To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Ralph Ellison is a great writer. In this collection of old short stories we see him grow and develop under our own eyes. He deals with the problem of racial relations and of race definitions with a tact and humor that make some of his stories extremely funny. But some others are dramatic and deal with a more general and abstract matter. The title story is typical of that. A black pilot is confronted to all kinds of reactions, from his dead father, from a vulture that crashed his plane, from the white owner of the field where he crashes, from the blacks who try to solve his problem : he broke his ankle in the accident. The father is being humorous about heaven and white Saint Peter. The white owner is deeply racist and brings two « nurses » from a psychiatric hospital since a black man has to become crazy if he flies. The black witnesses are just trying to help the poor fallen pilot without getting any antagonism from the white owner, which is not exactly easy. In each story we find such situations that bring racism to the fore or that reveals the « education » a black man has to go through to become « adapted » to this racist society, to make himself, if not invisible, at least unconspicuous. Those stories are worth a little voyage into this writing that we see building itself stone by stone. Of course the real walls are the novels, but here are the handy tasks that shaped Ralph Ellison's hand and pen for the novels. Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, Paris Universities II and IX.
Good stuff! Full of tasty riffs as on!y the master can deliver. Ranging in characters like Buster and Riley, train hopping bums and the first African American pilots, this is a read that will grab you and keep you in its grip. Only downer is that this collection is far too short.