When Invisible Man first appeared in 1952, it remained on best-seller lists for 16 weeks, won the National Book Award, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the pillars of 20th-century American literature. Expelled from a southern black college for introducing a white trustee to some local color, a nameless young man moves to Harlem. There he embarks on what will become a life-long search for truth and a better life. Learning that his former headmaster's letters of recommendation are derogatory only adds to his growing sense of disillusionment. In his search for some degree of social visibility, he becomes a spokesman for a group of activists known as "the Brotherhood." Unfortunately, their agenda proves more important to them than racial equality. Although this book chronicles a young black man's search for identity through a maze of American intolerance, it is much more than a story of racial prejudice. It speaks of each individual's search for justice and truth in an increasingly devious and complex world. Peter Francis James' expert narration gives powerful voice to an important message.
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"Definitely not H.G. Wells! Eloquent, passionate, sardonic, shocking and surreal, this first novel of Ellison won a well-deserved Pulitzer and has since become a classic of American literature. An unnamed African-American tells of how he discovered that he is invisible to whites and how he learned to make the most of it. Narrator James does a merely serviceable job here, sometimes misinterpreting the text and at no time investing much of himself in it. If he has not given us the tour-de-force the material demands, he at least has delivered the considerable beauty of the writing. Y.R. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine"
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