No. 118 (essentialsaltes) wrote,
No. 118

The Intuitionist, by Colson Whitehead

I was intrigued by the idea -- an alternate earth where the guild of elevator repairmen is a big deal, and a story that (I was told) would shed light on race in America. But it just didn't quite deliver for me. Set in a nameless NYC-esque city in a roughly 1930s or 1940s era. Lila Mae Watson is the first black female elevator inspector (and one of very few black inspectors) and then something goes terribly wrong on a brand new elevator that passed her inspection. She investigates on her own and gets involved in internal politics, and the mysteries surrounding the founding of the Intuitionist school of elevator repair. I liked the loopy-but-recognizable alternate earth, and certainly the story felt accurate in what the black experience might have been like in such a place and time, but I don't really think it had much to say, and much of the ultimate resolution was unsatisfying. The book has drawn comparisons to Ellison's The Invisible Man, which I can see. Course, I didn't like that, either.
Tags: book, whitebutnotnarrow

  • The Big Goodbye / Red Pill

    The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, by Sam Wasson I guess I thought this was going to be more generally about 1970s…

  • Chronic City - White Evangelical Racism

    Jonathan Lethem started his career with a kangaroo detective, and I was on board. But after he moved back to New York, he has become a lot more New…

  • Disco Elysium - Virtual Cities - The Light Ages

    I've solved the case in Disco Elysium (Final Cut), though that's probably the least exciting thing about the game. Part choose your own adventure;…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded