Book Review: Invisible Man

Ellison, Ralph
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!

TW: This book contains racism and police brutality. If either of these topics trigger you, I would recommend finding a different book.

‘Invisible Man’ is a story about an unnamed black man in the 1930s. He attempts to make his way in the world, but is blocked at every turn by society’s barriers and refusal to see him. He goes from university to the brotherhood trying to find his place. The story includes steady commentary on racism that remains prevalent to this day.

Almost all the main characters have a layer of depth to them. From Dr. Bledsoe to Mary, they all have clear motivations and roles in the story that contributes to the themes. The main character in particular surprised me. It’s not uncommon for the point of view character to be serviceable, but not have many defining traits. This narrator did, though. He was an eloquent speaker and was obsessed with his grandfather’s last words. It’s not the most exaggerated personality, but it was clear and consistent.

The plot moves along nicely, never staying in one place for too long. The progression makes sense, and no scene feels wasted.

This is a classic novel for good reason. I would recommend it to those who are looking for a longer, thought provoking read.

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