The Invisible Man
by H. G. Wells
Genres: Classic, Science Fiction
Format: eBook (192 pages)
This masterpiece of science fiction is the fascinating story of Griffin, a scientist who creates a serum to render himself invisible, and his descent into madness that follows.
I really liked the writing in The Invisible Man, but I thought the storytelling was awful. H. G. Wells has a way with words and I really enjoyed his turn of phrase. Phrases like “the inhuman bludgeoning of all tentative advances of curiosity (p. 19),”violently firing out its humanity (p. 33)” and “The Anglo-Saxon genius for parliamentary government asserted itself; there was a great deal of talk and no decisive action (p. 28).” And he uses the word “hobbledehoy” which had the Downton Abbey fangirl in me grinning. But the story itself moved at a snail pace. It took me a week to read 30 pages. I thought it was told from the least interesting perspective possible –from the outside observers instead of the invisible man’s view and what he was struggling with. These outsiders noticed something was not quite right (“Look how much time he spends alone!”) but not to the point that I found it very interesting. When the plot finally picked up, instead of some much needed action the cool stuff was recapped in a conversation where he just describes all the action in the most dull way imaginable. I had to make myself finish this book and keep pencils far, far away from my eyes.
The science behind the invisibility was pretty interesting. It was based on the idea that our world is an illusion of light. I thought that was a fascinating way to look at the world. (See I didn’t hate everything about it).
I found the main character interesting if not likable. He’s an anti-hero. I’m pretty sure his antagonist was all the stupid people in the whole world. He was kind of arrogant. Obviously he learns the bad things about invisibility. I was surprised about the little things that he struggles with, though. I could tell a lot of thought went into what it would really be like. For example, the fact that he can’t sleep because his eyelids are invisible. The crappy thing about being invisible is that it’s easy to get things, but hard to enjoy them. And you get kind of lonely. H. G. Wells did have a good point that the only really good use for invisibility is murder.
I’m not sure if I was supposed to get something out of this book. At the end I felt like the moral was “Mean people suck but it’s better than being alone.”
Overall, I found it tedious but the writing was good. I enjoyed War of the Worlds so much more.
Content Rating: None.