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Review of The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

The Invisible Man The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Invisible Man is an idiot. Sure, he’s mad as only a 19th century scientist can be mad, but he’s also an idiot. And, judging by the tale he admits, the man was an idiot well before he injected himself with the serum (one which even made his poor test-cat howl in pain). It’s fun to root for an anti-hero, or even a villain, but I consider competence a requisite for my affections.

I’d read that The Invisible Man was a retelling of Plato’s Gyges of Lydia, where the philosopher considers the morality of a man free from fear of capture or punishment. I didn’t really see that played out in this novel. Every few pages Griffon would be reminded of his vulnerability, of the possibility of capture. He did boast of power, but the reader witnessed the reality of the man’s condition. All I had the opportunity to consider was the morality of a see-through and psychotic outcast.

That said, Wells thoroughly imagined the reality of permanent, body-only invisibility (no clothes) and its effect upon some bizarre kind of savage idiot.

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