The Social Elite and Samarra – #22

Appointment in Samarra, by John O’Hara, describes in ambiguous detail the self-destruction of the central character Julian English over the course of a short three-day period. Although he seems to have it all as a wealthy car dealer and member of the social elite of his town, along with his wife Caroline, he acts impulsively … Continue reading The Social Elite and Samarra – #22

Hanging out with Henderson the Rain King – #21

I had absolutely no idea of what to expect from Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow, but I found a delightful romp through Africa with our over-sized, over-stressed titular protagonist Eugene Henderson. Henderson finds his life particularly uninspiring and decides to travel to Africa in search of spiritual and personal fulfillment. He soon breaks … Continue reading Hanging out with Henderson the Rain King – #21

Bigger’s Story – #20

Native Son by Richard Wright tells the story of Bigger Thomas, a 20-year old impoverished African American youth living with his family on Chicago’s South Side in the 1930s. He wants to do what is best for his family and finds himself a job as a driver for a wealthy white man, Mr. Dalton, and … Continue reading Bigger’s Story – #20

Invisible No Longer – #19

Prior 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 … Continue reading Invisible No Longer – #19