I bought this book some years a go from a second hand bookshop in Robin Hood's Bay. It did not seem the obvious choice for a walking holiday in North Yorkshire but on repairing to base, a small flat in Helmsley (well worth a visit, great pubs!), I proceeded to devour this at a rate of knots.
The sections in the paint factory are particularly vivid. The escapades undergone by the invisible hero of this novel show us the readers what it is like to experience alientation and racism in America. To go further it is for me a meditation on what is real, on seeing through fakers and adhering to one's one true path, the one the titular protagonist here instinctively sees as his own.
So much of the bigotry described in the book, the small petty mindedness of people, demonstrates that the sufferings of this 'Invisible Man' are mostly beyond his control. He is therefore a buffeted victim of fate. In other words he is dammed if he does and dammed if he don't!
The writing in this book is extraordinary, I quote just from the Prologue to give a flavour of the delights the curious and persistant reader is in for:
"I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fibre and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind."
This is in my opinion a truly great though disturbing book, read it and you will be rewarded, it resonates strongly long after the last page has been turned...