Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Book review: THE INVISIBLE MAN by H.G. Wells

THE INVISIBLE MAN (1897) by H.G. Wells.

Invisibility is only now becoming technically possible, but already back in the 1890s H.G. Wells wrote a novel about it. THE INVISIBLE MAN holds up very well today.

Wells' stroke of genius was that he ignored all previous fairytale tropes about becoming invisible, and instead treated the subject seriously. The result was a gripping thriller.

The malicious protagonist Griffin invents an invisibility serum, and imagines that it will give him great power over people. But all his plans fail, as he runs into one practical obstacle after another.

The worst side effect of being invisible, it turns out, is psychological. Griffin grows increasingly deranged and hateful, and begins to plot a "reign of terror" - i.e. he becomes a terrorist.

Surely a cautionary tale for our times, eh? Today we suffer the terror of many "invisible men" who, like the protagonist of Wells' story, have gone mad from social isolation.

Recommended for young readers who need to get out and meet people... and everyone else.

Listen to the audiobook version of THE INVISIBLE MAN on Librivox

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