This book took a little bit of my soul and not in a good way. Okay that is an exaggeration but really I did not like this book when all said and done. I actually picked up this book at the library because I was Googling college reading lists and this book would pop up on a few and then I looked it up on Amazon and it had really good reviews. So I found it at my library and skimmed the first few pages and it seems like a good read.
So this book is about race. The narrator in the story is a black man from the South that moves to New York City. Not because he wants to but because he gets kicked out of school and he needs to figure out a new path.
I really liked this book starting out. It was interesting and some of the stories were twisted and weird. I enjoying reading about how he got to college and of course this is a fiction novel so the weird and wild tales are all made up but they presented a bigger picture. The tale between the white man and black man. I really did enjoy the first 300 pages of this book which is about half way. Yeah this book was nearly 600 pages long, 581 to be exact. After page 300 though the book was dragging on for me. Because instead of being these stories that were intriguing it seemed to turn to this mundane life that was just overfilled with description words. Like a chapter that could have been told in 3 pages was drug out to 10 because of the unnecessary description. So for a while there I felt like I wasn't even progressing in the story. Now I understand that descriptions need to be in books to set the scene but after page 300 or so it seemed like massive overkill.
I probably should have cut my loses and stopped reading half way through when I realized that I was totally over this novel. But I couldn't let 300 pages go to waste and I just had to see how it ended. So I finished it. And it's funny because I know how it ended. Because the first chapter is how it ended then it goes back in time to tell you the story of how he got there. So I obviously wasn't surprised by the ending because I already knew it.
This book does deal with racial questions that we are still dealing with today and this book was written in 1952. It is always interesting to me to see how far we haven't even come in 60 years. When this book talks about what is happening in the 50s and its the same that is happening today. I mean of course we have come a long way in some since but in others not at all which is fascinating to me. Anyways, while this book did hit a lot of points and was super interesting at times. I would not read it again knowing what I know now.