invisibility.

References to this book

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About the author (2010)

Ralph Ellison was born in Okalahoma and trained as a musician at Tuskegee Institute from 1933 to 1936, at which time a visit to New York and a meeting with Richard Wright led to his first attempts at fiction. Invisible Man won the National Book Award  and the Russwurm Award. Appointed to the Academy of American Arts and Letters in 1964, Ellison taught at many colleges including Bard College, the University of Chicago, and New York University where he was Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities from 1970 through 1980. Ralph Ellison died in 1994.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information