Invisible Man (Penguin Modern Classics)

3.89 avg rating
( 162,499 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780141184425: Invisible Man (Penguin Modern Classics)
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

'One of the most important American novels of the twentieth century' The Times

'It is sometimes advantageous to be unseen, although it is most often rather wearing on the nerves'

Ralph Ellison's blistering and impassioned first novel tells the extraordinary story of a man invisible 'simply because people refuse to see me'. Published in 1952 when American society was in the cusp of immense change, the powerfully depicted adventures of Ellison's invisible man - from his expulsion from a Southern college to a terrifying Harlem race riot - go far beyond the story of one individual to give voice to the experience of an entire generation of black Americans.

This edition includes Ralph Ellison's introduction to the thirtieth anniversary edition of Invisible Man, a fascinating account of the novel's seven-year gestation.

With an Introduction by John F. Callahan

'Brilliant' Saul Bellow

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

A classic from the moment it first appeared in 1952, The Invisible Man chronicles the travels of its narrator, a young, nameless black man, as he moves through the hellish levels of American intolerance and cultural blindness. Searching for a context in which to know himself, he exists in a very peculiar state. "I am an invisible man," he says in his prologue, "When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination--indeed, everything and anything except me." But this is hard-won self-knowledge, earned over the course of many years.

As the book gets started, the narrator is expelled from his Southern Negro college for inadvertently showing a white trustee the reality of black life in the south, including an incestuous farmer and a rural whorehouse. The college director chastises him: "Why, the dumbest black bastard in the cotton patch knows that the only way to please a white man is to tell him a lie! What kind of an education are you getting around here?" Mystified, the narrator moves north to New York City, where the truth, at least as he perceives it, is dealt another blow when he learns that his former headmaster's recommendation letters are, in fact, letters of condemnation.

What ensues is a search for what truth actually is, which proves to be supremely elusive. The narrator becomes a spokesman for a mixed-race band of social activists called "The Brotherhood" and believes he is fighting for equality. Once again, he realises he's been duped into believing what hethought was the truth, when in fact it is only another variation. Of the Brothers, he eventually discerns: "They were blind, bat blind, moving only by the echoed sounds of their voices. And because they were blind they would destroy themselves.... Here I thought they accepted me because they felt that colour made no difference, when in reality it made no difference because they didn't see either colour or men".

Invisible Man is certainly a book about race in America, andsadly enough, few of the problems it chronicles have disappeared even now. But Ellison's first novel transcends such a narrow definition. It's also a book about the human race stumbling down the path to identity, challenged and successful to varying degrees. None of us can ever be sure of the truth beyond ourselves, and possibly not even there. The world isa tricky place, and no one knows this better than the invisible man, who leaves us with these chilling, provocative words: "And it is this which frightens me: Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?" --Melanie Rehak, Amazon.com

Review:

One of the most important American novels of the twentieth century (Times)

A brilliant individual victory . . . proving that a truly heroic quality can exist among our contemporaries (Saul Bellow)

A stunning block-buster of a book that will floor and flabbergast some people, bedevil and intrigue others, and keep everybody reading right through to its explosive end (Langston Hughes)

Don't try to write the Great American Novel, it has already been done . . . any US epic must address race, which remains the greatest single issue the country faces. (Paul Gambaccini The Week)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679732761: Invisible Man (Vintage International)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0679732764 ISBN 13: 9780679732761
Publisher: Penguin Random House USA, 1995
Softcover

9780679601395: Invisible Man (Modern Library) (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)

Random..., 1997
Hardcover

9780241970560: Invisible Man: Penguin Essentials

Penguin, 2014
Softcover

9780451038142: Invisible Man

New Am..., 1975
Softcover

9780679723134: Invisible Man

David ..., 1989
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

Stock Image

1.

Ralph Ellison
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2010)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Paperback Quantity available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 'One of the most important American novels of the twentieth century' The Times'It is sometimes advantageous to be unseen, although it is most often rather wearing on the nerves'Ralph Ellison's blistering and impassioned first novel tells the extraordinary story of a man invisible 'simply because people refuse to see me'. Published in 1952 when American society was in the cusp of immense change, the powerfully depicted adventures of Ellison's invisible man - from his expulsion from a Southern college to a terrifying Harlem race riot - go far beyond the story of one individual to give voice to the experience of an entire generation of black Americans.This edition includes Ralph Ellison's introduction to the thirtieth anniversary edition of Invisible Man, a fascinating account of the novel's seven-year gestation.With an Introduction by John F. Callahan'Brilliant' Saul Bellow. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780141184425

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
9.60
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

2.

Ralph Ellison
Published by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (2001)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Paperback Quantity available: > 20
Seller:
Grand Eagle Retail
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)

Book Description Penguin Books, Limited (UK), 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Paperback. Ellison's blistering and impassioned first novel, winner of the prestigious American National Book Award, tells the extraordinary story of a man who is invisible 'simply because people ref.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 608 pages. 0.410. Seller Inventory # 9780141184425

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
12.21
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

3.

Ralph Ellison
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2010)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Paperback Quantity available: 1
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 'One of the most important American novels of the twentieth century' The Times'It is sometimes advantageous to be unseen, although it is most often rather wearing on the nerves'Ralph Ellison's blistering and impassioned first novel tells the extraordinary story of a man invisible 'simply because people refuse to see me'. Published in 1952 when American society was in the cusp of immense change, the powerfully depicted adventures of Ellison's invisible man - from his expulsion from a Southern college to a terrifying Harlem race riot - go far beyond the story of one individual to give voice to the experience of an entire generation of black Americans.This edition includes Ralph Ellison's introduction to the thirtieth anniversary edition of Invisible Man, a fascinating account of the novel's seven-year gestation.With an Introduction by John F. Callahan'Brilliant' Saul Bellow. Seller Inventory # FOY9780141184425

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
12.93
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

4.

Ralph Ellison
Published by Penguin Books Ltd 2001-08-02, London (2001)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New paperback Quantity available: 10
Seller:
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 2001-08-02, London, 2001. paperback. Condition: New. Language: ENG. Seller Inventory # 9780141184425

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
9.21
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.75
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

5.

Ellison Ralph
Published by Penguin Books (2007)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Softcover Quantity available: 10
Seller:
Majestic Books
(Hounslow, United Kingdom)

Book Description Penguin Books, 2007. Condition: New. pp. xli + 582. Seller Inventory # 7114834

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
7.46
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6.50
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

6.

Ellison, Ralph
Published by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (2007)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Softcover Quantity available: > 20
Seller:
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)

Book Description Penguin Books, Limited (UK), 2007. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # ria9780141184425_new

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
10.95
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6.99
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

7.

Ellison, Ralph
Published by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (2007)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Paperback Quantity available: 2
Seller:
WorldofBooks20
(Goring-By-Sea, United Kingdom)

Book Description Penguin Books, Limited (UK), 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. This is a Brand New book, in perfect condition. Quick dispatch. Seller Inventory # NGR9780141184425

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
10.53
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 8
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

8.

Ellison, Ralph (Author)/ Callahan, John (Introduction by)
Published by Penguin Classics (2001)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Paperback Quantity available: 2
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)

Book Description Penguin Classics, 2001. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. 624 pages. In Stock. Seller Inventory # __0141184426

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
9.60
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 10
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

9.

Ralph Ellison
Published by Penguin Classics (2001)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Paperback Quantity available: > 20
Seller:
The Monster Bookshop
(Fleckney, United Kingdom)

Book Description Penguin Classics, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Seller Inventory # mon0000198907

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
8.49
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 11.99
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

10.

Ellison, Ralph
Published by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (2007)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Softcover Quantity available: > 20
Seller:
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)

Book Description Penguin Books, Limited (UK), 2007. Condition: New. 2001. New Ed. Paperback. Tells the story of a man invisible 'simply because people refuse to see me'. In this book, the author from his expulsion from a Southern college to a terrifying Harlem race riot - go far beyond the story of one individual. Series: Penguin Modern Classics. Num Pages: 624 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 28. Weight in Grams: 432. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780141184425

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
13.54
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 7.42
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book