The Invisible Man

H. G. Wells
The Invisible Man Cover

The Invisible Man


The story of a scientist who made himself invisible and wanted to terrorize the world, told through the stories of those he encountered. It is an open question whether he was a sociopath before he was invisible, but lean towards yes.

Wells was a scientist first, and wrote his fiction with the thought of ordinary people encountering the science. His invisible man ends up giving a reasonable explanation of the physics behind the trick to a doctor and former compatriot. This doctor also gives the voice of reason in the story, urging the invisible man to work with scientists, to figure things out from a lab perspective, to use this discovery for good. Not for our man the sociopath, however.

More than a few films and television plots have been made from this story, and I've seen many. I don't remember any of them trying to capture the pathos. Most of the focus was on the trick - unwinding the bandages, escaping the chase, etc. Modern technology raises questions, like would he be visible in infrared, and how could he see with an invisible eye and lens? Those bits aside, this a good story, and encourages one to think.