Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Intuitionist, by Colson Whitehead

This is an odd book.  Set in a pre-civil rights New York, it feels as though there's a race relations statement intwined with the story line.  Which features Lila Mae: as an elevator inspector in the powerful "Elevator Guild" she faces hassles as both a woman and a black woman in a bigoted and misogynist agency.  Oh, and there's a third mark on Lila Mae: she's an "intuitionist" and the "empiricist" clique for elevator safety is in power.

So yes, the framework for the story is a world of elevator inspectors, a world in which this is an extraordinarily important function.  The novel is pretty interesting until around the half-way point.  Lila Mae goes rogue a bit, starts learning some background on her colleagues and her specialty, and the difficulty of the read increases substantially.   To the point of reading becoming drudgery.

I wasn't a huge fan, but maybe I just needed more coffee at the end.

The Intuitionist: A Novel

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