Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pulp of the Week - The Invisible Man


The Invisible Man
By H.G. Wells, 1897

This is a fascinating book, a riveting read, and a hell of a story. Wells has thought through the ramifications and consequences of being an invisible man brilliantly.

The story follows Griffin, a former medical student who switched to physics and became obsessed with optics and reflection and refraction. What lesses them and what would happen if they were eliminated altogether. He worked and suffered years of poverty and solitude in his pursuit of achieving invisibility.

He finally came upon the process after many years. There is no magic potion, no elixer or shot, it was a process, a series of drugs and therapies and treatments to finally achieve transparency and the elimination of refraction and reflection.

The tale follows Griffins path of destruction as he checks into an out of the way inn on a dreary February day. He is short-tempered and tired. A few days pass and the questions and suspicions escalate and Griffin panics and the story enters its middle section where the English countryside is terrorize by a maniacal invisible man.

The finale is terrifying and sad. Wells writes in such a manner of fact and solid way, as if this is a recounting of the events of the time that has just passed. While he does not employ the use of first person, he does use accounts of events in a reporter like fashion to good effect. After all the invisible man movies that I have seen it was a pleasure to read the real thing. Apart from a bit of a dated style, The Invisible Man holds up really well.

I give the Invisible Man by H. G. Wells a 9 out of 10. I can't wait to read War of the Worlds and many of his other books.

For this review I read the Project Gutenberg ebook. Project Gutenberg is a free ebook collection of public domain works.

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