The Invisible Man

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Maybe the extreme popularity of this story, or the title alone ruined it for me, but it was hard to develop an interest in the character.  You go into the story knowing the man is invisible, so when the author is describing the man’s strange behavior, it only confounds the other characters in the story, not the reader.  Much more suspense could have been built if the story were titled, “The mysterious case of Joe Blow” or whatnot, to at least keep the readers in suspense for the first 40 pages (I should note, the book is only 150 pages).

This is the story of a scientist who discovered how to make himself invisible.  Once he’s done it, however, he realizes it’s incredibly hard to survive, contrary to his original expectations.  He is still human, and therefore must be clothed or else he’ll freeze.  How disappointing to become invisible, only to have to wear costumes to let people know you are there (otherwise, you’d be a walking set of clothing with no body). 

The invisible man was also filled with a rage that is never really explained.  From the beginning, his motives were selfish and evil, and he would go on mad rampages, destroying cities and even killing people.  He talked of his father’s death (which he was the direct cause of) with contempt, because it was a nuisance to his free time.  It was hard to have any compassion for the man, even in the beginning, when he is suffering from the downfalls of his new existence. 

The story was very literal, rather passionless, and was almost like reading a play by play of a football game, as we follow the Invisible Man’s antics from town to town.  The end of the story was very cut and dry, and for a story titled “The Invisible Man,” it didn’t leave me with a very haunted feeling. 

Perhaps it’s because this story was wildly popular during its time that reading it now, after so many years of hype and recognition, it just didn’t live up to its own expectations.

One thought on “The Invisible Man

    Sherri said:
    April 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    It sounds a lot like the Time Machine. Lots of hype, but ultimately a let-down.

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