Download Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man as a Free Audiobook (Available for a Limited Time)

When Ralph Elli­son pub­lished his first nov­el, Invis­i­ble Man, in 1952, it took the lit­er­ary world by storm. Orville Prescott, a lit­er­ary crit­ic at The New York Times, wrote in April of ’52:

Ralph Ellison’s first nov­el, “The Invis­i­ble Man,” is the most impres­sive work of fic­tion by an Amer­i­can Negro which I have ever read. Unlike Richard Wright and Willard Mot­ley, who achieve their best effects by over­pow­er­ing their read­ers with doc­u­men­tary detail, Mr. Elli­son is a fin­ished nov­el­ist who uses words with great skill, who writes with poet­ic inten­si­ty and immense nar­ra­tive dri­ve. “Invis­i­ble Man” has many flaws. It is a sen­sa­tion­al and fever­ish­ly emo­tion­al book. It will shock and sick­en some of its read­ers. But, what­ev­er the final ver­dict on “Invis­i­ble Man” may be, it does mark the appear­ance of a rich­ly tal­ent­ed writer.

Invis­i­ble Man won the U.S. Nation­al Book Award for Fic­tion the fol­low­ing year. And the belief that Elli­son wrote some­thing spe­cial has­n’t dimin­ished since. Case in point: When Mod­ern Library cre­at­ed a list of the 100 best Eng­lish-lan­guage nov­els of the 20th cen­tu­ry, they placed Invis­i­ble Man at num­ber 19.

As Don Katz tells us above, the book touched him deeply dur­ing his col­lege years at NYU. Now the founder and CEO of, he’s let­ting you down­load Invis­i­ble Man as a free audio­book. The free down­load is avail­able at Audi­ble and at Ama­zon until Decem­ber 31st. (Audi­ble is an Ama­zon sub­sidiary). Please note that you’ll need to cre­ate an account to get the down­load. But appar­ent­ly no payment/credit card info is required.

Sep­a­rate­ly, I should also men­tion that Audi­ble offers a free 30-day tri­al pro­gram, where they let you down­load two pro­fes­sion­al­ly-read audio­books. At the end of 30 days, you can decide whether to become an Audi­ble sub­scriber or not. Either way, you can keep the two free audio­books. Find more infor­ma­tion on that free tri­al pro­gram here.

Again, the links to down­load Invis­i­ble Man are here: Audi­ble — Ama­zon. And remem­ber, we have more free audio­books in our col­lec­tion, 1,000 Free Audio Books: Down­load Great Books for Free. Most­ly clas­sics.

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Relat­ed Con­tent

Ralph Elli­son Reads from His Novel-in-Progress,Juneteenth, in Rare Video Footage (1966)

Flan­nery O’Connor Reads ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ in Rare 1959 Audio

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