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The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

The Invisible Man (1897)

by H. G. Wells

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About noon he suddenly opened his parlour door and stood glaring fixedly at the three or four people in the bar. "Mrs. Hall," he said. Somebody went sheepishly and called for Mrs. Hall.
Mrs. Hall appeared after an interval, a little short of breath, but all the fiercer for that. Hall was still out. She had deliberated over this scene, and she came holding a little tray with an unsettled bill upon it. "Is it your bill you're wanting, sir?" she said.
"Why wasn't my breakfast laid? Why haven't you prepared my meals and answered my bell? Do you think I live without eating?"
"Why isn't my bill paid?" said Mrs. Hall. "That's what I want to know."
"I told you three days ago I was awaiting a remittance -- "
"I told you two days ago I wasn't going to await no remittances. You can't grumble if your breakfast waits a bit, if my bill's been waiting these five days, can you?"
The stranger swore briefly but vividly.
"Nar, nar!" from the bar.
"And I'd thank you kindly, sir, if you'd keep your swearing to yourself, sir," said Mrs. Hall.
The stranger stood looking more like an angry diving-helmet than ever. It was universally felt in the bar that Mrs. Hall had the better of him. His next words showed as much.
"Look here, my good woman -- " he began.
"Don't 'good woman' me," said Mrs. Hall.
"I've told you my remittance hasn't come -- "
"Remittance indeed!" said Mrs. Hall.
Still, I daresay in my pocket -- "
"You told me two days ago that you hadn't anything but a sovereign's worth of silver upon you."
"Well, I've found some more -- "
"Ul-lo!" from the bar.
"I wonder where you found it," said Mrs. Hall.
That seemed to annoy the stranger very much. He stamped his foot. "What do you mean?" he said.

The reader realises one of the disadvantages of invisibility well before Griffin spells it out, as he keeps sniffing, coughing and sneezing due to catching cold from going about naked in winter. Although Griffin thought that invisibility would make him invincible and invulnerable, it turns out to be more of a curse, but he is such a nasty piece of work that I felt no sympathy for him at all.

I really like the structure of the story, which begins when Griffin is already invisible, and gradually fills in the backstory as the book progresses. ( )
1 vote isabelx | Mar 11, 2014 |
From the twentieth century's first great practitioner of the novel of ideas comes a consummate masterpiece of science fiction about a man trapped in the terror of his own creation. ( )
  MarkBeronte | Mar 4, 2014 |
Funnier than I thought it might be. Creepier too at the end. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
The trouble with reading famous classic works like 'The Invisible Man' by H. G. Wells is that the story itself is used so many times in movies, TV shows and other books, that the book itself can't really surprise you. We already know what Dracula is, or Frankenstein's Monster, something that an original reader in that era might not know. With regards to 'The Invisible Man', the title is very obvious, and I have seen the movie 'Hollow Man'. Because of that movie I never really read the book (I didn't like the movie). I should have known better.
One cold day a stranger, all wrapped up in clothes and bandages arrives at the Inn in Iping, an English village in Sussex. He is very rude but pays on time, and locks himself in the parlour where he performs experiments. However, stranger and stranger things start happening, including a break-in. The man gets more and more frustrated and reveals his invisibility. Undressed and invisible, he flees the village with the (forced) help of a tramp, leaving chaos behind him. He moves to Port Burdock where he is betrayed by the tramp and runs into an old acquaintance, Dr. Kemp. There he reveals himself to be Griffin, an albino student of physics. He details his discovery of invisibility to Dr. Kemp and implores him to help him. However, Dr. Kemp doesn't feel comfortable with all the casual violence and criminality displayed by Griffin, and tries to trap him. Griffin gets away, and swears revenge on humanity, starting with Dr. Kemp.
There's just something about nineteenth century books I love. The descriptions, the proper way of acting of the British upper class, the views of the villagers, everything is great in this book. Like most old books, I felt this one was too short (although the nineteenth century has produced some major doorstoppers too of course). I wanted to read more about Griffin, and about the consequences of his discovery. Now he is portrayed as this very angry guy with very little morals, where I think he could be more. Four out of five stars. ( )
  divinenanny | Dec 3, 2013 |
The Invisible Man is a tale of the antihero, Griffin, a scientist/student who found a way to make himself invisible which he saw as a means of power. “An invisible man is a man of power”. But there are disadvantages and everything he hoped to accomplish is halted by these difficulties, dogs that sense him, food which shows when ingested. Griffin can take his place beside Frankenstein and Faust as individuals who become more and more destructive as they pursue power. It is also a moral fable; invisibility places Griffen outside of society and alienates him. In the 1001 reference book; the reviewer states that the novel shows the author’s hostility to Nietzschean thought and particularly “superman”. The novel also reminds us that scientific discovery can be used to further evil rather than good. I enjoyed this tale and at first was thinking 3 stars but changed my mind and gave it four. ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 16, 2013 |
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The stranger came early in February one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking as it seemed from Bramblehurst railway station and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand.
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This is the main work for The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells. Do not combine with any adaptation (e.g. film), abridgement, omnibus containing additional works, etc.
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Book description
On a cold day in February, a stranger arrives in the village of Iping. He wears gloves and dark glasses, even inside, and his face is covered in bandages. Soon crimes occur that cannot be explained, and the townspeople realize the unthinkable truth: the strange man is invisible--and he is slowly going mad. The Invisible Man is a dangerous enemy who must be stopped. But if no one can see him, how can he be caught?
Haiku summary
Wells was well, what wells
was was wells-nuts-was wells
welcomed when well wells?

Drugs can be harmful.
Voice from the mouth of a well.
Insert meaning here.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451528522, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:29 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

The tale of a scientist who discovers how to make his body become invisible, but, when he can't make himself visible again, becomes violently insane.

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Nineteen editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Three editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014143998X, 014119491X, 0141389516


An edition of this book was published by McFarland.

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