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The Invisible Man

22 Jun

invisibleman(SKIP IT)

Author: H.G. Wells

Genre: Classics

First Published: 1866-1946

Page Count: 159

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: Yes*

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Wells imagines what it would be like for a man to get his hands on the power of invisibility in a somewhat interesting piece of fiction.

__________________Positives__________________

*Interesting Look at Invisibility

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Unlikable Main Character     *Predictable/Dull

“And I beheld, unclouded by doubt, a magnificent vision of all that invisibility might mean to a man – the mystery, the power, the freedom.” A man has unlocked the secrets to invisibility, yet having the power turns out to be not only a powerful advantage, but a burden when it comes to day to day living. His discovery shocks a small town into a frenzy of fear when they meet this invisible man. Will he be able to find a way to live life with the challenges of invisibility or will humanity put an end to this unnatural way of living?

One thing that really struck me about this book were all the advantages and disadvantages Wells fleshed out when it comes to having the ability to be invisible. He really imagined what it would realistically be like for someone to discover this power. I never thought about something as simple as trying to sleep if you were invisible; you don’t have any eye lids to block out the light and to “turn off” your eyes! It seems so obvious but you never really consider things like sleep when you think of invisibility. You immediately think of how you’d be able to eavesdrop on conversations or steal money or goods. This is what makes this book and the main character so interesting – the fact that being invisible, while it does make you a strong adversary, has serious disadvantages as well that most men or women probably wouldn’t consider until it was too late and they had already agreed to take on that power.

However, once you get over the initial mind-blowing logic of the invisibility aspect of the story, there wasn’t a lot to hold my interest. It felt a bit repetitive that the main character either would have to go hurt, steal, or break into someone’s lodgings in order to maintain his lifestyle. It seems like the most obvious outcome for a story about someone just learning to become invisible, but after this scenario plays out a few times the story drags. I also couldn’t stand the man character’s personality. He is a short-tempered, irrational, rude human being and I’m not convinced that these characteristics were directly related to his struggles with the challenges of invisibility that he didn’t account for. I felt absolutely no sympathy for him whatsoever in anything that happened to him. I don’t think the invisible man is necessarily supposed to be a villain but he made himself out to be one because he was simply not a nice dude. I’m sure a more reasonable person, newly made invisible with all the challenges he faced, could have still robbed to cloth and feed himself but not have turned to violence so easily and for no reason.

Luckily this was a short book because I could not have handled more than a couple of pages of that main character. Invisible or not, he needed some serious anger management. The story is an interesting concept, but this is definitely not my favorite of H.G. Wells books because of the repetitive nature of the plot dealing with the challenges of invisibility. After reading this book, I at least know if someone ever asks me what super power I’d like to have, I will not be choosing invisibility unless it is something that isn’t a permanent state like in this book.

*Film Adaptations: (Starring Claude Rains 1933)

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