Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Invisible Man Review

The Invisible Man
-       H.G. Wells
Kindle Book
It began with a quiet country inn—and a mysterious stranger, his features masked by gloves, dark glasses, and bandages that completely covered his head. Then came weird noises, the disembodied ravings, the phantom robberies, the haunted furniture... The violence...The rampages...The killing. An obscure scientist named Griffin had found a way to turn skin, flesh, blood and bones invisible—and tried the formula on himself. He could go anywhere; spy; steal; menace anyone. The Invisible Man had only two problems. He couldn't turn visible again. And he had gone quite murderously insane.

Sometimes reading classics I feel a bit like a seven year old trying on her mother’s make-up and high heels – that I’m attempting something that is a little beyond me at the moment. However, HG Wells has this way of writing that feels like you’re listening to someone talk rather than reading. This natural style means the pages just fly by and before I knew it I had finished one of the classic science-fiction stories of all time.
As is frequently the case, the original story of the Invisible Man is different from the various TV and film versions I’ve seen over the years (although I can now appreciate Kevin Bacon’s Hollow Man as being close to the source material!). The story actually starts in the middle and moves to near the end before flashing back to see how it all began. What comes through is how different the invisible man is – he feels superior to other people and looks down on them enabling to injure with impunity. In fact most of the time he isn’t named – just referred to as the invisible – it is only when referring to periods when he is visible that he is named.  
Although a relatively short book there is plenty of excitement and adventure to keep most people happy and more philosophical ponderings for those wanting some pop with their snap and crackle. However, the lack a relatable hero to root for leaves you feeling as disconnected from the mayhem as the invisible man is. There are few characters that appealed to me and I was left feeling like this was more an intellectual exercise than an emotional one. But overall, I think I'm starting to grow into those high heels...I may even be able to walk them! :-)
Recommended for fans Issac Asimov and Alistair Reynolds. 7 out of 10


  1. I really loved HG Wells books, I read quite a few of them for a six year project (years and years ago) and I still have kept them all.

    Are you planning on reading any of the others?

  2. I've already read War of the Worlds and loved it. :) I actually downloaded a collection of classic adventure books for my kindle and hope to make my way through most of them including the Time Machine, First Man on the Moon and Island of Dr Moreau as well as Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde, Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes and Treasure Island! I'm trying to expand my reading genres a little... :)

  3. I love HG Wells! I've not read this one yet, thanks for reminding me that I need to.

    I would recommend the Island of Dr Moreau, it's a great adventure story. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle is also great, lots of dinosaurs and danger!

  4. Oh I love your metaphor! Brilly!

    I haven't read this one but I did see Hollow Man. That freaked me out. I'll have to prepare emotionally to read this one. Awesomesauce review!

  5. I really should write what I mean to say at once, I took a tv pause and totally forgot what I meant ! say ;)