Monday, January 30, 2012

The Invisible Man (Classic SF Novella)

It was worse than anything. Mrs. Hall, standing open-mouthed and horror-struck, shrieked at what she saw, and made for the door of the house. Every one began to move. They were prepared for scars, disfigurements, tangible horrors, but nothing!
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells was first published in 1897. This classic story has been made into numerous movies and inspired even more. For me it has the feel of a short story. The plot isn’t very dynamic. The characters aren’t particularly sympathetic. What makes the story so fascinating is the way Wells slowly unwraps the main character: first, there is a mysterious man; then we find out he is invisible; slowly we discover his name; we learn how he came to be invisible; finally, we learn his fate.

This isn’t my favorite Wells novella, but I still found it enjoyable. Part of the reason for the story’s success is its ability to connect with our childhood fear of the bogeyman.

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