on 5 October 2000
I first read this book nine years ago, at the tender age of 11 or 12, and was deeply impressed by the power of the book's subject. Robert Cormier is well known for not flinching away from tough subjects in his teenage fiction, and this is no exception. Whether taken as a literal sci-fi/ horror story, or as a metaphor for adolescent feelings of "invisibility" leading to horrific consequences, this book cannot fail to grip the reader. The sexual content could be seen as somewhat gratuitous, but I think it is well handled and serves to create the atmosphere of the slightly sordid and dysfunctional world which created the "monsters" of the central character and his nephew. I would certainly recommend this for the mature teenage reader, as well as adults.
on 1 June 2011
Starts out intriguingly, being the coming of age story of a boy who, as puberty strikes, suddenly has spells of becoming invisible (first without realising), as well as the story of a mystery, and a period piece about the Great Depression in an industrial town (and trade unions)...
Then the novel becomes all postmodern, and it becomes a novel about writers, writing, creative writing classes and students, agents, and the process. Then it's back into the story of fading...
It's a fast read, possibly for young adults. It's never boring. For me, the mixture did not really satisfy entirely, but it's a decent postmodern self-conscious scifi romp...
on 16 June 2008
This is the 1st Robert Cormier book I've read, and i'll certainly be reading more because I enjoyed Fade so much - I can't stop thinking about it.
It's a sad, dark story and beautifully written.
It begins with 13 yr old Paul who discovers he can become invisible. Paul struggles with this new power, the possibilities it gives him and the dangerous path it leads him down. In the second half of the book, adult Paul tracks down his nephew, the new fader. At this point the story becomes very disturbing and violent.
I think this is a very adult book, despite it being in the teenage fiction range. Don't expect 'The Invisible Man', the tone is sullen and dreamy and it deals with subjects much deeper than having a 'super power'. I think it's a powerful, haunting read and would highly recommend it.