Ryan Louis's Reviews > Invisible Man

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
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Sep 09, 09

bookshelves: top25fiction
Read in September, 2009

I have never read a book so richly paced. For being nearly 600-pages, I think it's extraordinary how the novel builds and builds and builds continuously and effortlessly.

It reads almost as if a series of short stories--always with the same character--dipping in and out of varied, and always powerfully dramatic, subjects. The novel's combinative factor is that each chapter is thick with musicality: so beautiful, so smart. It weaves together like a sonatina--each section independent, yet amassing to create a statement about its larger theme. Here, then, it's a song about America...just as relevant today as it was when it was written.

I've heard that Toni Morrison had leagues of respect for this book--almost as if it were an inspiration for "The Bluest Eye." I can see parallels of style and fortitude. I love her to pieces...and I'm sorry it's taken me this long to read Ellison, too.

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