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Preview — Native Son by Richard Wright
Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on...more
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Well, here is Larry's two-word review of the book:
Those who have studied the Harlem Renaissance know that Richard Wright was a passionate, angry man, the writer about whom other ...more
Upon reading this piece, I wondered the entire ...more
He ends the book accused of the capital rape and murder of a white girl, whom he did murder (but did not in fact rape), but by his own words to his lawyer, makes clear that raping her was something ...more
The book description just does not get across the most important aspect of the book: you will be in Bigger's skin, and this is scary. As I noted below, for much of the book you will be sitting on the edge o ...more
Bigger Thomas in a panic suffocated Mary Dalton and then burned her body to hide the crime and to avoid capture he smashed Bessie Mears with a brick and let her freeze to death. There is no question of the brutality of the crimes. An even Bigger, when in jail, believes he deserves to die for them.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog
But through the story of Bigger ...more
I'm not in love with Wright's writing style. I read Black Boy in college and felt like it suffered from the same problems: overly preachy and wordy, with long drawn out speeches and l ...more
Title: Native Son
Author: Richard Wright 624 Page paperback
Native Son is a third person narrative that intimately revolves around an African American named Bigger Thomas in the 1930's. He lives in poverty with his family and is a delinquent. To aggravate his poor life even more, Bigger also lives in a racist society where white people despise black people.
One day, Bigger is admitted for a job, which is to be the chauffeur of the Dalton Family, a ...more
Despite single-handedly starting the genre now known as "African-American Literature," the feisty Richard Wright had trouble his entire life with getting the proper recognition his work deserved, mostly because he had trouble even getting along ...more
He's such a powerful force that Wright spends the entire last third of his own book basically saying "Holy shit!" Which is why this only gets four stars from me; that "Holy shit" part is much ...more
The story Native Son written by Richard Wright has been banned, its success has been vandalized, and many people who enjoy the experience of taking life and converting it to ink have yet to flip through its pages because of the on going rumors that suffocate libraries and bookstores. Yet it still remains one of the greatest works of literature in its era. I enjoyed reading this book from cover to cover, but I must admit that when I first picked it up I had no interest in reading about ...more
I didn't like the book because I wasn't interested in a boy killing a mouse or a boy scaring his little sister with a mouse. It just didn't appeal to me. I felt as though I wasn't the attended audience the book was written for.
I started to ...more
I read Black Boy over and over and over again. I love Wright's writing. My only complaint about the book was the over-explanation offered the readers with Bigger's lawyer Max. It reminded me of the ov ...more
I just re-read it for the first meeting of an occasional book club.
This time it was a little more poignant for a couple reasons. First, I now live in Chicago, so I can relate to some of the physical surrounds that Wright describes. Secondly, after going through college's social systems courses I understand the traps that society sets better.
Though I can't directly apply the plot of this book to my life, it is an interesting opening to a discussion on predes ...more
I could probably count on one hand the number of books I've read that were as compelling as ...more
But if you want a brief overview of the book, here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia page that is much better than the summary on Goodreads: "While not apologizing for Bigger's crimes, Wright is sympathetic to the systemic inevitability behind them. The novel is a powerful statement about racial inequality and social injustices so ...more
Now the disclaimer: Most (if not all) ...more
The end of the book more or less a sermon devoted to Communism, the implication being that a communist society would prevent any future Bigger's. It dates the book, but is very informative and interesting. Still it is the character Bigger alone that delivers this wonderfully ...more
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.