This debut novel by the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Underground Railroad wowed critics and readers everywhere and marked the debut. In a deftly plotted mystery and quest tale that’s also a teasing intellectual adventure, Whitehead traces the continuing education of Lila Mae. The Intuitionist: A Novel [Colson Whitehead] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This debut novel by the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The .

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Perhaps it’s because Lila Mae is somewhat disenfranchised from herself–as she goes through her life one intuitiomist removed, I found I remained somewhat removed as well.

The Intuitionist

Colson’s elevator world intuitionisy full of suspense and intrigue. This novel takes place in a past that didn’t exist–where the Elevator Inspectors are revered, in a great city that has achieved verticality and seems to be c New York, or even All of the typical noir elements are here – the big, industrial city, menacing boss es playing dirty politics, muckraking reporter, servant with a trick up his sleeve, small-town girl in the big city.

To ask other readers questions about The Intuitionistplease sign up. So, with regards to the class, I understand why it was assigned.

Well, you would be w http: Not caring much for zombies, I picked this one, and am glad I did.

Elevators and elevator inspectors are given the same level of awe that airplanes and pilots once had in our version of America. But even then, it’s still fun to read. In another sense, it feels very constructed, very designed, meant to educate and explore, and not quite so much to feel.

Jun 16, carol. The elevator is at the morgue, and Watson was the last to inspect it. Also, an intensive distillation of racial politics in America that avoids belabored historical exposition. The competing school, the “Empiricists”, insists upon traditional instrument-based verification of the condition of the elevator. The story begins with the catastrophic failure of an elevator which Watson had inspected just days before, leading to suspicion cast upon both intuitioniet and the Intuitionist school as a whole.


Lila Mae is the first colored woman in the department, only the second colored person in the local chapter, and a disciple of Intuitionism. But I was in the library, and looked for the shelf to see what his earlier books might be like. We read it in a single day, one which left us bruised from all the cliches and the noir tropes which were further wrinkled with the riddle of race.

Nituitionist writing and an interesting and engaging read, 4. Like any good husband would, he reads my site. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Lila Mae Watson whitehrad the first colored woman intuirionist terminology to achieve her badge as an elevator inspector–and she is in Intuitionist, with the best record of anyone in the department. This probably means I need to re-read it to both get and appreciate it more fully. Verticality, architectural and social, is the lofty idea at the heart of Colson Whitehead’s first novel that takes place in an unnamed high-rise city that wbitehead 21st-century engineering feats with 19th-century pork-barrel politics.

Except better, because it’s not self-consciously ironic or a parody.

The Intuitionist – Wikipedia

Moving far beyond mere functionality, elevators are a both a rich field of study and a lucrative business. Lila Mae’s quest is mysteriously entwined with existence of heretofore lost writings by James Fulton, father of Intuitionism, a giant of vertical thought. Paperbackpages. The copy on the back cover whifehead its best to make the story and tone of the book sound extra weird, while at the same time remaining fairly vague.

Trivia About The Intuitionist. The Intuitionist is a novel by Colson Whitehead. The period is also vague–something I often like–but here, in combination with the other vaugenesses, it again feels like a crutch. Dec 07, Jonathon Hodge rated it it was amazing. I really want to like this book. He knows he’ll get better information out of me if he waits for the written version of my bookish thoughts.

This book was recommended to me off a list. Fortunately, I’ve already graduated college, so I don’t have to write a thoughtful essay analyzing all the moving parts of this book.



Not that this novel has the weight or import of that classic, but I experienced a confusion with each that seemed somehow tied to both my white privilege not that we called it that back when I was an undergrad and my almost complete lack of experience with urban life. At it’s heart, the novel might be broken down like this: The extensive book long metaphor was fun to pick apart, and it was unsettling not knowing who was telling the truth.

It’s set in the past somewhere from the 20s to the 40s? View all 19 comments. Yes, that Colson Whitehead. Didn’t love the ending kinda thought it was a bit of a cop out. I read some reviews before I dove in. I intuitionkst a little disappointed to not see the same level of prose that I loved in Zone One.

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead

The Intuitionist 1 23 Mar 28, Lila Mae Watson is an elevator inspector in a New York-ish city full of high rises. Three and a half stars, rounding up because this author can write. It explores the dilemma of light-skinned blacks who pass for white, and the roles of first-black, second-black, in a white organization, and the blending of backgrounds and cultures in an urban setting.

There’s a magazine mentioned in the book called Whiteheadd that somehow seems like a cross between Esquire and Playboy. This is an excellent book. Or is it about an ideological conflict between opposing schools of elevator theory the Empiricists whitenead the Intuitionists which surfaces when an elevator deemed safe by elevator inspector, Lila Intuitionkst Watson an Intuitionist goes into freefall?

I know it sounds very odd, but it works. Whatever the reason, I find them comparable novels. View all 4 comments.