book cover of The Intuitionist

The Intuitionist

(1998)
A novel by

 
 
Lila Mae is the anti-heroine of this startling debut by American journalist Colson Whitehead. The first coloured elevator inspector in the city, she is a pupil of the Intuitionist school of thought and is able to tell what is wrong with an elevator through intuitive communication with the machinery. Most of her fellow workers however belong to the Empiricist camp, and prefer to carry out routine conventional inspections. The simmering animosity between the two factions comes to the boil when an elevator that Lila Mae has inspected unexpectedly crashes. Solitary and taciturn Lila Mae suspects a conspiracy, and when rumours start circulating of a lost black box that contains the blueprint of the perfect elevator devised by the founder of Intuitionism and Lila Mae's hero, the late James Fulton, her conviction in the philosophical beliefs of her dead mentor compels her to unearth the truth. The surreality of the plot beguiles the seriousness with which Whitehead treats his underlying themes of racial and gender tension, and the use of the elevator works as a brilliant abstract metaphor for the organisation of society within a metropolis. Whitehead litters his deftly honed prose with pithy observations on everything from the construction of individual identity to philosophical absurdities on the nature of "elevatorness". Its an absolute joy to read, and one of the most original novels to be published in 1998.

Genre: General Fiction

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Used availability for Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist

Hardback Editions

December 1998 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 0-385-49299-5 / 978-0-385-49299-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

April 2017 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 0-7088-9847-5 / 978-0-7088-9847-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fleet
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


January 2000 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Intuitionist: A Novel
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 0-385-49300-2 / 978-0-385-49300-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 1999 : UK Paperback
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Title: Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 1-86207-310-4 / 978-1-86207-310-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Granta Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


January 1999 : UK Paperback
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Title: Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 1-86207-236-1 / 978-1-86207-236-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Granta Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


1999 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 0-9650697-8-8 / 978-0-9650697-8-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Granta
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

September 2019 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
Availability: Amazon   


September 2019 : Australia Audio edition
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Title: The Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
Availability: Amazon AU   


September 2019 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
Availability: Amazon UK   


October 2008 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   


October 2008 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


October 2008 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon UK   


2000 : USA Audio CD

Title: The Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 0-7887-5356-8 / 978-0-7887-5356-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

May 2017 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Intuitionist
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Fleet
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


May 2012 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Intuitionist: A Novel
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA