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The Invisible Man

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This masterpiece of science fiction is the fascinating story of Griffin, a scientist who creates a serum to render himself invisible, and his descent into madness that follows.

192 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published February 2, 1897

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About the author

H.G. Wells

3,182 books9,647 followers
Herbert George Wells was born to a working class family in Kent, England. Young Wells received a spotty education, interrupted by several illnesses and family difficulties, and became a draper's apprentice as a teenager. The headmaster of Midhurst Grammar School, where he had spent a year, arranged for him to return as an "usher," or student teacher. Wells earned a government scholarship in 1884, to study biology under Thomas Henry Huxley at the Normal School of Science. Wells earned his bachelor of science and doctor of science degrees at the University of London. After marrying his cousin, Isabel, Wells began to supplement his teaching salary with short stories and freelance articles, then books, including The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898).

Wells created a mild scandal when he divorced his cousin to marry one of his best students, Amy Catherine Robbins. Although his second marriage was lasting and produced two sons, Wells was an unabashed advocate of free (as opposed to "indiscriminate") love. He continued to openly have extra-marital liaisons, most famously with Margaret Sanger, and a ten-year relationship with the author Rebecca West, who had one of his two out-of-wedlock children. A one-time member of the Fabian Society, Wells sought active change. His 100 books included many novels, as well as nonfiction, such as A Modern Utopia (1905), The Outline of History (1920), A Short History of the World (1922), The Shape of Things to Come (1933), and The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind (1932). One of his booklets was Crux Ansata, An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church. Although Wells toyed briefly with the idea of a "divine will" in his book, God the Invisible King (1917), it was a temporary aberration. Wells used his international fame to promote his favorite causes, including the prevention of war, and was received by government officials around the world. He is best-remembered as an early writer of science fiction and futurism.

He was also an outspoken socialist. Wells and Jules Verne are each sometimes referred to as "The Fathers of Science Fiction". D. 1946.

More: http://philosopedia.org/index.php/H._...





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Profile Image for Anne.
4,054 reviews69.5k followers
December 27, 2022
This is the story of how one angry, naked, sneezing albino managed to terrorize the English countryside.
To be quite honest, I expected a bit more from the people who fended off the Nazis for years. But Wells seemed to think his fellow countrymen would be a bit too inept to toss a sheet over this shivering bastard and punch him in the throat.


1) There may be spoilers for this 100+ year old book in the review.
2) Only comment if you have a WORKING sense of humor.
3) Seriously. Read # 2 again before you correct my review.

When I first started reading, I assumed that The Invisible Man would be about a guy who was slowly driven mad by this unusual condition.
He was a world class douchebag long before embarking on his experiment to become see-through. Although, if I had to point out one major difference between his beginning vs. his end? Well, I'm guessing his dick & balls hadn't permanently retreated into his body before he became the World's Meanest Nudist.

Really, dude? Really? Winter is not kind to naked folks. As every Mad Scientist will tell you, you've got to plan ahead. Mother Nature will not bend to your nefarious whims! Turn on the Weather Channel next time, moron.


So, Griffin (that's the Invisible Man's name) discovers a magic not magic formula that allows his molecules to have fewer surfaces for light to refract off, and if he combines that with electrocuting not electrocuting himself with some sort of a radio wave contraption, he will become invisible.
Pseudo-science, FTW!
He tested it out on a cat, and it sorta worked. Except for the cat's eyes. Don't worry, though. The cat is fine!
Kidding it's totally dead.


One thing I found interesting was that until his body absorbed food, it remained visible. Which led me to spend quite a bit of my afternoon thinking about whether or not you could see his poop moving through his intestines. And if it did remain visible, that meant his Kryptonite could quite literally be cheese!
Think about it, people.
You could track him if he's constipated!
Ha! I'll bet those assholes at MENSA are totally rethinking that rejection letter now.
Yeah, so all they had to do was get a big cauldron (or Fry-Daddy) bubbling with oil, and then cook up a shit ton of mozzarella sticks. If placed strategically around the village, they could have had Griffin backed up and praying for prunes in no time. Between the groaning and visibly distended intestines, it would have been Problem Solved within two days.


Ok, so Wells does his dead-level best to make invisibility seem like a curse, but the reality was this was an AWESOME power. He's fucking invisible!
The only reason Griffin wasn't immediately the richest man in the kingdom was due to his a-hole personality. All he had to do was tell people about his amazing discovery! Instead, he shoots himself in the dick trying to keep it a secret. Sure, the people in that first hillbilly town might not have been receptive. At least, not at first, anyway...
Witchcraft! Kill it with fire, Cletus!


But show up at a Science Fair (or wherever smart people hang out), and he would have been carried off on his peers' weak & nerdy shoulders!
I mean, his buddy Kemp was thoroughly impressed...until he started voluntarily boasting about his somewhat ill-thought-out crimes, and revealing his idiotic plans for world domination.
Which, by the way, was the least well-planned villain plot...ever...in the history of badly planned villain plots!


Terror? A reign of terror ? That's it?!
What's the endgame, Griffin?
Give me all your money! Or Terror!
Make me king of the world! Or Terror!
WTF, man? I think you're overestimating yourself a bit there...
Sure, it's a bit spooky that you can't be seen, but eventually, even the stupidest of villagers will band together & figure out that you can be taken down by a dog with a good nose...or cheese!


Which is pretty much what happens.
Except for the part about cheese. If only they had consulted someone with my level of genius intellect, poor Adye would still be alive. Tsk.
He stupidly tries to implement his Reign of Terror, and manages to get a few good shots in, but eventually becomes the recipient of the ass beating of a lifetime.
Moral of the story: Even if you're a genius, don't be a dick.
You will inevitably freeze your balls off, catch a nasty cold, and end up bludgeoned to death by people with half your intellect. Because all us stupid people know how to wield sticks, goddammit!


Buddy Read with Jeff, Delee, Evgeny, Tadiana, Stepheny, Will (be gentle it's his first time), Dan (he found a free copy!), Dan 2.0 (if he can remember his password), Alissa, Christopher, Steve, Jess, Licha, MIRIAM (because she can't quit us!), Jenna, (latecomer) Auntie J, Ginger & Carmen (cutting it a little close there, Carmen!). Honorary Buddy-Reader: Karly *The Vampire Ninja & Lumi...Lumin...Sparkly Monster*

We gotta do this again, guys!

Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book934 followers
May 9, 2021
At some point in Plato’s Republic (see II, 359b-360d), Glaucon argues with Socrates that men practice justice only out of fear of punishment. Without that fear, they would commit theft, rape and murder. Case in point: Gyges, whose legendary ancestor, a poor shepherd, once found a magic ring inside a cave. The man pocketed the golden ring and found out that wearing it made him invisible. Soon enough, he put this superpower to good use: he went to the royal palace, raped the queen, killed the king and took his place (a role model for Oedipus, it seems)… This myth has been a significant inspiration to H.G. Wells — and to J.R.R. Tolkien, in The Hobbit, before the infamous ring became a sort of extension of the diabolical Sauron.

In The Invisible Man, the power of invisibility is not bestowed by a magic ring but by far-fetched experimentations on optics and light refraction. Griffin is an avatar both of Frankenstein and his monster: he makes the scientific discovery and applies it to himself, convicted that this will make him virtually invincible and put him above the common law. As it turns out, this self-experiment ends up in utter disaster.

The first half of the novel is told as a mystery, as the villagers of Iping (Sussex) try to make sense of the appearance and behaviour of the strange man who arrives at the local inn. The invisible man then kidnaps a tramp, and a big chase with the mob and constables ensues — through which I have been spacing out quite a bit. The biochemical explanation of Griffin’s invisibility comes right at the middle of the novel. At this point, Griffin reveals his plan to terrorise the good people of London. However, the authorities catch up with him eventually, and another big chase with the mob and constables around Covent Garden ensues again — through which I have been spacing out some more.

All in all, The Invisible Man is a novel structured in much the same way as The Island of Dr Moreau, with a ternary movement (initial mystery / central revelation / final action), and the same obsession with vivisection and experimentation on living things. However, the result is more effective and gripping in Wells’s previous novel than in this one. Nonetheless, while Plato’s anecdote has become somewhat obscure and forgotten, this book is now prevalent in children literature. However, if you are looking for a sexy, “adult” take on it, Milo Manara’s Butterscotch is a nice option.
Profile Image for Lala BooksandLala.
500 reviews63.8k followers
November 23, 2020
I read this for 2 reasons. It was short and therefore conducive to my 30 day reading challenge where I read 30 books (this was book 7) AND I was filming the process for a book vs. movie review (which I've now scrapped because the book was average and the movie was terrible and I don't care about either of them anymore.)
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,614 followers
December 27, 2022
القوة المطلقة قد تحولك من ذكي نبيل الى مجنون حقير
بأكثر الطرق تشويقا و إثارة
قالها لنا العبقري ويلز في اخر أعوام القرن 19
من بين المواهب الخارقة. .لم ارغب يوما ان اكون خفية..فمعظم ما ساستفاده من هذا الوضع سيندرج تحت بند الحرام..الميزة الوحيدة..انه لا حاجة للعناية بالمظهر او الريجيم..رغبت كثيرا في الطيران"بسبب الزحمة"..في الرجوع بالزمن "السنا جميعا" ا

في احد تلك الفنادق الغامضة التي تملأ الريف الإنجليزي يصل نزيل مشؤوم مغطى بالضمادات..و عندما يقرر الأهالي طرده يكشف عن كونه خفيا..و يبدا في اثارة الفوضى..و تتوالى الأحداث التي قتلتها السينما اقتباسا عبر العالم

منحنا ويلز أفكارا خيالية عميقة لم يجرؤ معاصروه على استيعابها. .
و ما زالت السينما تقتات عليها
لذا استحق عندى منزلة لا تبارى
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews41 followers
September 6, 2021
The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells

The Invisible Man is a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells. Originally serialized in Pearson's Weekly in 1897, it was published as a novel the same year.

The Invisible Man of the title is Griffin, a scientist who has devoted himself to research into optics and invents a way to change a body's refractive index to that of air so that it neither absorbs nor reflects light and thus becomes invisible.

He successfully carries out this procedure on himself, but fails in his attempt to reverse it. An enthusiast of random and irresponsible violence, Griffin has become an iconic character in horror fiction.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: شانزدهم سپتامبر سال 1998میلادی

عنوان: م‍رد ن‍ام‍رئ‍ی‌، اثر: ه‍رب‍رت‌‌ ج‍ورج‌ ول‍ز؛ مترجم: ق‍اس‍م‌ ص‍ن‍ع‍وی‌؛ تهران�� شبآویز؛ 1367؛ در شش و 204ص؛ چاپ دوم 1368؛ چاپ سوم 1374، در 204ص؛ شابک 9645511380؛ چاپ چهارم سال1376؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 19م

مترجم: ام‍ی‍رم‍ه‍دی‌ م‍رادح‍اص‍ل‌، ت‍ه‍ران‌‏، خ‍ان‍ه‌ آف‍ت‍اب‌، 1379؛ در 116ص، شابک 9645963656؛

مترجم: مهشید میرحیدری؛ تهران، نهال نویدان، 1374، در 190ص؛ چاپ دوم 1391، در 160ص؛ شابک 9789645680501؛ چاپ سوم 1392؛ چاپ چهارم 1393؛

مترجم: گیورگیس آقاسی؛ تهران، عارف، 1371، در 128ص؛ چاپ دوم 1372؛

مترجم: خسرو شایسته؛ تهران، سپیده، 1371، در 158ص؛ چاپ سوم 1369؛ چاپ چهارم 1371؛ چاپ پنجم 1372؛ شابک 9645569656؛ چاپ هفتم 1377؛

مترجم: گروه ترجمه انتشارات؛ تهران، آریا نگار، 1389، در 64ص؛ شابک 9786009214396؛

عنوان: مرد نامرئی؛ نویسنده اچ.جی ولز؛ مترجم بهارک قهرمان؛ ویراستار راضیه ایزد؛ تهران، دادجو، 1398؛ در 96ص؛ شابک9786227039030؛

عنوان: ‏‫مرد نامرئی‮‬‏‫؛ نویسنده: اچ جی ولز‮‬‏‫؛ مترجم رویا صهبایی؛ قزوین، سایه گستر، 1399؛ در 72ص؛ شابک 9786003747517؛

دکتر گریفین، در حرکتی جنون‌ آمیز با آزمایش محلولی شیمیایی روی خود، نامرئی می‌شود و پس از آن با ناامیدی، نامزدش را ترک می‌کند تا دارویی خنثی کننده بیابد…؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 14/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 14/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Delee.
243 reviews1,133 followers
March 17, 2017
I have a feeling if I had read this on my own- my rating would have been 3 stars. So I would like to thank the following people for making this such an enjoyable buddy-read. You guys get a whole extra star all of your very own. No fighting when you split it among yourselves please.!!!!

Jeff, Stepheny, Anne, Tadiana, Dan 2.0, Jess, Evgeny, Dan, Alissa, Steve, Will, Christopher, Licha, Miriam, Jenna, Auntie J, Ginger, and Carmen

 photo 6f34e2aa-2b48-4d06-a8c0-a06c98405aae_zpsx9sowpgz.jpg

"A room and a fire!"

On a cold blustery day in February- a mysterious man arrives in Iping, West Sussex- and checks in at The Coach and Horses.

 photo ca0c5a56-1873-49eb-94e4-b9d88a3a86b3_zps0ulzj003.jpg

He is bundled in a thick coat- wearing a scarf, gloves, and hat- his face entirely bandaged- eyes hidden behind large glasses. Only his nose is visible.

...and he asks to be left alone.

"As a rule, I like to be alone and undisturbed."

 photo bd67a150-c434-4307-b096-fcc72ef48257_zps1vsxgp8t.jpg

...but in a place where normally nothing exciting ever happens- The man's presence causes quite a stir- the gossip follows- tongues start wagging. And when a strange robbery occurs- suspicion grows.

 photo 511e0d66-b561-401c-ad4b-5551506288fd_zpsjlfj8r1s.jpg


A fine example that book smart doesn't always = life smart. "TIM" -One of the dumbest smart people I have ever read about. :)
Profile Image for Fernando.
684 reviews1,128 followers
September 18, 2023
"El extraño personaje se apareció por la colina a principios de febrero, en un día muy tormentoso de fuertes vientos y grandes nevadas, las últimas del año. Según parece, llegó caminando desde la estación de tren de Bramblehurst, y sostenía en la mano enguantada una pequeña valija negra. Iba abrigado de pies a cabeza, y el ala del sombrero de fieltro negro le tapaba toda la cara, excepto la punta brillosa de la nariz."

Ya no caben dudas de quién fue y qué es lo que generó tanto en la ciencia ficción como en la literatura el señor H.G. Wells. Con sólo decir que entre 1895 y 1898 escribió "La guerra de los mundos", “La isla del Dr. Moreau, "La máquina del tiempo" y esta novela, "El hombre invisible", nos da una idea de su potencial creador especialmente orientado a anticipar ciertos avances científicos pero con una característica que lo diferenciaría de Julio Verne: Wells profundizaba en sus novelas los potenciales peligros que sabemos generar el hombre a partir del uso indebido de los avances científicos tanto en nosotros mismos como en nuestro planeta, -prueba de ellos son los experimentos aberrantes del Dr. Moreau en su isla-, o lo que plantea en “La guerra de los mundos” acerca de lo que implica invadir o colonizar (aunque lo disfrace de invasores marcianos) y también sobre las diferencias sociales y la discriminación, tema aún de total actualidad que esconde subrepticiamente dentro de la historia de “La máquina del tiempo” en ese contrapunto entre los Morlocks y los Eloi.
Wells no se queda solamente con el tema científico sino que va más allá y desnuda otras realidades que muchos lectores no alcanzan a descubrir.
En el caso de “El hombre invisible”, yo siempre hago hincapié en el aspecto humano del personaje y no me intereso tanto en lo científico a la hora de realizar una reseña del libro y creo que Wells orientó también por ese lado la idea de esta novela.
Griffin es un científico, descubre algo que le cambia para siempre su naturaleza humana, pero lo hace para mal, pero no porque su intención era ser malo, sino porque las circunstancias lo van acorralando hasta ponerlo en una posición extremadamente incómoda.
Es que Wells demuestra que no es tan divertido ser invisible. Las vicisitudes que vive el personaje lo dejan al borde del paroxismo. Luego de tener que huir forzosamente del laboratorio establecido en una pensión, descubre que se encuentra desnudo, a la intemperie, lleno de golpes porque la gente no lo ve y choca contra él, pasa frío, está paranoico porque se siente continuamente perseguido, no puede dormir porque sus párpados son invisibles, no puede comer porque lo que ingiere sí se ve, anda descalzo, se lastima los pies y tanto la nieve como la lluvia o la niebla pueden llegar a delatarlo.
¿Tiene todo esto algo de divertido o interesante para alguien que quiera ser invisible? Todos hemos fantaseado alguna vez con la idea de ser invisibles, pero en el caso de no poder volver a nuestra condición habitual, ¿nos pusimos a pensar lo que expone claramente Wells en la novela? Obviamente que no. Sólo nos quedamos con lo que podríamos hacer gracias a este poder de invisibilidad y que seguramente, serían cosas malas. Seamos sinceros: ¿qué obra de bien se le ocurriría a alguien hacer siendo invisible? Habría que sentarse a hacer una lista, pero nos llevaría tiempo encontrar algo rescatable.
Aunque quisiéramos transformarnos en un soldado invisible para eliminar al líder de ISIS o cualquier dictador deberíamos caer indefectiblemente en una mala acción: el asesinato. Habrá distintas formas de pensar respecto de este tema, pero creo que incurriríamos en la dicotomía de la moral y la ética en contra de una acción en beneficio de cortar un mal cayendo en otro.
En mi reseña del famoso libro de Robert Louis Stevenson, "El extraño caso del Dr. Jekyll y Mr. Hyde", al terminar de leerlo establezco ciertas similitudes, puntos en común entre Griffin y Henry Jekyll: "Creo que Griffin tiene más puntos tienen en común con Henry Jekyll, ya que en esos casos la lucha no da tregua. El paralelismo entre Griffin y Jekyll es sorprendente, puesto que lo que en un principio y a partir de lo científico parece ser un avance, una mejora o un descubrimiento, rápidamente se convertirá en una maldición muy difícil de controlar y los resultados serán nefastos."
Pero, más allá de las similitudes, en el caso de Griffin no tenemos una lucha entre bien y mal o temática del doble como con Jekyll, ya que cuando éste se transforma en Hyde luego de beber a pócima ya no tiene control de su ser. Griffin va transformándose, a partir de su propia invisibilidad y de lo que les acontece, en alguien que ya no tiene retorno y que termina siendo un ser malo debido a la desesperación que lo persigue.
Ya no tiene vuelta atrás y ese poder de ser invisible no le sirve. Hasta podría aventurar que en su afán, persigue lo mismo que Fausto. Sus objetivos lo enceguecen en pos de triunfar en su experimento, pero... ¿con qué fin?
Podré decir a favor de Griffin que es un ser humano y que su nueva condición es algo que aunque tenía proyectado antes de iniciar el experimento, en cierto modo se le va de las manos al no poder controlar lo que le pasa a partir de su invisibilidad.
Todo es nuevo para él y obra según su instinto y circunstancias. Lo que inicialmente y muy poco tiempo es un descubrimiento único, se vuelve una tortura y un problema de difícil solución.
Wells vuelca todos los acontecimientos de los capítulos iniciales cuando Griffin llega al pequeño pueblito de Iping en el desequilibrio psicológico que sufre Griffin (especialmente en los capítulos 19 y 23 cuando le cuenta sus vicisitudes al doctor Kemp).
El mismo Griffin lo acepta cuando dice: "Cuanto más reflexionaba, más cuenta me daba de lo absurdo que era un hombre invisible en un clima tan horrible y frío, y en una ciudad civilizada llena de gente. Antes de llevar a cabo este loco experimento había imaginado miles de ventajas. Pero esta tarde sentía una enorme decepción. Empecé a repasar las cosas que el hombre considera deseables. Sin duda, la invisibilidad permitía conseguirlas, pero a la vez se volvía disfrutarlas no bien se obtenían. La ambición... ¿de qué sirve el éxito cuando no se puede aparecer de cuerpo y alma?"
Siento que esta novela, que para algunos es considerada de índole juvenil, de aventuras, de ciencia ficción (que en realidad sí lo es) o incluso relacionada a los famosos monstruos y villanos del cine clásico (Griffin claramente termina siendo más villano que monstruo), es una novela sobre el costado humano de las personas. De un hombre que intentó ser invisible para descubrir increíblemente que todos pueden "verlo".
Todo el mundo sabe ya hacia el final de la novela quién es Griffin, entonces, lo persiguen, lo acorralan y lo cazan sin piedad. Tristemente falla en su intento y allí sí queda en un pie de igualdad con Henry Jekyll.
A veces me pregunto cómo hubiera reaccionado yo ante un descubrimiento como éste y es difícil saberlo, ya que soy tan humano como el pobre Griffin.
Profile Image for Lea.
119 reviews443 followers
June 26, 2020
An interesting short book with elements of sci-fi, mystery and horror, that was fun to read. The writing style is not my favorite, it’s very straight-forward, concentrating mostly on the plot. I would like more in-depth psychological analysis of Griffin (the Invisible Man) and philosophical exploration of the topic because I find the premise very interesting. One could argue that invisibility was the factor that precipitated Griffin’s moral and psychological deterioration, even though I think he didn't have a healthy personality or a solid moral compass to begin with. The strong point of this book is an exploration of destructive sides that extraordinary power as invisibility has. In our fantasy likewise superhero ability can be romanticized, but in practical reality, there is nothing idealistic about it, it gives certain benefits, but like everything else has a dark side. I liked the description of things I didn't think about - how Invisible Man couldn’t eat (food processing would make him visible), wear clothes or have shelter, living in constant fear of imprisonment.

"But you begin now to realise," said the Invisible Man, "the full disadvantage of my condition. I had no shelter—no covering—to get clothing was to forego all my advantage, to make myself a strange and terrible thing. I was fasting; for to eat, to fill myself with unassimilated matter, would be to become grotesquely visible again."

Similar things could be said about any extraordinary gift, in the shadow of great power there is always a considerable burden. Exquisite things alienate person from other people that are living an ordinary life, that has no great grandiosity but has security and continuity that is lost in abnormal circumstances.

I had no refuge, no appliances, no human being in the world in whom I could confide. To have told my secret would have given me away—made a mere show and rarity of me.

The sense of isolation reminded me of Frankenstein's monster, but I consider Griffin even more tyrannical and vile. There is also another dimension to think about. Body image has a key role in the formation of self, according to the theory of psychosexual development, and invisibility would influence greatly the body image. Without a visible body, there is no body image in mind whatsoever, and without body image, there is no stability or continuity of self which could explain Griffin’s gradual disintegration. In the end, Griffin had a really tragic destiny that he led himself into by misusing the great scientific mind he was born with, a warning for every person with superb talent.

And there it was, on a shabby bed in a tawdry, ill-lighted bedroom, surrounded by a crowd of ignorant and excited people, broken and wounded, betrayed and unpitied, that Griffin, the first of all men to make himself invisible, Griffin, the most gifted physicist the world has ever seen, ended in infinite disaster his strange and terrible career.

I think Wells' approach to the story could be better, especially because he revealed much more potential in the development of certain thoughts. I personally like a more dense writing style, and genres mixing didn’t blend as well together as I would imagine, the first and second parts of the book were really different so the story didn't flow as coherent as it should. I think this is my first Wells (if I’ve already read something from him I can’t remember now), but I do want to pick up more of his books in the future.
Profile Image for Jeff .
912 reviews707 followers
September 3, 2015
This was part of a massive buddy read of this title and usually for a buddy read I do something other than a serious review.

Jeff, have you ever done a serious review?


I might do a poor rendering of a passage from the book, kind of in the author's style in order to embarrass a few of my Goodreads “friends”, who quite frankly usually have it coming or if I’m feeling inspired, I’ll do something really creative.

Jeff, do you set some sort of bar for “creative”? Is there a sliding scale? Define “creative.


Or I’ll just do a list.

The poor man’s review, right, Jeff?


So, the list I’ve been toying with would be “Ten Non-Pervy Things You Can Do with the Power of Invisibility.” Let’s face it, the power of invisibility kind of lends itself to the baser sort of thing and it would be too easy to come up with these types of degenerate examples.

It would be too “easy” for you, Jeff.


And fellas, men who have shortcomings, being invisible would leave you that much more nondescript. Just sayin’.

So non-pervy uses of invisibility it is.

Top Ten Cool Things You Can Do With This Super-Duper Power of Invisibility.

Hold your horses!

This poses a problem because, Wells in his fine book points out the inherent issues with this type of ability:

1) Unless you have invisible clothes you’re constantly running around naked, which is great if you live in a moderate climate, but not so much if you encounter extremes in weather, e.g. Rain, snow, fog, cold weather.

2) If you eat, you have to stay hidden, because people can see that taco as it is going through your digestive tract. So being invisible involves eating next to nothing.

3) Anything with an acute sense of smell (dogs, Daredevil, Wolverine) will be able to instantly detect you. So get ready to be bitten, have a billy club bounced off your noggin or gutted.

4) People can still hear you, so if you’re clumsy or stoned you’ll lose that sense of surprise.

5) The invisibility process as outlined in the book increases paranoia and enhances mental instability, or was that the fact that Griffin was smoking strychnine. Not sure, but if you want to be invisible, kids, don’t do drugs and stay in school.

6) Without the force field power that usually accompanies invisibility in comics, you could end up like Griffin did in the League of Extraordinary Gentleman.

So we’ve gone from having a great super power to being a pest.

Top Ten Annoying Things You Can Do If You Are Invisible

1) Strange voices – if you there’s someone who doesn’t have a firm grasp on reality, you can do the voice of God or evil Jiminey Cricket. Or find out where Kelly lives and become the voice of Mitchell, although you might be too late for that one she probably already converses with him.

2) Smack some annoying kid in the back of the head. This should have been number one.

3) Team up with a ventriloquist, a circus carney, mountebank or a seer.

4) Ring people’s doors late at night and instead of running you can stand there and watch their puzzled expressions (What fun!)

5) Drive a car or ride a bike while invisible and post it on the internetz.- remember vinyl seats and being nude don’t really mix for prolonged periods of time.

6) Freak out tourists at some echoy place by answering them back.

7) Become someone’s “imaginary” friend.

8) Take public transportation and signal for every stop.

9) Help your favorite sports team win by deflecting a ball or tripping someone– no football or hockey of course – because naked!

10) Haunt a house – scary voices, move things around, write stuff on the walls in blood, walk around at night, rattle chains.
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,064 reviews1,907 followers
August 13, 2015
"Oh! - disillusionment again. I thought my troubles were over. Practically I thought I had impunity to do whatever I chose, everything - save to give away my secret. So I thought. Whatever I did, whatever the consequences might be, was nothing to me. I had merely to fling aside my garments and vanish. No person could hold me. I could take my money where I found it. I decided to treat myself to a sumptuous feast, and then put up at a good hotel, and accumulate a new outfit of property. I felt amazingly confident, - it's not particularly pleasant to recall that I was an ass."

One day stranger shows up in Iping looking to rent a room. Bizarrely wrapped up in bandages, grumpy and demanding, the stranger is believed by the villagers to be the survivor of some horrific accident.

But instead he is a mad scientist who has discovered the secret to invisibility.


This book is pretty entertaining. Wells is often funny; and his anecdotes are exciting. You will enjoy reading about how Griffin dealt with his first test subject (a white cat he stole from the lady upstairs), how he tried and failed to recruit henchmen, and hearing Griffin spout his mwa-ha-ha evil schemes with glee.

You are against me. For a whole day you have chased me, you have tried to rob me of a night's rest. But I have had food in spite of you, I have slept in spite of you, and the game is only beginning. There is nothing for it, but to start the Terror. This announces the first day of the Terror.

Wow, how scary and exciting!

Wells is a good author and I enjoyed reading not only about his evil mad scientist MC, but also about science and the method Griffin used to turn himself invisible.

For one thing, it is very vivid and striking. Listen to Griffin discuss "processing" a cat:

"And you processed her?"

"I processed her. But giving drugs to a cat is no joke, Kemp! And the process failed."


In two particulars. These were the claws and the pigment stuff - what is it? - at the back of the eye in a cat. You know?"


"Yes, the tapetum. It didn't go. After I'd given the stuff to bleach the blood and done certain other things to her, I gave the beast opium, and put her and the pillow she was sleeping on, on the apparatus. And after all the rest had faded and vanished, there remained two little ghosts of her eyes."

There's also great "mad scientist" imagery in this novel, complete with test tubes and strange goings-on at night.

He was so odd, standing there, so aggressive and explosive, bottle in one hand and test-tube in the other, that Mrs. Hall was quite alarmed. But she was a resolute woman.

The science in here is not real science, so don't break your brain trying to understand how Griffin's "bleaching system" works. Apparently it's difficult to reverse - so you don't want to be mucking around with his science anyway! ;)

Okay, my education in disability studies was ringing here. The reason I think this is a spoiler, so I will hide it.

Well, looks like my studies on disability in the media didn't go to waste.

The only bad thing I'll say about the novel is that Wells has a horrible habit of writing out dialect in a way that was almost incomprehensible to this reader.

"This stror, sir, if I might make so bold as to remark - "

"WTF is a stror?" I asked myself. It took me a good solid three minutes to figure out that the woman was talking about STRAW. This continues throughout the novel, whenever Wells wants to illustrate an "uneducated" character. Man becomes marn. Arrest becomes rest. It's flipping annoying.

Thank heavens I had my Spanish version of this novel handy. The great thing about having a Spanish (or French, or whatever) translation of an (English) novel is that you can be pretty sure they are not going to mess around with the dialect, and instead just say things straightforwardly. I flipped to that section, saw my Spanish edition said "la paja," therefore I knew I was dealing with straw. Everything suddenly became clear to me.

I love reading books in two languages for many, many reasons - and this is one of them.

Tl;dr - If you want to read a classic, you could do a lot worse than this. Wells is actually funny, he is a strong writer, and he knows how to turn a phrase.

So it was that on the twenty-ninth day of February, at the beginning of the thaw, this singular person fell out of infinity into Iping village.

Yes, he fell out of infinity. I'm going to use that, that's quite nice.

The story holds your interest and is rather short and not hard to understand. I prefer other classics to this (Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre etc.) but I understand that those are longer and more complicated.

Available in Spanish as El hombre invisible.

P.S. The English version of this novel was FREE on Kindle, it should be free on any e-reader.
Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews312 followers
April 23, 2017
I have been on a kick to read classic books. Some of them have been hits and others misses, this is definitely a hit. It started off a bit slow but then ended with a bang. Great book!!
Profile Image for Bill Kerwin.
Author 1 book81.9k followers
February 18, 2019

This is the fourth short work of science fiction or fantasy published by H.G. Wells, and although it is superior to the fantasy you have probably never heard of (The Wonderful Visit), it is inferior to the two “scientific romances” which you almost certainly know (The Time Machine and The Island of Dr. Moreau). Still, it shares important characteristics with the others, and together they make up an effective introduction to Well’s work.

The Wonderful Visit (1895) treats—among other things—with the reactions of the inhabitants of an average English village when they encounter a real, honest-to-god corporeal angel. When they try to see him for what he is, they are filled with amazement, suspicion and unease, often reacting in a chaotic fashion, but later, when they see him as a problem to be solved, they can band together to do so. The angel is benign and the Invisible Man malevolent, but the reactions of the villagers to their individual strangeness is much the same. Wells uses the people primarily for comic relief, but treats them with respect.

One of the fine things about The Time Machine is the Time Traveller’s lecture to his dinner companions about the fourth dimension, what it is and how it can be manipulated. Griffin,The Invisible Man, is equally eloquent about the problems of invisibility and the way he overcomes—among other things—the effects of light and problems of pigment. (The fact that Griffin is an albino turns out to be a bonus.) Whenever The Invisible Man (1897) concentrates on invisibility, it is diverting and surprisingly credible.

My favorite of these four books is The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896). It explores the morbid psychology of a “mad” scientist Moreau, but it is even more concerned with his blasphemous and disturbing resemblance to a divine creator, a being who strives to make real men out of the animals he acquires, finding them to be barely educable and—except for his dogman servant—intractable. Although in The Invisible Man Wells concentrates on the morbid psychology of the power-mad sociopath Griffin, consumed by class envy and the lonely lure of invisibility, Dr. Moreau (1895), he can’t resist a divine allusion or two. (I particular like the passage where the invisible Griffin singles out the tramp Thomas Marvel as an accomplice in his thefts. “I have chosen you,” his apparently disembodied voice intones.)

Although it’s no Dr. Moreau, and the comic relief goes on a bit too long at times, it is still a solid piece of entertainment, an interesting psychological study with exciting chase at the end.

Here is a glimpse into the mind of the lonely—and now invisible Griffin, adjunct faculty member of an obscure college, as he speaks to Dr. Kemp, his old school fellow.
It came suddenly, splendid and complete in my mind. I was alone; the laboratory was still, with the tall lights burning brightly and silently. In all my great moments I have been alone. ‘One could make an animal — a tissue — transparent! One could make it invisible! All except the pigments — I could be invisible!’ I said, suddenly realising what it meant to be an albino with such knowledge. It was overwhelming. I left the filtering I was doing, and went and stared out of the great window at the stars. ‘I could be invisible!’ I repeated.

“To do such a thing would be to transcend magic. And I beheld, unclouded by doubt, a magnificent vision of all that invisibility might mean to a man — the mystery, the power, the freedom. Drawbacks I saw none. You have only to think! And I, a shabby, poverty-struck, hemmed-in demonstrator, teaching fools in a provincial college, might suddenly become — this.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
December 12, 2017
In this famous 1897 novel by H.G. Wells, a reclusive man, swathed in layers of clothing, moves into an English inn. He's unfriendly and angry, and when a burglary occurs, people start to wonder. As well they might!

The Invisible Man is a classic read with conflicts galore: Between society and the individual. Between lust for power and wealth, and the collective good of society. Between my literary side that wanted to ruminate on themes of alienation and self-absorption...


and my nerdling side that just kept wanting to pick apart the scientific underpinnings of invisibility.


Why did the invisible man's potions and radiation work, especially on, say, dead body parts like hair and nails? Why would it stop working? Especially on his hair and nails?? I don't require actual science here, just plausibility, so my mind will stop worrying at the logical problems and get back to Deep Themes like identity and isolation.

August 2015 buddy read with Jeff, Anne, Delee, Evgeny, Will, Stepheny, the Dans, Alissa, Christopher, Steve, Jess, and more...
Profile Image for Aqsa.
291 reviews306 followers
April 11, 2019
Read for March Reading Sprint-2019 in Buddy Reads.

This was the most extraordinary tale.

“It’s very simple,” said the voice, “I’m an invisible man.”

Would you vanish if you found the secret to invisibility and try to gain all the advantages you could by concealing yourself from the human eyes? Yes? Most of us would. So did our friend in here.

I experienced a wild impulse to jest, to startle people, to clap men on the back, fling people's hats astray, and generally revel in my extraordinary advantage.

One day, a bandaged man with a very pink nose, wanders to Iping’s Coach and Horses and demands a room. His peculiar nature and his very oddly covered head soon becomes the talk of the town. People seem wary of this strange man who has hundreds of bottles stored up in his room and who only comes out at night like some apparition. Of course, we find out that he’s rather invisible but most people can’t grasp that concept, and we follow the story as everyone’s curiosity gets the better of them and the invisible man tries to be left alone and we witness the horrors and tortures he leaves in his wake.

I experienced a wild impulse to jest, to startle people, to clap men on the back, fling people's hats astray, and generally revel in my extraordinary advantage.

This was my first book from Wells and I am not disappointed. The writing was very good. The irony was magnificent. The Invisible man came looking for anonymity and became a legend. Wanted to be left alone and got his privacy blown to the winds. Wanted to take advantage of his invisibility and ended up wanting to look human again. Wanted to be appreciated for his work and ended up becoming everyone’s terror.

Where'd you be, if he took a drop over and above, and had a fancy to go for you? Suppose he wants to rob—who can prevent him? He can trespass, he can burgle, he could walk through a cordon of policemen as easy as me or you could give the slip to a blind man!

As I said before, the way Wells told this story was very impressive. We don’t get to see any humane qualities of the invisible man (We don’t even get his name till two-third of the book has passed). We see him not showing any emotions and even his diaries have nothing personal within their pages. People are against him before he has even committed a crime or done any harm. Wells presents him as something alien, something not human and maintains that style throughout most of the book. When we finally get to know his name and his misadventure from his own account, our feelings change drastically and we get to see where his acts come from. So that in the end, we have conflicting thoughts.

I went over the heads of the things a man reckons desirable. No doubt invisibility made it possible to get them, but it made it impossible to enjoy them when they are got.

The Afterward by Scott Westerfeld was excellent and he truly sumarises all that Wells must be trying to portray through his words. I also read the Introduction by W. Warren Wagar again (read it first time before I started the book) and it has some really good points to ponder over. We see the invisible man going mad with his rage and sensitive temper, but we also notice how the society rejects him before he does any wrong.

Is Griffin—the former chemistry student of University College, London, and the terrorist of Iping—a one-dimensional fiend or something more complex—even, strange as it may seem, a fellow human being?

Of course, Wells could also be referring to the modern era and the invisibility we all get through social media. We seem to act and portray ourselves differently from who we really are. Our accounts grant us the advantage of being anonymous. We also tend to not think of other online ‘beings’ as equally human because we do not see them. This tends to create problems too. Cyber bullying is an excellent example. Emoticons and punctuation does help, but again, it cannot be enough. The two lessons I learned: Don't let your temper get the better of you and never try to be invisible!

About the Movie:
I watched the 1933 movie based on this book after I was done with the book. It was hardly an hour long, but they threw in a love interest which was bearable, and Mr. Marvel was nowhere to be seen (Dr. Kemp took his role too). Mrs. Hall was okay but her tendency to scream really seemed unrealistic at the best of times. I think they took it (the invisible man’s rage) a little too far at the end and we really didn’t get to see the hidden meanings we noticed in the book. Still, it was fairly enjoyable and even funny. Obviously, the book was way better, not that I regret the movie.

My Thoughts as I Read:
There are spoiler tags within this tag, so feel free to open it!
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
3,004 reviews10.6k followers
August 13, 2015
A scientist invents a invisibility drug and slowly goes mad. Chaos ensues!

I read this as part of a colossal Invisible Man group read. We're all familiar with the basics of the tale. For a story written before R'lyeh sank beneath the waves, it was surprisingly readable.

So a scientist named Griffin invents a serum that makes him invisible. What's he do with it? Become an even bigger douche nozzle! Griffin becomes invisible and is suddenly above the law, stealing as he sees fit and cheapshotting people who can't see him. Sadly, I think a lot of people would let their id take over under similar circumstances. While on the surface, it's the tale of a dickish scientist, it's more about what people do when no one is watching and what they'd do without fear of punishment.

The book is pretty slim and Griffin spends most of it being a bullying shit to people when he's not relating his backstory. The concept is still interesting after all these millennia but I like the works inspired by it better than the genuine article. 3 out of 5 stars.
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,215 reviews9,884 followers
February 6, 2017
I thought this story could of been better. So when the guy invents invisibility it’s like bam! he’s invisible and immediately gets in a beef with the landlord who’s all are you a mad scientist what’s going on and so he gets mad and bags the guy and burns his apartment building down which is not cool and he end up in the street totally naked this is the guy not the landlord because he has no invisible clothes so if he wears clothes then he’s visible and there would be no point but all his clothes are burned up and it’s January. Oops, maybe he should have thought of that one. Also he’s in London England which is not anything like Redondo Beach where people do walk round practically naked because it’s so nice and sunny and nobody minds. So I thought it was not realistic that this guy did not die of hypercoldia which is when your body gets so cold it just dies. But he skips around London in the freezing weather and I guess it’s because it’s so cold that it never occurs to him that now he’s invisible he could go into girls bedrooms. This never happens in the book, although if I was invisible it would be like the second thing I would think of after I thought whoah dude I am so invisible, check it out. Also this is the main theme in High School Invisible 1 and High School Invisible 2 where the two invisible kids have a whole better plan.

This invisible guy gets the idea that he’s all powerful like a superhero now he’s invisible but it’s kind of funny because the only time he is invisible is when he’s totally naked which is probably when you are least feeling all powerful if you are walking down a street in a capital city and you can’t even carry a piece because they people would see it jaunting along in midair which would wreck the whole concept.

The way they do it with Sue Storm in the Fantastic Four is probably better although they probly could not have had Kate Mara naked all the time as it was a PG 13 rating.

So he gets this bad attitude and starts beating up on guys I guess because of frustration and being so cold so he gets chased a real lot, like they do in a lot of these type stories like The Gingerdead Man and Bikini Bloodbath 2 and It’s My party and I’ll Die if I Want To. They chase a lot in those movies, I have seen them.

The moral of this book is that it’s bad to be invisible. It will send you doo lally and will freeze your nuts off.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
March 16, 2011
2.0 stars. I had not read this book in many years and so I decided to re-read it over the weekend. In retrospect, this might have been a big mistake. Previously, I had very fond memories of the book as one of the best of the “classic” horror stories along with Dracula, Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Well, it is certainly a classic of the genre, but I no longer feel like it deserves a place among the elite of its peers.

If can I may borrow and paraphrase from the late Lloyd Bentsen in his famous Vice Presidential debate with Dan Quayle:

So what changed this time around? For me, I just found the characters (including the title character) to be paper thin and pretty uninteresting. I thought the plot was very “vanilla” and had about as much tension as a Brady Bunch marital spat. As for the Invisible Man himself, in addition to being uninteresting, he came across to me as a fairly lame villain. By this I mean he didn't really inspire a lot of fear, loathing or even pity.

One thing that didn't help and is not the book's fault is that at one point, I got a picture of Claude Rains (from the original movie version) in my head shaking his fist behind those bandages and all I could think of was him screaming

Even without the intrusion of Colonel Klink, the Invisible Man came across as a second rate bad guy. It was like Vincent Price in those Saturday afternoon horror flicks if that gives you an idea of the kind of “menace” the character inspired in me. As Doctor Evil would say, the Invisible Man is “semi-evil, quasi-evil, the margarine of evil. He’s the Diet Coke of evil... Just one calorie, not evil enough.”

I know it sounds like I am really bashing the book and that is not my intention. It is certainly not a bad book. For me, I just don't think I can rate it higher than “okay” (hence the 2 star rating). I think part of my rant may be that I am a little bitter because I feel like one of the “classics” has been pulled out from under me.

Oh well, sometimes ignorance is bliss!!!

Profile Image for Georgia Scott.
Author 3 books194 followers
October 14, 2022
I used to think the world was divided into rich and poor, north and south, and other polar opposites. Then, I read The Invisible Man. Now, the world is divided into the visible and invisible and those who wish to be other than what they are.

The invisible man was not born that way but chooses invisibility over what makes him stand out since birth. He isn't, strictly speaking, disabled. There are problems, though, which come with his fate. He can't go unnoticed. No anonymity for him. He can't blend. He is conspicuous without doing a thing.

Beauty is similar. It draws notice. Honking cars. Shouts. Business cards thrust into your hand or an umbrella held over your head by a stranger who asks you out for coffee as you thank him. No, you're married. Sometimes, going unnoticed would be nice. Or just easier. Ask those who have wished they could cover themselves from head to toe, put a paper bag over their heads, or worse, slash their fine profile. They'd like at times to be invisible.

They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. So is what people hate or fear. The man at the centre of this story provokes fear, hate, and aversion whether he's invisible or visible. And that is what fascinates this reader.

"You don't understand . . . who I am or what I am," the invisible man cries. Oh, I do. I understand, I want to say. To be seen or not seen is the question these pages raise.
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,442 followers
September 6, 2023
În Omul invizibil, H.G. Wells a intenționat trei lucruri: să ne povestească o dramă, să ne facă să rîdem (locuitorii din Iping sau vagabondul Thomas Marvel sînt cel puțin caraghioși) și să ne relateze ceva plin de tensiune, care să ne țină cu sufletul la gură. Romanul lui e scris pentru adolescenți. La vîrsta mea, nu mai simt tensiunea...

Memoria mea păstra o impresie mai bună, dar a trecut un veac de la prima lectură, cînd am vizionat și un serial TV american. De data asta, povestea mi s-a părut previzibilă: ghicim din capul locului că nefericitul Griffin va fi pedepsit. „Omul nevăzut” face aproape totul ca să devină antipatic nu numai doamnei Hall, nu numai bravilor cetățeni din Iping, ci și cititorilor de pretutindeni. Mă gîndesc că n-ar fi trebuit să fie așa. Mi l-am închipuit ca pe un „ucenic vrăjitor”, care nu mai poate stăpîni consecințele invenției sale și e strivit de ele. Aș fi vrut să fie un inocent, prins în temnița invizibilității sale. De fapt, Griffin e un scelerat.

Nu poți să nu te gîndești la romanul lui Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Întîlnim și acolo un monstru, un Golem suferind, creația neizbutită a lui Victor Frankenstein. Frankenstein a greșit, va plăti cu vîrf și îndesat. În schimb, omul invizibil e propria lui creație. Un monstru creează un monstru. Dacă a greșit experimentul e pentru că era din capul locului un individ malign.

Uneori, H.G. Wells pare a sugera că Griffin s-a smintit. Suferința de a fi altfel decît ceilalți și încercările eșuate de a-și repara greșeala l-au făcut să-și piardă mințile. Din păcate, nu e așa. Sfîrșitul poveștii se află chiar în originea ei. A fi înduioșat de soarta tînărului medic și chimist Griffin e o reacție fără temei. Nu merită generozitatea noastră...
Profile Image for AMEERA.
277 reviews320 followers
March 3, 2017
i love every interesting and weird books
and the title of this book was enough to make me read it and I read it but wasn't
interested at all
Profile Image for Brett C.
801 reviews183 followers
April 23, 2022
I enjoyed this from finish to start. H.G. Wells did a great job of blending science fiction, crime, and subtle horror. Dr. Griffin was a highly respected physicist who dedicated his research to optics. He invented a way to manipulate the human body's refraction index to that of air. This prevented the body from absorbing and reflecting light therefore making him completely invisible. The story started when he is already the Invisible Man and attempting to reverse the process. Dr. Griffin was a scientific genius who transformed into a narcissistic egomaniac.

As the story progressed, the Invisible Man became more unhinged and wantonly violent. He went on the run after the village he was staying in became aware of an invisible man terrorizing the town. On his own he came across a former colleague, Dr. Kemp, and told him the entire backstory. Dr. Kemp learned everything and refused to aid the Invisible Man in his violent life of self-preservation: burglary, looting, and unnecessary murder to remain concealed from the public. This triggered the Invisible Man to resort to more violence to survive at any cost. The story concluded nicely I thought.

Overall this one of my favorite H.G. Wells up this point, with The Time Machine in close second. I would recommend both of these novels to fans of early science fiction with subtle mystery/horror elements. Thanks!
Profile Image for Will M..
304 reviews627 followers
August 16, 2015
I won't deny the fact that at one point in my childhood, I wanted to become invisible. It wasn't the top priority in my list of "I hope one day I'd suddenly have this super power", but it was still there, probably at number 6 lagging behind Wolverine's Claws, flying, super strength, teleportation, and Johnny Storm's powers. I haven't thought of the consequences of being invisible then because I didn't contemplate on things that much when I was a child. I mean, who would do that?

Take note that I read this with a lot of people, and that this is my very first buddy read. Check out Anne's review for the full list.

This 160 or so page novel by Wells was a mixture of contemporary, sci-fi, and crime. Some of my favorite genres mixed up to form this not so bad classic. I'm not sure what Wells wanted to portray in this novel other than being invisible has a lot of consequences. Or maybe that doing evil experiments on yourself would only bring harm to oneself. I was expecting to hate this, because I've recently put aside some classics because they were so damn boring. Im sure it's all on the reading slump, but I'm a bit shocked that I didn't have problems with the writing.

The Invisible Man was a novel about an invisible man's struggle to live in a world of transparency. It was hard because people weren't open minded then, so anything out of the ordinary would mean extermination. He wanted to become invisible, so he had to live with the consequences. There were a lot of cool things Wells tacked on. Like how the food that he eats are visible unless digested completely, and when he smoked the cigar it was also visible. He could've pulled off a bank heist with only a bit of difficulty, but staying truly invisible was still a pain in the ass.

I didn't like much of the characters in the first part of the novel. Mr. Marvel was annoying, and so were the landlord and Halls. Kemp was a lot better though, and the main character himself was not that bad. I would say though that the plot was better than the characters. They were just right, but none amazed me, unfortunately.

It would be redundant for me to keep reminding everyone why it took me 5 days to finish this really short novel. I know i'm probably the last one to finish this, but I'm glad it didn't take me a week to do so. I might not be a quick buddy reader for the next few months(another advance notice), but I'm one to finish something that i started. I will be faster in December, but January onwards would mean the second semester, so the turtle shall prevail once again.

3.5/5 stars. One of the few classics that I enjoyed, but I can suggest better ones. I will be reading more from Wells in the future, but for now let's see what my buddy readers will choose for next month's read.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,390 reviews4,907 followers
November 25, 2022

For fun, I decided to revisit this classic to see how it holds up.

The story is about a brilliant but troubled molecular physicist named Griffin who discovers a way to make himself invisible. Griffin then goes on a crime spree, at first just stealing things he needs, like food, clothes, etc. However Griffin's mental health quickly deteriorates, and he becomes a full blown sociopath.

There are some funny parts at the beginning of the book, when Griffin takes a room in a small rural boarding house to continue his experiments. The nosy townsfolk are naturally curious about this man who's all bandaged up and mysterious, so they spy on him, gossip about him, and so on.

Things soon take a dark turn though, when Griffin becomes violent.

At one point Griffin explains his method of becoming invisible to a doctor, a complex rigmarole involving the reflection and refraction of light.

One big fly in the ointment...food Griffin eats is visible until it's digested. (That would be a frightening sight to see. Food meandering down the invisible alimentary tract!!)

Of course Griffin can't wear any clothes if he wants to be completely unseen and this part is very unrealistic. Griffin has to run around completely starkers, without shoes or anything, and I think his privates jostling around would be a problem (among other things). Still, invisibility is a fun idea. The thing to make invisibility REALLY work would be to make anything you hold or wear invisible also.

This story has spawned a whole array of TV series and movies - ranging from serious films to comedies.....and they just keep coming! 💕😊🍀

The book is a real classic in the sense that it's old-fashioned, but - since it's at the hub of so much literature and entertainment - it's worth reading.
Profile Image for Amy.
42 reviews16 followers
February 22, 2008
Do you think the notion of an invisible man was really foreign to the readers during the time Wells wrote? While I found this book moderately entertaining, thought the scientific "theories" were thought-provoking, and felt there were seeds of some really potent themes (however undernourished the seeds turned out to be), I feel like Wells was totally preoccupied with trying to describe to the reader what it would be like to have an invisible man in our midst. This isn't a concept that I (as a modern reader) have a particularly difficult time grasping, so I guess I found myself a little frustrated with the constant THOROUGH descriptions of similar scenes, in which the invisible man participates in some kind of kerfuffle with someone or with many people, and things float in the air, and people mysteriously trip over something when nothing seems to be there. Over and over again. I *think* if I hadn't seen so many movies where these kinds of scenarios are so handily portrayed, I would have found this story more engaging on the whole. What I WISHED the book did was spend more time exploring the mindset and utter confusion that an albino-turned-invisible man would have as he alternately attempts to be seen and unseen. To be noticed and unnoticed. The utter loneliness one must feel to be constantly around people who are totally unaware of your presence. Instead, there were parlor tricks, an unnecessarily lengthy cast of indiscriminate country bumpkins, and some seriously cold feet. The ending, however, hit the mark well enough.

As a side note, the editor in me wished he would pick a narrative perspective and stick to it. Oh Wells.
Profile Image for W.
1,185 reviews4 followers
March 1, 2021
First encountered as an Urdu translation,when I was a kid. Hugely enjoyable at the time,and memorable too.

Decided to revisit it,after all these years. It didn't disappoint. A scientist finds a way to become invisible,and dreams of the advantages it would bring him.

But a whole lot of undesirable,unintended consequences follow. He finds himself in trouble. Still,his cruelty and selfishness compel him to try and unleash a "reign of terror".

Lively pace and good action. A quick read,fairly enjoyable,all the more so because it was a trip down memory lane.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Susan Budd.
Author 6 books223 followers
November 1, 2021
I was eager to read The Invisible Man (1897) by H. G. Wells after enjoying my recent reread of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886). Both are science fiction novels that speculate about chemistry.

Dr. Jekyll’s chemical potion transforms him into Mr. Hyde so he can indulge in his debaucheries undetected and unhampered by moral conscience. Griffin’s potion bleaches his blood so that his technological device can render him invisible and he can do whatever he wants. But this is where the similarity ends. Jekyll’s desire to split one side of his personality off from the rest is not completely incomprehensible. Moreover, Jekyll remains a sympathetic character. In contrast, Griffin’s desire to be invisible stretches credulity too far. And he is not even slightly sympathetic.

I don’t mind Wells creating a character with no redeeming traits. I don’t need to like a book’s protagonist to like the book. I don’t need to like any character to like a book. So I’m fine with the fact that every character in this book is cold and heartless. But I do need the protagonist not to be as unbelievably stupid as Griffin is.

Now I admit, my first thought about invisibility was that it could be a lot of fun. I could dance backstage at every Dead & Company show. I could travel the world by boarding any flight I choose. I wouldn’t even have to take off my shoes to get through security. But this is where I start to see problems.

I wouldn’t have to take off my shoes, not just because the security guards couldn’t see me, but because I wouldn’t be wearing shoes. I wouldn’t be wearing anything. I’m Sue Budd, not Sue Storm. My invisibility wouldn’t be extended to my clothes. So my free vacations would be limited to warm climates. That is, if I could get past the idea of walking through an airport, or any other place in New York City, in my bare feet. Eww.

So how is it that Griffin works on his project for three years without once considering the problems that might be posed by invisibility? He invisibilizes himself in January for Pete’s sake. Then, after running around the streets of London naked in the winter and avoiding food because undigested food is visible in his body (eww again) he still thinks invisibility is a good idea!

Griffin says to Kemp: “Before I made this mad experiment I had dreamt of a thousand advantages” (138). There are indeed advantages to being invisible if invisibility can be turned on and off at will à la Sue Storm, but Griffin didn’t bother to think about how he would become uninvisible. At least Jekyll had a potion to reverse his transformation. True, Jekyll didn’t anticipate developing a tolerance, but at least he had enough sense to have an antidote in the first place.

When I started reading The Invisible Man, I was prepared to sympathize with Griffin. He was arrogant from the first, but I imagined he had been through a lot and his rude and imperious attitude was the defense mechanism of a man who had been unjustly persecuted.

I excused a lot of bad behavior as I patiently awaited his origin story. It was difficult, but the country people among whom he lodged were not exactly paragons of kindness themselves, so I was able to give the invisible man the benefit of a doubt.

By the time he reached Kemp’s house, I was sorely in need of a backstory that would enable me to feel some sympathy for this cruel and violent man. But the more Griffin revealed of himself, the more I grew to despise him. When I had finally written him off as unworthy of my pity, it was his own narrative that condemned him.

If this novel has any meaning at all, it can only be as a study in ugliness. Not physical ugliness of course, but moral ugliness. Griffin explains his bandages by claiming his face is disfigured. But his face is not disfigured. It is his soul that is disfigured. As is the soul of everyone else in the story.

The clock mender makes a nuisance of himself in the hope of glimpsing Griffin’s supposed facial disfigurement. What an ugly thing to do! To make a disfigured man the object of one’s morbid curiosity. Kemp betrays Griffin before hearing his tale. Once the tale is told, Kemp’s deception seems justified, but Kemp commits his deception before hearing Griffin’s tale. He did not even give Griffin a chance.

The villagers are ugly. The landlord and landlady are ugly. The proprietor of the Oxford Street house is ugly. Griffin’s mentor is ugly. The only person in this book who isn’t ugly is the cat.

If the purpose of The Invisible Man is to showcase human ugliness, all I can say is that Wells does it better in The War of the Worlds. If the purpose is to speculate on how invisibility might be scientifically achieved, the story would have been better as a short story. If the purpose is to explore the consequences of invisibility, it’s a disappointment because it doesn’t take much imagination to see the problems of being naked, barefoot, and hungry.

Perhaps the only takeaway from this book is that invisible women are smarter than invisible men.
Profile Image for Fabian {Councillor}.
232 reviews488 followers
September 3, 2022
“I went over the heads of the things a man reckons desirable. No doubt invisibility made it possible to get them, but it made it impossible to enjoy them when they are got.”

Now having finished my third foray into H.G. Wells territory after The Time Machine and the highly entertaining The Island of Dr. Moreau, I am beginning to slowly consider him one of my personal favorite creative writers of the sci-fi genre. His impact on the early roots of the genre cannot be dismissed and has proven integral to countless subsequent works. The four central works of Wells' career are each framed by fantastic premises with almost immeasurable amounts of potential concentrated within them; all of them having inspired countless adaptations or re-imaginations and becoming integral to pop-culture of the sci-fi genre. Wells' stories are so well-known at this point that you only have to read the story's title to already have a distinct outline of the story in your mind even if you have never actually read the book itself before.

James Whale's wonderful and underrated 1933 adaptation of H.G. Wells' story was what caught my attention initially. The incredible implementation of special effects, many of which push modern examples of sci-fi film into the shadows, elevated what went astray during the adaptation process from H.G. Wells' writing to the film. At more than eighty-five years of age, not even once does the film make you feel like the special effects are from a very different time - maybe because the story is so timeless. But this review shouldn't be about that film, and rather about the book that inspired it (go watch it anyway if you haven't yet).

Like with the other two Wells novels I have read, I feel like much of its impact has been lost in the widespread commercialization of the story. The Invisible Man has been adapted and toyed around with numerous times - James Whale, Paul Verhoeven, John Carpenter and, most recently, Leigh Whannell being the most famous examples - and the story feels so familiar that nothing about Wells' writing appears to be particularly outstanding anymore. Still, I enjoyed my time tremendously and found myself engaged and captivated by the story. The premise is more fantastic than anything else about the novel, but some of its insights into human nature and the effects of isolation and reclusion feel wonderfully embedded, never disrupting the natural flow of the story.

Ultimately, it's an interesting psychological exploration of human nature clouded in a highly entertaining piece of storytelling.
Profile Image for Elena Rodríguez.
678 reviews304 followers
October 7, 2020

Este libro ha sido una grata sorpresa. "El hombre invisible" es la segunda novela que leo del señor H.G Wells. La primera fue "La maquina del tiempo" y me he dejó un poco descolocada, como dije en su día yo creo que me esperaba otra cosa. Sin embargo, como acabo de recalcar hace un momento, todo lo contrario con esta segunda novela.

La trama es así de simple: Imagínate que en el pequeño pueblo en el que vives o en tu pequeña ciudad, aparece un extranjero que roza lo peculiar: un hombre lleno de vendas por todo su cuerpo, unas gafas oscuras, lo que parece ser una nariz postiza y vestido como si hiciese el día más frío del año.

Claramente quien vea a este tipo de persona pasar delante suyo o mantener una pequeña conversación con él, no podrán dejar de preguntarse qué le ha sucedido para ocultarse así. Lo primero que le vendrá a la mente es que ha sufrido quemaduras bastante graves, o que sufre una malformación, o incluso que sufre una extraña enfermedad. La respuesta está claramente muy lejos de la realidad. ¡El hombre es invisible! Y tal como dice la canción del grupo Queen “I’m the invisible man, incredible how you can…see right through me!

La historia es narrada desde el punto de vista externo, a través de los testimonios de aquellos que se cruzaron o se enfrentaron al este “ser”. Para los testigos ya no era humano pues constataban que era una abominación. No entendían que una persona pudiese hacerse invisible pues lo consideraban algo inimaginable y desde un punto de vista científico lo parecía; sin embargo, el hombre consiguió hacerse con una fórmula y lograrlo.

Ahora en cuanto al “protagonista” en sí, H.G Wells nos lo muestra también como un “monstruo”, pero no como los testigos insinuaban, sino como una persona que se creía superior al resto por ser invisible y que solo buscaba su propio beneficio a la vez una cura para su condición, sin importar lo que el precio. Si para ello tenía que matar a gente, lo haría sin ni siquiera pestañear.

Si nos ponemos a reflexionar, la situación del protagonista es una verdadera faena. Ser invisible trae consigo muchas ventajas, pero también muchas desventajas. Sería mejor poder hacerse invisible a consciencia.

Desde mi punto de vista yo creo que lo que pretende el autor en esta obra es mostrar lo peligroso que puede llegar a ser un hombre que no podemos ver y más si tiene una forma de ser tan egoísta y narcisista como el protagonista. Además, de esto si que estoy completamente segura: si el protagonista hubiese tenido otra serie de comportamientos hacia el resto de personajes desde el primer momento, no hubiera surgido tantos problemas... o como diríamos en español...otro gallo le hubiera cantado.

Por último, pero no menos importante, me gustaría destacar un poco la trascendencia que tuvo este libro para la literatura. Al igual que la maquina del tiempo, no son pocas las versiones que se hacen sobre “el hombre invisible”. Como toque final me gustaría decir como dije antes que este libro me gustó mucho en comparación con la maquina del tiempo. H.G Wells ha conseguido tener mis bendiciones. El hombre invisible como personaje en sí me parece un “monstruo”la mar de interesante.
Profile Image for Ian.
763 reviews65 followers
March 8, 2021
I think the idea of invisibility has long fascinated people. Many of us will have heard the ancient story of the Ring of Gyges and its power of invisibility. In that tale the opportunity to act without consequences results in moral corrosion. In Wells’ novel the central character is obsessed with what he might gain from the ability to make himself invisible, but he finds that his new power is not all he had hoped for. I’ll say no more for fear of spoilers.

I’ve always considered this story one of the four sci-fi classics written by Wells, the others being The Time Machine; The War of the Worlds; and The Island of Dr. Moreau. I’d rate this alongside The Time Machine as the most entertaining of them. The Invisible Man is a memorable creation, and the story has quite an exciting dénouement.

The story poses the question - once a scientific discovery is made, can it ever be unmade?
Profile Image for Adina .
889 reviews3,527 followers
April 8, 2016
I remember I read this as a child. I guess it's time to read something else by this author.
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