The Invisible Man

H. G. Wells
The Invisible Man Cover

The Invisible Man


I've always had it in my head, mistakenly, that the protagonist in THE INVISIBLE MAN was a sympathetic character. How wrong I was! H.G. Wells' story of a gifted physicist is the tale of a man whose experiments lead him to become something of a jerk. In fact, Griffin, the physicist, acknowledges this:

"I felt amazingly confident; it's not particularly pleasant recalling that I was an ass."

We first encounter Griffin in a small village seeking lodgings. The strange sounds from his room and his seclusion cause concern for the inn keepers, Mr. and Mrs. Hall.

"The bedclothes gathered themselves together, leapt up suddenly into a sort of peak, and then jumped headlong over the bottom rail. It was exactly as if a hand had clutched them in the center and flung them aside. Immediately after, the stranger's hat hopped off the bed-post, described a whirling flight in the air through the better part of a circle, and then dashed straight at Mrs. Hall's face."

Griffin's behavior becomes increasingly mean and self-serving until he threatens the life of his old schoolmate Dr. Kemp.

Originally published in 1897, the style is indicative of the time but didn't detract from my enjoyment of the read. There are terms that I wasn't familiar with like "art pots", "ironmongery", and "floating smuts" but it was fun looking them up! Well's descriptions of Griffin's escalating maniacal behavior is also well done.

I really liked THE INVISIBLE MAN and I recommend it to all ages of horror fans.