Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Invisible Man


The Invisible Man. H.G. Wells. 1897.

Slow beginning. But by the end, man, I was hooked. I didn't know quite what to expect from H.G. Wells. This is my third Wells' novel. And while I had enjoyed the first two--the Time Machine and the Island of Dr. Moreau--you never can predict if you're going to love EVERYTHING an author writes or not. But I am now practically convinced that Wells can do no wrong. Let's see how the rest of this book goes, SEVEN SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS OF H.G. WELLS. I may just be going back to my library shelves desperate for even more. I can't say the same about good old Jules Verne though. While I enjoyed Journey to the Center of the Earth, it wasn't nearly as *captivating* as any of the three Wells' novels I've read. (Maybe because rocks and geology are naturally boring???)

But back to the Invisible Man, I really read it through the eyes of a person who is obsessed with Frankenstein. Is this how all my reading is going to go, I wonder? Having fallen in love with a monster, am I going to spend the rest of my life comparing every mad scientist to Shelley's classic? Who knows. But I thought the similarities were there for this one especially. Griffin--a.k.a. the Invisible Man--is a man, an obsessed man on a mission. For who knows what reason--perhaps insanity--he has decided to turn himself invisible and go on a crime spree and bring on a Reign of Terror. I suppose he had a glorious idea of what it would be like to be invisible--something that a lot of us might admit to if we're honest--we've all wanted to disappear at one time or another. But Griffin learns that being invisible comes with a very heavy price. This character is both Victor Frankenstein and monster. He is both scientist and creation/experiment. Both criminal and victim. He is insane. He is selfish. He is out to destroy. Yet he plays the victim role perfectly. There's nothing to love, but yet...you can't help but wonder what led to this insane notion in the first place. Ambition. Greed. Selfishness. Vices that seem to be all too tempting to humans.

The Invisible Man is exciting and intense. It does have a bit of a slow beginning though. But after the first robbery, it improves greatly.

I do have a question though. For those more *wise* and *well-read* what other science fiction masters are there out there waiting to be explored by this novice???? I still can't believe I've gone 28 years of my life without knowing just how wonderful Wells is. I'm always open to suggestions.

Online Text of Invisible Man

4 comments:

Unknown said...

Hi Becky, I'm loving your reviews!

I went through a stage in my late teens where I read Dracula, Frankenstein, Wells and Verne. It's been a long time since I've read these classics but they are dear to my heart. There weren't a lot of people writing sci-fi at this time late 1800s-early 1900s but here's a link to Well's contemporaries in sci-fi at the time:
http://www.nvcc.edu/home/ataormina/scifi/history/wellsbur.htm

I've read a bit of most of the authors mentioned there and would say it's a good list to read from. Also I'd encourage you to give Verne another go. I really enjoyed Around the world in 80 days.

Is The First Men in the Moon in your Wells' collection? I remember enjoying that one a lot.

Becky said...

Nicola:

I really can't thank you enough :) The link proved extremely helpful, and will help me very nicely in planning what to read next. I will take your suggestion to give Verne another go, although I probably won't be rushing out to read him until I finish reading up on Wells. I'm in so many challenges, actually, that I may not get to Verne for a few months. But I will go back and give Around the World in 80 Days a try.

Yes, The First Men in the Moon is in the Wells' volume. I am looking forward to reading it. :)

Bookfool said...

I'm pretty sure I've got a copy of this one on the TBRs, but it's not as pretty as the cover you posted. I love that cover!

Great review, again. I'll have to dig this one up for next year's RIP. I think I've got too long a list to add any more!

Anonymous said...

I remember reading this and liking it a lot.