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The Shrinking Man (RosettaBooks into Film)

The Shrinking Man (RosettaBooks into Film) [Kindle Edition]

Richard Matheson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book Description

One of the seminal texts of 1950's SF - the novel that inspired the film. Introduction by Lisa Tuttle.

Product Description

In Matheson’s legendary tale, family man Scott Carey finds himself shrinking, slowly, day-by-day, inch-by-inch. While on vacation, he gets exposed to a radioactive cloud, the cause of this bizarre event. Scott once had an everyday existence as a husband and father, but now his shrinking shows no end in sight. He becomes a national spectacle, something worthy of newspaper headlines. As Carey shrinks smaller and smaller, his family become more and more unreachable giants, and the family cat becomes a predatory menace. In this world of disproportion, which grows more and more perilous with each passing day, Scott struggles to survive. He is pushed to the very limits of fear and existence.

As the story continues, Carey meets up with some circus performers and attempts to rebuild some semblance of a life. But since his shrinking never stops, all ideas of normal fade, and the threats never stop growing.

In 1958, The Shrinking Man won the Hugo award for that year’s best science fiction or fantasy dramatic presentation. It was also adapted into the film The Incredible Shrinking Man.


Richard Burton Matheson (born February 20th, 1926) is an American author and screenwriter working primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. Between 1950 and 1971, Matheson produced dozens of stories, frequently combining elements from different genres and making important contributions to the further development of modern horror. Matheson wrote fourteen episodes for the American television series The Twilight Zone, including the famous “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” Notably, Steven Spielberg’s first full length film (made for television) was based on the story Duel, for which Matheson also wrote the screenplay.

Matheson’s first novel, Someone is Bleeding, was published in 1953. His thirty novels since then include The Shrinking Man (filmed as The Incredible Shrinking Man, again adapted from Matheson’s own screenplay), and the novel I Am Legend (made into film as The Last Man on Earth, 1964; The Omega Man, 1971; and I Am Legend, 2007).

A new film based on Matheson’s story “Steel,” entitled Real Steel, is a major motion picture that was released in October 2011. His most recent novel, Other Kingdoms, appeared in March 2011.


From classic book to classic film, RosettaBooks has gathered some of most memorable books into film available. The selection is broad ranging and far reaching, with books from classic genre to cult classic to science fiction and horror and a blend of the two creating whole new genres like Richard Matheson’s The Shrinking Man. Classic works from Vonnegut, one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, meet with E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India. Whether the work is centered in the here and now, in the past, or in some distant and almost unimaginable future, each work is lasting and memorable and award-winning.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1401 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks (15 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00514HEHC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #131,512 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fifties paranoia from a different angle 10 Sep 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
‘The Shrinking Man’ can be seen superficially as the very basic tale of a man who shrinks one seventh of an inch a day, with all that may entail. The novel, however is far more than it may at first appear.
What makes this novel more than a sensationalist pulp-fiction work is that Matheson concentrates on the psychological and social implications which first make themselves felt when Scott realises that his wife is taller than he is.
We then embarks on a gradual process of emasculation, exploring not only Scott’s reactions to the shrinking of his body but the changing attitudes of his wife, daughter and the outside world.
Matheson cleverly exploits symbolically and metaphorically issues central to male pride and the integrity of one’s masculinity. His wife unconsciously begins treating him as a child, and even driving a car (another benchmark of American masculinity) becomes difficult. Scott’s physical impotence in these situations is paralleled by his inability to make love to his wife.
Scott briefly regains a degree of self-esteem when he meets a female midget at a local circus, but this hiatus is short-lived.
The redemption, if we can call it such, comes in the intervening ‘final week’ sections, in which Scott, having been accidentally locked out of the house and fallen into a cellar from which he cannot escape, is forced to find ways to survive with minimal food and water. Tellingly, Scott also has to do daily battle with a Black Widow spider which - we are reminded in the text – is female; the males of the species being consumed by their partners after mating.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A few years ago I read Matheson's 'I Am Legend' and loved it. Recently I was looking in a charity shop for a book to read whilst waiting for the train and after nearly giving up found this Matheson book. The illustration of a man being chased by a giant spider on the cover nearly put me off but when I saw that the story was written by Matheson I snapped it up. The story has many similarities to I Am Legend; the main character is a thirty-something year old virile male with a head for science and practicality. In both stories he is thrown into an untenable situation where the difficulty of survival stops his philosphising from being self-destructive as he must keep thinking practically. The main characters are almost hyperbolically masculine, and although I haven't read much sci-fi, I can see a similarity with Clarke's 2001 Space Odyssey character here. In "The Shrinking Man", (note: not 'The Incredible Shrinking Man'; that was the name of the movie, which incidentally I haven't seen), the main character survives so many injuries and such hardships that it is hard to believe really, and Matheson seems to have supermen as his characters in the two stories mentioned. The main character, Scott Carey, is infected by a gas at sea and he finds that he has started shrinking 1/7th of an inch per day. This is a very neat amount, meaning 1 inch per week. Perhaps that implies that the gas was an experiment? But that [mythos-like] question is another story. The chapters cleverly alternate between Scott's current situation and the times in the recent past as he became gradually more effected by his 'illness'; i.e. shrinking first from a 6 foot 2 guy to the height of his 5 foot 8 wife, to the height of a midget. Read more ›
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the film 24 Feb 2003
By S. Flaherty VINE VOICE
OK, I'm assuming that everyone's seen the film here, not too unlikely as it was made over 40 years ago. Films made from books can either ignore the book almost completely and usually end up being terrible (a la 'Damnation Alley') though ocasionally this produces a good film (cf 'Blade Runner' - very different from the book 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep', but still a good film.) Or they can actually try to be faithful to the book, which usually produces a good film, but can fail (cf 'Dune' - but that book was pretty unfilmable, at least in 3 hours. I understand the mini-series was better.) In this case, the film was reasonably faithful to the book and was quite good for a 50s SciFi movie.
The book differs in some ways, of course, for example it's primarily concerned with the mental state of the Shrinking Man, something films can't examine too easily, being a visual medium. And it's got sex in it! Not the heaving and thrusting sort you get in Jackie Collins and suchlike but, in keeping with examining the mental state of the Shrinking Man, he does encounter problems in that area, as you would. This surprised me, coming from a book from 1956 - I didn't think they had sex in the 50s! And they cut a lot of this out of the film. You might remember the scene in the film where he meets and has a conversation with a circus midget? Well, it's more than a conversation he has with her in the book. I find this refreshingly honest, that Matheson didn't shy away from examining this particular aspect of the Shrinking man's problem. I'm guessing that there must have been pressure on him to do so - witness the near contemporary 'Lensman' series, whose main character seems to be completely lacking in genitalia. But Matheson's character isn't and so is far more realistic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars which I read recently and loved. This was one of my favourite films as...
I never realised this was by the same author as I Am Legend, which I read recently and loved. This was one of my favourite films as a child so I was excited to download it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by LP
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Concept
I used to love this when I was in my teens but as I came back to it all these years later, I was a bit worried. Read more
Published 12 months ago by M. Dowden
5.0 out of 5 stars No signs of aging!
This is a fantastic book! Gripped me from page one. The story unfolds in a non-chronological order, after seeing Scott get hit by a radiation 'wave' it skips to him being less then... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Tim
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly adult in its theme
I was inspired to read this by the recent death of the author. Despite the title and imagery of a 50s B movie, the book is actually very dark, dealing with the physical,... Read more
Published 15 months ago by John Hopper
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Science Fiction Novel
If you are a fan of the book I AM LEGEND.[GOLLANCZ 50 TOP TEN]by the same author, then this classic science fiction tale is one for you. Read more
Published on 28 May 2012 by Sean T. Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaks on many levels
Matheson's novel is a scary, moving, bleak and altogether angry account of a man who has to face the impossible.... That he is shrinking into oblivion. Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2012 by Mr. D. J. Walford
4.0 out of 5 stars Do spiders eat cheese?
At some point in the 1980s, I debated this question with friends over a pint. We'd just seen the old black and white film The Incredible Shrinking Man, in which the hero, reduced... Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2011 by Adam Eterno
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I bought this book after reading (and loving) I am Legend.

This book is not anywhere near the quality of 'Legend' but is still a good and fun read.
Published on 2 Jun 2011 by Mr. Scott Thomas
3.0 out of 5 stars Scott Carey Needs to See a Shrink
What would you think about if you started to shrink inch by inch; a cure, your oncoming death? According to Richard Matheson's 1956 `The Shrinking Man' you would think about your... Read more
Published on 18 May 2011 by Sam Tyler
4.0 out of 5 stars Big enjoyment
Shrinking Man is a richly enjoyable short novel. For me the best bits weren't the bits when our man is negotiating the (to him) vast cellar and the like (sometimes difficult to... Read more
Published on 16 July 2010 by Charles
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