Sunday, 30 March 2008

The Invisible Man

Title: The Invisible Man

Author: HG Wells

Number of pages: 150

Started: 28 March 2008

Finished: 30 March 2008

Opening 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 from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand. He was wrapped up from head to foot, and the brim of his soft felt hat hid every inch of his face but the shiny tip of his nose; the snow had piled itself against his shoulders and chest, and added a white crest to the burden he carried. He staggered into the “Coach and Horses” more dead than alive, and flung his portmanteau down. “A fire,” he cried, “in the name of human charity! A room and a fire!” He stamped and shook the snow from off himself in the bar, and followed Mrs. Hall into her guest parlour to strike his bargain. And with that much introduction, that and a couple of sovereigns flung upon the table, he took up his quarters in the inn.

Plot summary:

With his face swaddled in bandages, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses and his hands covered even indoors, Griffin the new guest at The Coach and Horses is at first assumed to be a shy accident-victim. But the true reason for his disguise is far more chilling: he has developed a process that has made him invisible, and is locked in a struggle to discover the antidote. Forced from the village, and driven to murder, he seeks the aid of an old friend, Kemp. The horror of his fate has affected his mind, however and when Kemp refuse to help, he resolves to wreak his revenge.

Plot summary taken from Amazon

What I thought:

I enjoyed this book and I thought it was a really interesting take on mystery and science fiction. I’m not a fan of science fiction, but I thought this took the ordinary and combined it with something that people at some point in their life have probably though – “I wish I was invisible” - and here we get to see the end result. People probably focus on the fun that could be had through invisibility but what this book shows is a descent into insanity that comes from disappearing. How do you even function – if you wear clothes you are visible, but still have no face, if you want to stay invisible, you’re naked – regardless of the weather and with nothing to protect your feet from the ground. The book showed that even your basic human needs are difficult to meet, so what choices do you make for survival, do you choose good or evil? A really interesting take on the subject and well worth a read.

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