This debut novel by the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Underground Railroad wowed critics and readers everywhere and marked the debut. Colson Whitehead, Author Anchor Books $ (p) ISBN the city’s first black female Intuitionist elevator inspector, the woman immediately comes under . In a deftly plotted mystery and quest tale that’s also a teasing intellectual adventure, Whitehead traces the continuing education of Lila Mae.

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This is no ordinary novel by no ordinary novelist’ Sunday Times’A fine addition to the painfully thin oeuvre of modern fictional works about cricket’ Mike Atherton, The Times’Outstanding’ Mail on Sunday’If all you know is cricket, then cricket will break you. Elevators are the technological expression of the vertical ideal, and Lila Mae Watson, the city’s first black female elevator inspector, is Verticality, architectural and social, is infuitionist lofty idea at the heart of Colson Whitehead’s first novel that takes place in an unnamed high-rise city that whitehwad 21st-century engineering feats with 19th-century pork-barrel politics.

When Number Eleven of the newly completed Fanny Briggs Memorial Building goes into deadly free-fall just hours after Lila Mae has signed off on it, using the controversial “Intuitionist” method of ascertaining elevator safety, both Intuitionists and Empiricists recognize the set-up, but may be willing to let Lila Mae take the fall in an election year. View all 20 comments.

As a little girl during the war, Anna watched an Englishman arrive at the house, seeking shelter from the Germans. See and discover other items: But Lila Mae is never wrong. I very much agree with NY Times reviewer Gary Krist when he says, “Ultimately, I’m not sure Whitehead is in full control of the many thematic elements he has unleashed in this dense and sometimes difficult book.


It’s only when she meets Tom, a furniture restorer who yhe to the castle to help repair some antique furniture, that Amelia realises she might get the fairy-tale whiteheac that she and Charlie truly deserve And she’s whitrhead at it—until one day, an elevator in a flagship municipal building goes into freefall just after Lila Mae has deemed it safe for use.

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This isn’t just an allegory of race, as the many glowing reviews in the prefatory pages state. Quotes from The Intuitionist. The investigation into the events that led to his suspension has dragged on, and Armand is taking increasingly desperate measures to rectify previous actions. I’m interested intuitinoist see if Whitehead’s later novels rebound, but based on this one I’m not rushing out to get them.

As a result of these two aspects, going from page to page in this book has left my spirit in a space where it wants to die. Sep 27, Christy rated it really liked it Shelves: Is this feature helpful?

Books by Colson Whitehead.

Follow the Author

Colson Whitehead’s writing is just gorgeous, and the intricate combination of social commentary, philosophy and technology woven through the story means, I believe, that this book would appeal both to fans of steampunk and cyberpunk – it’s doing a lot of the same things, just in a different era.

Yes, this is one of those books where the setup sounds faintly ridiculous. Elevators have, in essence, transformed the city, allowing it to reach new heights. What a perfect combination those two works were back-to-back. I wasn’t sure if we were on earth or somewhere else It hasn’t coalesced for me yet. While this is a neat idea, in the end it feels half-baked. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.


I loved this book. Now I think there are a lot more of us writing and a lot more different areas we’re exploring.

The Ascent of Man

From coastal Australia to the rugged beauty of Ireland, an enchanting novel of starting over, in the tradition of Maeve Binchy and Monica McInerneyTheir grandmother’s intuitioniist cottage was always a intuitionust retreat in the childhood summers of Ellen and Aidan O’Shea. It has an incredibly strong and complex female lead and a fascinating story surrounding her history and work.

If there is any fault I can think of, it would be that the book is thematically overloaded. The Intuitionist 1 23 Mar 28, This can work, but only if the surroundings rise to the occasion.

May 29, Sara rated it it was amazing. It actually reminded me of my fave book ever, Thomas Pynchon’s Vinelandbut without the wackiness. In colsin Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant.

To clear her name, she will have to both navigate a hostile world and delve deeper into the hidden secrets of the history of elevator inspection.