Jun 16, carol. Recommended to carol. Yes, that Colson Whitehead. The I came to Colson Whitehead by way of zombies. The writing in Zone One my review was astonishing enough that I resolved to seek out more of his work. Though I picked up John Henry Days some time ago for a song, it was finding The Intuitionist that brought me back to him--I find a little mystery hard to resist.
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The following version of the book was used to make this Study Guide: Whitehead, Colson. The Intuitionist. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Kindle Edition. Lila Mae Watson is employed as an elevator inspector in an unnamed city similar to s and s era New York City. She is the first colored female inspector in the city department, and belongs to the theoretical faction of Intuitionism.
One day, there is an elevator accident at the Fanny Briggs Memorial Building, an important government building that Lila Mae inspects regularly. He tells her that Chancre, the Elevator Guild Chair or leader of the elevator department, is blaming Lila Mae — and Intuitionism in general — for the accident. Lila Mae returns home to find two men named Jim and John searching through her apartment; another man named Mr. After the break-in, Lila Mae stays at the Intuitionist House, a headquarters for Intuitionist leaders.
While there, she learns from Mr. Lila Mae also befriends a man named Natchez, who is filling in for his uncle as a housekeeper. Part Two is first told from the third-person limited perspective of Ben Urich, a journalist for the popular elevator magazine Lift.
He is abducted from his office by Jim and John and subsequently tortured. When Lila Mae leaves, she is abducted and taken to the same unknown building as Ben Urich, where Chancre tells her to stop looking for the black box. When Lila Mae returns to her apartment, she sees it has been ransacked; Natchez tells her that Mr.
Reed was responsible. He also reveals that Fulton was is uncle and was black but appeared white. Lila Mae and Natchez agree to work together to look for the black box. Lila Mae dresses as a caterer and attends the annual elevator inspection celebration called the Funicular Follies. At the event, Chancre attempts to demonstrate a safe elevator, but Natchez secretly cuts the ropes, causing an accident.
Lila Mae decides to go to the Lift magazine building to attempt to find copies of the blueprint. Urich tells Lila Mae that Arbo and United, the biggest elevator manufacturers in the world, want control over the black box because their sales are declining: Jim and John were employed by Arbo, as well as a man named Raymond Coombs, who Lila Mae realizes is Natchez after looking at a photograph.
Lila Mae returns to the Fanny Briggs building and intuits that the elevator accident had been a freak accident, and no one had framed her. She returns to Mrs. He had left instructions to Mrs. Rodgers to send the blueprints out: Mrs.
Rodgers removes the final journals from a dumbwaiter and gives them to Lila Mae. Lila Mae then goes to the Arbo office and gives Raymond Coombs the journal. In the final section, Lila Mae has bought a new apartment and is working on writing Volume Three of Theoretical Elevators, filling in the parts that Fulton was not able to complete in his notebook. She also frequently saw Fulton in the library at night from her room, and took an Intuitionism seminar.
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