Irrelevant Troubadour

The Intuitionist, by Colson Whitehead
November 26, 2010, 10:36 pm
Filed under: literature

Courtesy Wikipedia Link

This is a good book, but it falls into a trap that a lot of works do (the other big example that comes to mind is Children of Men), that being trying to do two things at once.  In this case, half of this book is a wonderful, twisting noir along the lines of The Big Sleep and half of it is a rather obvious and ham-fisted allegory for the timeless Booker T. Washington/W.E.B. DuBois debate on how to achieve racial progress.  Allegory is never my favorite way of driving home a theme–my response to an allegory is always less “Hey! This brought up some interesting points!” and more “Hey!  I solved the puzzle!”–but when it’s married to a good plot, vivid prose, and engaging characters it’s easy to forget it’s there.  Those are all things The Intuitionist has in abundance, so I really can’t complain.


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