Invisible No Longer – #19

Originally posted on

Heather Paquette

Invisible ManPrior to reading Invisible Man, the only thing I knew about Ralph Ellison was that his smiling face greeted me from my Kindle in a rotation with John Steinbeck, Charlotte Bronte, and a few others. I’m glad I got to actually read his milestone work, which was his first novel and was originally conceived after he had some conversations with Richard Wright, whose Native Son is next on the list.

The story is told through the perspective of the nameless African-American narrator, who tells the story of his early adult years. He claims that he is invisible because of the refusal of others to really see him. The first few chapters are basically short stories in themselves and in fact, one section was published separately prior to the book’s publication.

We first meet the narrator as a teenager who’s been invited to speak to a group of local white…

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So it Goes – Slaughterhouse Five – #18

Originally posted on

Heather Paquette

Confession time – At almost a fourth of the way through Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, I was still expecting for the main character to somehow get to the Chicago slaughterhouse district because I had confused this novel with The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, which I read in high school.

Whew! That literary fail is now off my chest – onto the review….

Slaughterhouse Five is actually a semi-autobiographical novel about Vonnegut’s World War II experiences, as told through the character of Billy Pilgrim. While the story is about Billy’s experience, it is actually told via an unreliable narrator who occasionally reminds us that he is telling the story by slipping into the first person two or three times throughout the novel.


This book does not have a linear plot line, and for the first time in our books thus far, I didn’t mind it! Billy believes he was captured…

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