I was quite uncomfortable with a significant part of this book. I recognize that for a lot of people—authors and readers alike—discomfort is an end in itself. For me it's not. I don't need to be overtly challenged in that way to find a book meaningful. That said, I recognize that discomfort has its place, and it certainly seemed to serve well here. The question of race is a disturbing one, from all sides, and Ellison confronts a lot of it head on.
It doesn't hurt, either, that the book is exquisitely well written. Not that he doesn't indulge in a bit too much exposition here and moralizing there, but the actual mechanics of his prose are nearly always pitch-perfect.
Also: I don't usually comment on the audiobook itself when I listen to something, but I did listen to this and I have to say that Joe Morton gives an absolutely stunning performance. I don't think I've ever heard a book better read.