Saturday, January 28, 2012

ReView of THE INVISIBLE MAN by H.G. Wells


I had bigger expectations of this book, but it did not fail me entirely.  It has a little bit of everything you need in a comfort book: easy reading, simple plot with a little bit of mystery, just enough thought-provoking themes but not heavy enough to plummet your energy level, and definitely a short well-structured novel.  It was enjoyable, and fairly worthwhile.

The story of this novel revolves around a character who has an obsession with science to the point that it corrupts his humanity.  He finds himself in the compulsive quest to make matter and objects, more specifically flesh, invisible.  He studies the molecular physics of how objects and the cellular parts of the body absorb and reflect light.  Soon enough, it occurs to him that all objects, including the human flesh are only visible due to their pigments, so he sets out through chemical processes to turn the human body invisible.  Of course, he succeeds.  What happens after is probably the second most appealing part of this book.  He does experiments on a cat, he robs a man in his own house and seems to feel he shouldn't be blamed for his actions, and justifies himself going on a killing spree.  He feels there's a power to being an Invisible Man, and decides to take advantage of it in the most inhuman ways.

Would you desire to want to be invisible?  Would a secret such as this, where you would not have one soul in the world to confide in out of fear of outcast, drive you to your inhumanity?  If there was a chance you would become invisible, for what purposes would you take advantage of it?  What are the ethical implications of abusing the scientific methods?

I would have to say this book carries some mystery and intrigue, but for the most part it falls short in a few ways.  It doesn't seem to be well-developed; the science and the physics could be expanded on more, the psychosis of the character and his hatred and anger towards the world could be elaborated on further, and the story could be more consistently exciting through more plot twists and turns.  Overall, though, for such a short fiction, it's worth reading and knowing about it when you might find yourself up for a comfort, easy read.



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