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About the Author
Date of Birth:September 21, 1866
Date of Death:August 13, 1946
Place of Birth:Bromley, Kent, England
Place of Death:London, England
Education:Normal School of Science, London, England
Read an Excerpt
THE STRANGE MAN'S ARRIVAL
THE STRANGER came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking as it seemed from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand. He was wrapped up from head to foot, and the brim of his soft felt hat hid every inch of his face but the shiny tip of his nose; the snow had piled itself against his shoulders and chest, and added a white crest to the burden he carried. He staggered into the Coach and Horses, more dead than alive as it seemed, and flung his portmanteau down. "A fire," he cried, "in the name of human charity! A room and a fire!" He stamped and shook the snow from off himself in the bar, and followed Mrs. Hall into her guest parlour to strike his bargain. And with that much introduction, that and a ready acquiescence to terms and a couple of sovereigns flung upon the table, he took up his quarters in the inn.
Mrs. Hall lit the fire and left him there while she went to prepare him a meal with her own hands. A guest to stop at Iping in the wintertime was an unheard-of piece of luck, let alone a guest who was no "haggler," and she was resolved to show herself worthy of her good fortune. As soon as the bacon was well under way, and Millie, her lymphatic aid, had been brisked up a bit by a few deftly chosen expressions of contempt, she carried the cloth, plates, and glasses into the parlour and began to lay them with the utmost eclat. Although the fire was burning up briskly, she was surprised to see that her visitor still wore his hat and coat, standing with his back to her and staring out of the window at the falling snow in the yard. His gloved hands were clasped behind him, and he seemed to be lost in thought. She noticed that the melted snow that still sprinkled his shoulders dropped upon her carpet. "Can I take your hat and coat, sir," she said, "and give them a good dry in the kitchen?"
"No," he said without turning.
She was not sure she had heard him, and was about to repeat her question.
He turned his head and looked at her over his shoulder. "I prefer to keep them on," he said with emphasis, and she noticed that he wore big blue spectacles with sidelights, and had a bushy side-whisker over his coat-collar that completely hid his cheeks and face.
"Very well, sir," she said. "As you like. In a bit the room will be warmer."
He made no answer, and had turned his face away from her again, and Mrs. Hall, feeling that her conversational advances were ill-timed, laid the rest of the table things in a quick staccato and whisked out of the room. When she returned he was still standing there, like a man of stone, his back hunched, his collar turned up, his dripping hat-brim turned down, hiding his face and ears completely. She put down the eggs and bacon with considerable emphasis, and called rather than said to him, "Your lunch is served, sir."
"Thank you," he said at the same time, and did not stir until she was closing the door. Then he swung round and approached the table with a certain eager quickness.
As she went behind the bar to the kitchen she heard a sound repeated at regular intervals. Chirk, chirk, chirk, it went, the sound of a spoon being rapidly whisked round a basin. "That girl!" she said. "There! I clean forgot it. It's her being so long!" And while she herself finished mixing the mustard, she gave Millie a few verbal stabs for her excessive slowness. She had cooked the ham and eggs, laid the table, and done everything, while Millie (help indeed!) had only succeeded in delaying the mustard. And him a new guest and wanting to stay! Then she filled the mustard pot, and, putting it with a certain stateliness upon a gold and black tea-tray, carried it into the parlour.
She rapped and entered promptly. As she did so her visitor moved quickly, so that she got but a glimpse of a white object disappearing behind the table. It would seem he was picking something from the floor. She rapped the mustard pot on the table, and then she noticed the overcoat and hat had been taken off and put over a chair in front of the fire, and a pair of wet boots threatened rust to her steel fender. She went to these things resolutely. "I suppose I may have them to dry now," she said in a voice that brooked no denial.
"Leave the hat," said her visitor, in a muffled voice, and turning she saw he had raised his head and was sitting and looking at her.
For a moment she stood gaping at him, too surprised to speak.
He held a white cloth--it was a serviette he had brought with him--over the lower part of his face, so that his mouth and jaws were completely hidden, and that was the reason for his muffled voice. But it was not that which startled Mrs. Hall. It was the fact that all his forehead above his blue glasses was covered by a white bandage, and that another covered his ears, leaving not a scrap of his face exposed excepting only his pink, peaked nose. It was bright, pink, and shiny just as it had been at first. He wore a dark-brown velvet jacket with a high, black, linen-lined collar turned up about his neck. The thick black hair, escaping as it could below and between the cross bandages, projected in curious tails and horns, giving him the strangest appearance conceivable. This muffled and bandaged head was so unlike what she had anticipated, that for a moment she was rigid.
He did not remove the serviette, but remained holding it, as she saw now, with a brown gloved hand, and regarding her with his inscrutable blue glasses. "Leave the hat," he said, speaking very distinctly through the white cloth.
Her nerves began to recover from the shock they had received. She placed the hat on the chair again by the fire. "I didn't know, sir," she began, "that--" and she stopped embarrassed.
"Thank you," he said drily, glancing from her to the door and then at her again.
"I'll have them nicely dried, sir, at once," she said, and carried his clothes out of the room. She glanced at his white-swathed head and blue goggles again as she was going out the door; but his napkin was still in front of his face. She shivered a little as she closed the door behind her, and her face was eloquent of her surprise and perplexity. "I never," she whispered. "There!" She went quite softly to the kitchen, and was too preoccupied to ask Millie what she was messing about with now, when she got there.
The visitor sat and listened to her retreating feet. He glanced inquiringly at the window before he removed his serviette, and resumed his meal. He took a mouthful, glanced suspiciously at the window, took another mouthful, then rose and, taking the serviette in his hand, walked across the room and pulled the blind down to the top of the white muslin that obscured the lower panes. This left the room in a twilight. This done, he returned with an easier air to the table and his meal.
"The poor soul's had an accident or an operation or something," said Mrs. Hall. "What a turn them bandages did give me, to be sure!"
She put on some more coal, unfolded the clotheshorse, and extended the traveller's coat upon this. "And they goggles! Why, he looked more like a divin'-helmet than a human man!" She hung his muffler on a corner of the horse. "And holding that handkercher over his mouth all the time. Talkin' through it! . . . Perhaps his mouth was hurt too--maybe."
She turned round, as one who suddenly remembers. "Bless my soul alive!" she said, going off at a tangent; "ain't you done them taters yet, Millie?"
When Mrs. Hall went to clear away the stranger's lunch, her idea that his mouth must also have been cut or disfigured in the accident she supposed him to have suffered, was confirmed, for he was smoking a pipe, and all the time that she was in the room he never loosened the silk muffler he had wrapped round the lower part of his face to put the mouthpiece to his lips. Yet it was not forgetfulness, for she saw he glanced at it as it smouldered out. He sat in the corner with his back to the window-blind and spoke now, having eaten and drunk and been comfortably warmed through, with less aggressive brevity than before. The reflection of the fire lent a kind of red animation to his big spectacles they had lacked hitherto.
"I have some luggage," he said, "at Bramblehurst station," and he asked her how he could have it sent. He bowed his bandaged head quite politely in acknowledgment of her explanation. "To-morrow!" he said. "There is no speedier delivery?" and seemed quite disappointed when she answered, "No." Was she quite sure? No man with a trap who would go over?
Mrs. Hall, nothing loath, answered his questions and developed a conversation. "It's a steep road by the down, sir," she said in answer to the question about a trap; and then, snatching at an opening said, "It was there a carriage was up-settled, a year ago and more. A gentleman killed, besides his coachman. Accidents, sir, happen in a moment, don't they?"
But the visitor was not to be drawn so easily. "They do," he said through his muffler, eyeing her quietly through his impenetrable glasses.
"But they take long enough to get well, sir, don't they? . . . There was my sister's son, Tom, jest cut his arm with a scythe, tumbled on it in the 'ayfield, and, bless me! he was three months tied up, sir. You'd hardly believe it. It's regular given me a dread of a scythe, sir."
"I can quite understand that," said the visitor.
"He was afraid, one time, that he'd have to have an op'ration--he was that bad, sir."
The visitor laughed abruptly, a bark of a laugh that he seemed to bite and kill in his mouth. "Was he?" he said.
"He was, sir. And no laughing matter to them as had the doing for him, as I had--my sister being took up with her little ones so much. There was bandages to do, sir, and bandages to undo. So that if I may make so bold as to say it, sir--"
"Will you get me some matches?" said the visitor, quite abruptly. "My pipe is out."
Mrs. Hall was pulled up suddenly. It was certainly rude of him, after telling him all she had done. She gasped at him for a moment, and remembered the two sovereigns. She went for the matches.
"Thanks," he said concisely, as she put them down, and turned his shoulder upon her and stared out of the window again. It was altogether too discouraging. Evidently he was sensitive on the topic of operations and bandages. She did not "make so bold as to say," however, after all. But his snubbing way had irritated her, and Millie had a hot time of it that afternoon.
The visitor remained in the parlour until four o'clock, without giving the ghost of an excuse for an intrusion. For the most part he was quite still during that time; it would seem he sat in the growing darkness smoking in the firelight, perhaps dozing.
Once or twice a curious listener might have heard him at the coals, and for the space of five minutes he was audible pacing the room. He seemed to be talking to himself. Then the armchair creaked as he sat down again.
MR. TEDDY HENFREY'S FIRST IMPRESSIONS
AT FOUR o'clock, when it was fairly dark and Mrs. Hall was screwing up her courage to go in and ask her visitor if he would take some tea, Teddy Henfrey, the clock-jobber, came into the bar. "My sakes! Mrs. Hall," said he, "but this is terrible weather for thin boots!" The snow outside was falling faster.
Mrs. Hall agreed with him, and then noticed he had his bag, and hit upon a brilliant idea. "Now you're here, Mr. Teddy," said she, "I'd be glad if you'd give th' old clock in the parlour a bit of a look. 'T is going, and it strikes well and hearty; but the hour-hand won't do nuthin' but point at six."
And leading the way, she went across to the parlour door and rapped and entered.
Her visitor, she saw as she opened the door, was seated in the armchair before the fire, dozing it would seem, with his bandaged head drooping on one side. The only light in the room was the red glow from the fire--which lit his eyes like adverse railway signals, but left his down-cast face in darkness--and the scanty vestiges of the day that came in through the open door. Everything was ruddy, shadowy, and indistinct to her, the more so since she had just been lighting the bar lamp, and her eyes were dazzled. But for a second it seemed to her that the man she looked at had an enormous mouth wide open,--a vast and incredible mouth that swallowed the whole of the lower portion of his face. It was the sensation of a moment: the white-bound head, the monstrous goggle eyes, and this huge yawn below it. Then he stirred, started up in his chair, put up his hand. She opened the door wide, so that the room was lighter, and she saw him more clearly, with the muffler held to his face just as she had seen him hold the serviette before. The shadows, she fancied, had tricked her.
"Would you mind, sir, this man a-coming to look at the clock, sir?" she said, recovering from her momentary shock.
"Look at the clock?" he said, staring round in a drowsy manner, and speaking over his hand, and then, getting more fully awake, "certainly."
Mrs. Hall went away to get a lamp, and he rose and stretched himself. Then came the light, and Mr. Teddy Henfrey, entering, was confronted by this bandaged person. He was, he says, "taken aback."
"Good-afternoon," said the stranger, regarding him, as Mr. Henfrey says, with a vivid sense of the dark spectacles, "like a lobster."
"I hope," said Mr. Henfrey, "that it's no intrusion."
"None whatever," said the stranger. "Though, I understand," he said, turning to Mrs. Hall, "that this room is really to be mine for my own private use."
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
1. The Text 1
2. Science Fiction 2
3. Socialism 3
4. “Dialectic of Human Destiny” 9
5. Invisibility 12
6. “The Cramped Village” 14
7. Laboratory Ethics 17
8. “Holy Terror” 22
The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance (1897) 29
(Annotated text of the first New York edition) 32
I. Review of The Invisible Man in The Spectator (1897) 205
II. Review of The Invisible Man by Arnold Bennett (1897) 207
III. Sergei Nechaev, “The Revolutionary Catechism” (1869), Section 1 209
IV. T.H. Huxley, “Science and Culture” (1880), Excerpt 212
V. Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, “The Sphinx” (1843) 218
Reading Group Guide
1. 1. However fantastic, H. G. Wells’s works often contain allegorical meanings and themes that point to real-world conflicts, social conditions, and political ideas. Discuss some of the ways in which The Invisible Man might be construed allegorically.
2. 2. What do you think The Invisible Man has to say about the relationship between science and morality?
3. 3. Would you say that the narrator of The Invisible Man is sympathetic to Griffin? If so, in what ways or with what qualifications?
4. 4. Does Griffin’s character change during the course of the narrative? If so, how and why, and to what effect?
5. 5. Is there a moral to this story? If so, what would you say it is?
6. 6. Compare Wells’s creation to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Are there similarities?
7. 7. The Invisible Man combines elements of comedy and tragedy. Do you think the particular blend Wells devises is effective?
8. 8. The subject of countless film adaptations and retellings, The Invisible Man ranks as one of the most popular nineteenth-century tales. What do you think accounts for its enduring appeal?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a man who wants to learn how to turn things invisible.He turns himself invisible,he has been living thi way forever.He is robbing to live his life.Some one is betraying him and telling what he does. What will happen to the invisible man!I recomend this book because it's mysterious and it's addicting!!!!!!!
This book is very well written and kept me intrested the whole way through. I had read alot of reviews saying how boring it is but it is my personal opinion that this book is very much the opposite of boring. Definetly a great read. :)
I read the book in 3rd grade. But another really good book by H.G.Wells is The War of the Worlds. Try that one out. Its great.
This book seemed to have that classic touch to it. It was one of those brilliant tales of a gifted scientist going mad over his experiments. My favorites.
This book was amazing with so many twists and plots. Hard to believe 'twas written in 1897. I give it 5 stars and more.
good for teens and fun to read some bigh words but a good book buy it!!!!
The concept of invisibility has been the source of much theory and conjecture. If there was a way to bend light or to have a garment (or skin, as in the case of the Invisible Man), be able to reflect all colors of the visible spectrum, it could be used for good or evil. The story deals with the ramification of unique power and the use of that power. In the case of the Invisible Man, the main character is both brilliant and tragic. You find yourself asking what kind of path you would follow had you been in the Invisible Man's place. This was the first of many classic stories by H.G. Wells, and it is worth the read. I did find it a bit shorter than I would have liked, but Wells was never one to waste words. I still liked it, but not as much as his other works.
This was a quick read. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. I was surprised that we didn't get to hear the invisible man's story until so far in. From the perspective and information given, it was like the fact that he was invisible was supposed to eventually strike us as a great surprise, but... it's called "The Invisible Man." Anyway, it did pick up once we finally heard his story.From the beginning, I wanted to like the invisible man, or at least to have some sympathy for him. Oh, maybe he has a reason for not wanting to talk to anybody, I hoped, but he was just a bad-tempered jerk from the start. I feel like the author could have addressed some deeper themes here if the story had been just a little different, but maybe it's just supposed to be more of a fun read.I did find the ideas about how he became invisible interesting-- the real science fiction part of it. I also laughed at one scene where he has a dreadful time trying to convince someone he's invisible, and the end was somewhat exciting.
My second H.G. Wells novel. Honestly, I didn't enjoy The Invisible Man quite as much as I did The War of the Worlds. The storyline and writing were both top notch, but I just found it hard to REALLY enjoy a novel in which I totally despised the main character. In all actuality, I guess my feelings towards the protagonist/antagonist (yes, both are the same character) would be considered a win for the author, as I feel that Wells didn't intend for the reader to truly like this character. What I find interesting is that as I was reading the novel, I did feel a bit of sympathy for the main character's plight from time to time, but then he would do something so over-the-top or horribly nasty that I would immediately lose any sympathetic feelings and replace them with something more akin to loathing. I did enjoy the novel for the most part though and Wells crafts a wonderful story that keeps the reader interested throughout. I found the science behind his explanation of events to be sufficient to carry the story especially considering the time in which it was written and think that this is another fine example of early Science Fiction before Science Fiction was actually defined as a genre.
Haunting tale of man cursed by his own power: he attained invisibility but couldn't enjoy it. Narrative is thrilling, suspenseful and poignent simultaneously. It is difficult to solely hate or sympathize with protagonist. Writing style and word usage are enjoyable experience too.
When I was a young teen, I was assigned Mary Shelley¿s Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson¿s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for school reading, and surprised myself by enjoying the experience tremendously. I had always thought that they, like anything belonging to the body of work we now refer to as the horror genre, must be gruesome, sensational, and morally reprehensible. Instead, I discovered dark and probing examinations of the human condition, although the degree of their success obviously differs from individual to individual (I myself am far more fond of Dr Jekyll than Frankenstein). Since then I have read several more works in the same vein, including The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Phantom of the Opera, and last week I thought it would be a good idea to add The Invisible Man to the list, especially in view of the Halloween weekend coming up.In many ways it reminds me of Stevenson¿s earlier masterpiece. Both combine horror and science fiction elements. Both feature the results of scientific experimentation gone awry and threatening to terrorize humankind (in this aspect it is similar to Frankenstein as well). And finally, both adopt a similar literary method of getting at their respective mysteries by starting with the peripheral accounts of side characters and leading up to the protagonist¿s revelatory confession.Of course, finding such similarities caused me to make comparisons between other aspects of the two novels, which is always dangerous when one of the pieces examined is an old favorite. Certainly Wells¿ prose is not in the same league as Stevenson¿s; when I recently goaded my father into reading Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one of the things that he raved to me about was the beauty of Stevenson¿s writing. While reading The Invisible Man, very few descriptions or turns of phrase stuck out to me—and when they did, it was more often than not because of the very awkwardness of them. In passages of dialogue, the difficulty of the reading could be blamed on Wells¿ use of local dialects, but obviously that does not prove a fitting excuse elsewhere. That said, I also suspect that my edition (1992, Dover Thrift) contained typos: there seemed to be verbs missing in odd places.The characters, too, are often less than sympathetic. While most of the rabble the Invisible Man encounters during his stay in the town of Iping (I - XII) seem to be good people, we don¿t get to know them very well, and when they are hurt or terrorized, one doesn¿t quite know how to react. The Man himself evokes some pity owing to the misery of his condition and the onset of insanity, but he is so cruel that one can feel no more emotion towards him than towards a rabid animal; moreover, he is not as complex as one could wish—there is no visible struggle between good and ill in his soul. Dr. Kemp is virtually the only character worth cheering for but is, again, rather flat as a whole.Finally, I do have to question Wells¿ prerogative in titling the book The Invisible Man, given that the characters¿ invisibility is supposed to remain a mystery up until Chapter VI! Ah well, it would make little difference nowadays.A few passages of the book were genuinely impressive, and its quality as a narrative improved in the latter half, changing my evaluation of it from dislike to indifferent respect. The Invisible Man¿s unveiling was truly thrilling, and his great narrative (XIX - XXIII) actually quite interesting, although a little bogged down by the details of the pseudo-science. (Again, Stevenson really had the right idea in keeping the nitty-gritty of his scientist¿s experimentations obscure.) I was also pleasantly surprised by the amount of humor present in the first half of the book, especially relating to the person of Mr. Thomas Marvel.Given the cultural impact of the idea (I still want to see the Claude Raines movie), I
Heard this as an audiobook. A very dark tale, but with a dry sense of humor - at least in the beginning of the novel. Then it descends into madness and terror. One would think that invisibility gives you the upper hand in many situations - however here we have a frightened, freezing and vulnerable man who cannot get shelter, food and sleep. And then he gets very angry!!I like the way Wells presents the novel from different points of view. We are drawn into the tale by guessing who this strange man is - and then The Invisible Man steps unto the scene and tell his own story. How he experience everything. Then you get more sympathy for the guy.
So I have never heard anyone describe this book, nor have I seen any of the Invisible Man movies. For some reason, I was imagining the invisible man to be a much nicer person than he was in the book. He was an absolute villain in the book.
In a time where modern storytelling is discussed in terms of spoiler alerts and twist-endings, it was hard for me to feel enthused about a book which answers its own mystery right in the title. In fact, I had carried around my Walmart published copy of this novel for the past 17 years, always picking it up out of a sense of historical literary obligation, only to put it back down immediately. A story about a man who was invisible. So what? By now it is an idea that has been done to death in both books and movies.So when I decided it was finally time to set my copy free back into the wild from whence it came, I said what the hell and hunkered down with it before we parted. And you know what? It is surprisingly a fun read.Wells is an able storyteller, and although the narrative clunks along a bit around the middle when Griffin explains to his old friend Kemp how he came to be invisible (both the suspiciously convenient arrival of this friend, as well as the overlong explanation of the science behind the invisibility are distancing and distracting) the story is surprisingly engrossing.As a fan-girl of all things British, in particular the Victorian era, I was especially taken with the period details including the narrative voice. To some readers this aspect of the novel will probably be a given, but I expected something more akin to modern science-fiction where the emphasis seems to be on taking a reader out of the commonplace. Here, Wells' third-person narrator sounds more like a peer of his realist counterparts, with great care and attention being placed on describing the mundane village setting of Iping and the insular, nosy life of the people in that community. This kind of subtle satire of small town communities is as lively as it is amusing.I do, however, feel that I have to subtract points for the unnecessarily prolonged reveal of poor Griffin's invisibility. Wells keeps the "surprise" from everyone, even the reader, which seems maddeningly coy, considering he knows that we know what's going on. But the slow build does create tension which plays out satisfyingly when things do start to move.Griffin as an anti-hero comes across as insane enough to be considered dangerous (the things he did to that poor stray cat!), but despondent enough to pity. And in a wonderful turning of the tables near the end (SPOILER ALERT!), when Kemp turns from the hunter to the hunted, we see how a kind of small town small-mindedness is perhaps more dangerous than a man no one can see. For a man does not have to turn himself invisible to be unseen and unloved.
This book is a quick easy read and well worth it. Not a tremendous amount happens in the story, but then again its only 110 pages. It is a classic science fiction story about a man who makes himself invisible. However life as an invisible man isn't exactly as he believed it would be.
This book is about a man that finds a way to turn invisible. At first he thinks that it could be fun, but then he finds that it is hard to live being invisible. He wants to find a way to reverse his own invention. Over time the people that are letting him stay at their house start to get suspicius about him being strange. They find out that he is invisible and gets the whole county chasing after him. This was a good book and I think that people that haven't read it should.
A stranger wrapped in bandages comes to a small town. Several strange occurrances start to occur and the people of the town take it upon themselves to discover the stranger's secret. Well's classic tale of an invisible man run amoke carries well into the 21st century. The aspects of mystery and adventure are well told and the writing is crisp and clean. This is a book I would pick up to read to my kids (if I had any) as well as to reread it again for my own entertainment.
There's a pretty good message to scientists here; Just because you can figure out how to do something it doesn't mean it's a good idea.The story is readable and has its moments, but it isn't quite as compelling as I had hoped. Seriously, what's the REAL point here? Nothing very meaningful seems to be going on here.
H.G. Wells¿ The Invisible Man is a very interesting, but not altogether difficult read. This isn¿t to say that it is an easy read, but the plot is very straightforward, with little room for interpretation. However, this is not a bad thing! I really love reading H.G. Wells¿ works, and The Invisible Man is no different. I may have been expecting more though, hearing for many years of the book that started a great number of popular culture ideas for television and stories. I was expecting that upon coming to the source I would find a Babel of intrigue. However, while I did not find a wonder, I still found an excellent read. Perhaps what I found most interesting was how the reader sympathized with Griffin at first, a tormented visitor inside of a lonely hotel. All he wishes is for peace, and the nosy innkeepers will not even allow him this! Later however, his own vile hatred of the world and torment of not finding a cure for his invisibility drives the reader to hate him. He becomes a murder, taking what is not his with ease. He turns from a silent possibility of a hero into a raging villain. Also, it is interesting that this book has no true hero. Instead, a community is forced to band together against this menace. Overall, it was a very interesting read, putting new thoughts into my head. While I wish it had been longer or deeper, after I turned the last page I was still wholly satisfied.
Very forward driven H. G. Wells classic. Infinitely more interesting than 'The Island of Dr. Moreau'. The author had clearly thought out the disadvantages of permanent invisibility and their effects on the human subjected for them for too long.
Another book that I'm way behind the curve in reading - I'm sure many read this in their early teens. Much more than just a regular sci-fi book though, I felt it offered a glimpse of the dark side of the human psyche.
A young scientist finds a way to make himself invisible, but his success leaves him outcast from society. The Invisible Man is the story of a person who loses his humanity while pursuing an illusive scientific experiment. This famous book is really more of a cautionary tale than a scary story. The main character, Griffin, is not a likeable guy. He¿s rude and often cruel. Every choice he makes is driven by his underlying desire to further his own goals and his selfishness leaves him oblivious to the wellbeing of others. The narrative itself is a bit stiff, but that¿s to be expected in most Victorian literature. We see the outside world¿s view of Griffin long before we learn how this happened to him. By the time he lets his side unfold it¿s difficult to connect with his character. It was much more tragic than I expected. It reminded me of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The author blends science with morality to highlight the importance of considering both elements in your life. What is the power to make yourself invisible worth if you lose your soul by doing it?
One of the neat things about Wells was his attention to detail. He was very careful to make the man an albino to facilitate his way of making the man invisible. Like the bit with the tea in "The First Men in the Moon", it's little things like this that make the story better than average. The character & situation are also well done.I consider this one of the 'must reads' for anyone interested in SF. So many other works built off of it. It's an excellent baseline to measure them against.
Six out of ten.
A mysterious stranger wrapped in bandages from head to toe arrives in town, and mysterious, terrible things begin happening. No one knows if he's responsible until he becomes invisible . . . right before their eyes.
I only really knew the story from the TV series I watched as a kid. This was much darker. It just about stands up as a story rather than historical artefact now, and if you step back a bit you can see how brilliant the idea of an invisible man must have been at the time. It's only short, so well worth an ebook read.