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The Invisible by Mats Wahl

The Invisible

by Mats Wahl

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Picked this up at a library sale. It was good, read it straight through. Swedish crime book about a teenage boy who discovers that he is invisible when he goes into school on Monday morning. 3.5 stars ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Dec 27, 2014 |
Completely different from the movie - the concept of an "out of body" experience is what initially drew me to the book. It was a little hard to get into at first because of all the Swedish names of the characters and the subject of Nazism and Immigrants is pretty touchy to say the least. But once I got into it I actually enjoyed reading it. From the get go, however, there was no mystery as to who "did it" and the "why" was pretty irrelevant. I think the strongest thing the book has going for it is its realistic depiction of teen violence and how the youth of today basically face no consequences for their actions. The ending was disappointing, there was no real resolution the climax kind of just happened and that was it. Needless to say, it's not a book I'm dying to read again. ( )
  xwhiterose08x | Dec 9, 2012 |
Generally, I expect to enjoy a book better than the movie that it eventually becomes. In this case, I was unspeakably disappointed.

Though I can't say how much it has to do with the translation, I have to say in the end that the book is, simply, not worth reading. Throughout, the dialogue is stilted, the prose awkward and heavy handed, and the book as a whole flat and without emotion or any real suspense. The objective tone might be explained by the focus on investigative technique and drive, but there's no excuse for the characters themselves to come across as unbelievable and emotionless, often verging on unbelievable and cliche.

I actually had high hopes for the book--I didn't expect much from the movie, but enjoyed it for what it was. I thought, with the originality of the idea, the book had to be better. Unfortunately, I'd say that the book's center is far less original than the movie, and that the power of the movie is entirely its own--the book is only flat narrative and uninspired writing, and I'm actually rather sorry that I ever discovered the movie was based on a book....well, perhaps not, since my faith in popular film might be stronger after reading this.

In other words? Don't bother. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Aug 18, 2011 |
Reviewed by Karin Perry for TeensReadToo.com

Hilmer walked into school on Monday morning like normal, but quickly discovers that this isn't going to be a normal day.

No one can see him. No one can hear him. Hilmer is invisible. Being invisible is a big enough problem on its own, but what makes it worse for Hilmer is the fact that he has no idea why he is invisible.

It doesn't take long for Hilmer to find out that everyone thinks he has disappeared and that many people suspect foul play.

Detective For is in charge of Hilmer's disappearance case. Hilmer decides if he stays close to him, he'll find out what happened and where his body is. Detective For hits many obstacles while trying to figure out what happened on the last day Hilmer was seen. Several local officials encourage Detective For to consider Hilmer a runaway and to not look too deeply into the mystery because it might look bad for the community. The community leaders are hoping the town will become a tourist/vacation spot. Turning up anything negative will bring in the press and possibly turn potential visitors away.

Getting anyone to talk about what is going on in the school is difficult. Detective For can clearly see that Hilmer's locker has been recently painted in order to cover up graffiti. The word "Traitor" is scrawled on top of the new paint job, giving the detective a place to start. He finds out that there have been altercations between many of the locals and the immigrants moving in from other countries. After questioning students and teachers, Detective For learns that Hilmer defended one of the immigrants shortly before his disappearance.

Issues of prejudice, white power, immigration, and hatred surface during the investigation. Can Detective For put together all the clues in time to help Hilmer become visible again?

THE INVISIBLE by Mats Wahl is now a major motion picture; however, after reading a synopsis of the movie, so much has been changed that it doesn't resemble the premise of the book. It would be fair to say that the movie is LOOSELY based on the book of the same name. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 11, 2009 |
As Hilmer walks through his school, he realizes that there is something terribly wrong with him; he has become invisible! No one can hear him, no one can see him. What's worse is that Hilmer is starting to forget that night - the one where he was murdered. Desperate to find answers about his own murder, Hilmer follows detective Fors, who is the leading investigator in the crime.
We see most of the story through Fors's point of view as he investigates and uncovers clues about Hilmer's death. Mats Wahl is a real master at the little details that bring characters or situations to life. The dialog is realistic and forward. The only reason I'm not giving this book 5 stars is that the ending was pretty predictable and there was no real twist. But I highly recommend this book if you enjoy detective stories and thrillers on the creepy side. ( )
  ampollitz | Jan 25, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374336091, Hardcover)

One ordinary Monday morning in May, Hilmer Eriksson walks into his high school classroom and discovers that he has become invisible. No one can see him, no one can hear him. In fact, a police detective named Harald Fors arrives at school that very morning to investigate Hilmer's disappearance. The boy has no idea what's going on, but he's frightened, and he's starting to forget things - including what happened to him a few nights earlier. Detective Fors suspects foul play, and those suspicions lead him - trailed by the ghostlike presence of Hilmer - to a group of skinheads. These unpopular, disaffected kids are very vocal about their Nazi sympathies. But how does Hilmer's life intersect with theirs? As Fors scours the village and interviews area residents for clues, he begins to piece together the puzzle of Hilmer's disappearance. Meanwhile Hilmer waits, silently, to discover what has happened to him.
In this riveting mystery set in northern Sweden, Mats Wahl deftly alternates between the policeman's and the victim's points of view, as the story of a missing-persons case shifts with a sad inevitability into a heartbreaking murder investigation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:27 -0400)

A Swedish teenager is assaulted and killed, but returns as a ghost to find his killer.

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