24 Following


The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells This is a buddy read with the following people:
Jeff, Stepheny, Anne, Tadiana, Dan 2.0, Jess, Delee, Dan, Alissa, Steve, Will, Christopher, Licha, Miriam, Jenna, Auntie J, Ginger, and Carmen. Please let me know if I missed anybody.

A mysterious man came to an inn of a quiet and quite backward Sussex village. Would it be a spoiler if I reveal his secret right here, considering it is given away in the title? Anyway, the guy is invisible and it causes no ends of grief for him and down-to-earth inhabitants of the village.
The Invisible Man

Such is the beginning of a classical science fiction tale. This is my reread of it; my first time was during my high school years. During that time I missed some of the humor of the book as well as some satirical depictions of the village I mentioned above. To my complete surprise (or was it a complete lack of thereof?) the read was still as fun as back then.

The book was originally published in 1897. My observations related to this publication time follow. It touches on surprisingly great number of subjects in less than 200 pages; this brevity is something the majority of modern writers cannot do even if their lives depend on it.

The main character is supposed to be a very violent guy. The only signs of his violence are his occasional breaking of china/glass dishes and even more occasional breaking of furniture although I suppose it took more effort to break sturdier furniture those days. I am sure in the modern depiction of violence he would leave a bloodbath in his wake - Victorian definition of the word is very different.

There are some very archaic words used which I have never ever seen in modern English. Ugh. This is made worse by author's trying to use accents in dialog. Double ugh. I am very happy this particular technique is almost never used in modern literature.

Wells tried to give a scientific explanation for possibility of invisibility. His version does not sound ridiculous and even makes sense, but still there are quite a few problems with his method - including the fact that the invisible man must be completely blind if he accepts Wells' idea of being invisible. On the other hand, the modern version there instead of an invisible object you see what you were supposed to see in its absence is quite possible:
Modern invisibility

My final rating is 4 stars with the main reason for me not giving the book the highest rating being archaic words and accents. Yes, I remember when the book was published. Yes, I also understand it was a commonly used technique in Victorian literature. 4 stars is still a very good rating.

I would like to say thanks to all my buddy readers for making this read even more fun.