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The Invisible Man (1897)

by H. G. Wells

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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9,737231630 (3.53)458
A quiet English country village is disturbed by the arrival of a mysterious stranger who keeps his face hidden and his back to everyone.
  1. 40
    The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells (sturlington)
    sturlington: Mad scientists.
  2. 11
    Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (DeusXMachina)
    DeusXMachina: Science and the responsibility for its results.

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» See also 458 mentions

English (215)  Spanish (10)  German (2)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (232)
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Summary: In a small english village an invisible man causes havoc when he starts to terrorise the locals

Things I liked:

Style: The author used a sort of epistological style as if he was recreating the story based on the hearsay and reports of people that
had been around at the time.

Short: I always appreciate a book that manages to deliver something in less than 300 pages that other take 900 to do.

Things I thought could be improved:

Number of characters: In some scenes, especially involving physical conflict, the author throws in a bunch of bystanders which makes the scene hard to follow in text. More work could have been put into differentiating or developing the characters; or it might have been better to just remake the
scene and leave them out.


Funnily enough I think I most enjoyed the 'tell me the whole plan' section where the invisible man reveals the events that occured beforehe arrived. I found them the most tense and scary. Maybe the story should have been that one.

( )
  benkaboo | Aug 18, 2022 |
The Invisible Man (1897) by H.G. Wells. This is the science fiction classic that has given rise to many many spin-off stories and film adaptations. H.G. Wells was in his writing prime when he penned this brilliant book. The moral that I came up for this tale is never become invisible unless you can undo the effect. Or something like that.
Griffin is a scientist deeply interested in physics. When he manages to create a method of making a body's refractive index to that of air so that it neither absorbs nor reflects light and thus becomes invisible, he does it to himself but only after having figured out how to undo the effect.
But he loses the paper that has the undo formula on it.
Threatened with eviction by his landlord, Griffin disrobes and sets forth to destroy the man, only to end up destroying the building and his research. Naked, he steals food and clothing. The latter items necessary when he realizes the food he consumes can be seen within him, appearing to others as floating bits.
And so “The Stranger” gets rooms at an inn and attempts to create the missing formula from memory, to no avail. He becomes increasingly crazed at his inability to be seen again and to resume a “normal” life. The locals become increasingly disturbed by this temperamental shut-in and his terrible manners leading to his fits of temper. As days pass the locals become more suspicious of this person who hides his identity behind heavy clothing and facial bandage wraps.
When things come to a head, Griffin reveals his true identity and fights his way out of the inn and into a cold day outside, leaving his experiments behind as well as his precious notebooks.
The book chronicles the further adventures of Griffin in his attempt to fight both the elements and his fellow man. Increasing desperate at his plight, lacking clothes against the weather, the ability to procure either food or lodging in his naked state, and finding the entire countryside turned against this invisible menace, he turns a chance encounter with an old acquaintance into a temporary reprieve from his torments. But soon his faith in the fellow is betrayed, leading to an untimely death.
There are many psychological insights to be drawn from this tale but at heart it is a cautionary story about science and going too far. The Invisible Man is both a hero in his field of physics and a demon in his relationship with mankind.
And despite the terrible power that ( )
  TomDonaghey | Aug 15, 2022 |
I wanted to like it. I try not to judge classics by modern reading and entertainment tastes. But this book was super slow and boring.

It had a lot of atmosphere. For a book originally published long before radio or movies or TV, I can see the value in long passages full of description.

The premise of the story was pretty straight-forward, in a science fiction sort of way. The main character turns himself invisible with somewhat nefarious intentions. He learns that being invisible isn't very easy and gets mad at the world.

I bumped up to 3 stars since it's a classic and one of the first ever modern works of science fiction. ( )
  sriddell | Aug 6, 2022 |
I wasn't expecting the first third of this to be a slapstick comedy, but that's how Wells plays it, with Mr Invisible tripping, slapping and pilfering from a variety of gormless villagers. It's tedious, and the action scenes are flat and one-paced.

There's an intermezzo where we get to the backstory and Wells explores, though insufficiently, the interesting practical and philosophical ramifications of invisibility. Then it's back to the narrative as the title character decisively rejects an offer of rehabilitation and goes on one last rampage as the dragnet of solid Victorian citizens closes in on him.

A decent enough mad scientist tale but not as deep as The Time Machine or as lurid as Dr Moreau. My favourite Wells is still Mr Polly. ( )
  yarb | Jul 12, 2022 |
  archivomorero | Jun 27, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (221 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wells, H. G.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foster, AlexNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gómez de la Serna, JulioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuylman, J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loggem, Manuel vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parrinder, PatrickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Priest, ChristopherIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sawyer, AndyNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schmölders, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strimpl, LouisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagar, W. WarrenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerfeld, ScottAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winternitz, AlfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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A quiet English country village is disturbed by the arrival of a mysterious stranger who keeps his face hidden and his back to everyone.

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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.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014143998X, 0141389516

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100666, 1400108578


An edition of this book was published by McFarland.

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BHC Press

An edition of this book was published by BHC Press.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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