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The Invisible Man by [Wells, H.G.]
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The Invisible Man Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 189 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, 18 Nov 2014
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Length: 194 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon Review

A classic from the moment it first appeared in 1952, The Invisible Man chronicles the travels of its narrator, a young, nameless black man, as he moves through the hellish levels of American intolerance and cultural blindness. Searching for a context in which to know himself, he exists in a very peculiar state. "I am an invisible man," he says in his prologue, "When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination--indeed, everything and anything except me." But this is hard-won self-knowledge, earned over the course of many years.

As the book gets started, the narrator is expelled from his Southern Negro college for inadvertently showing a white trustee the reality of black life in the south, including an incestuous farmer and a rural whorehouse. The college director chastises him: "Why, the dumbest black bastard in the cotton patch knows that the only way to please a white man is to tell him a lie! What kind of an education are you getting around here?" Mystified, the narrator moves north to New York City, where the truth, at least as he perceives it, is dealt another blow when he learns that his former headmaster's recommendation letters are, in fact, letters of condemnation.

What ensues is a search for what truth actually is, which proves to be supremely elusive. The narrator becomes a spokesman for a mixed-race band of social activists called "The Brotherhood" and believes he is fighting for equality. Once again, he realises he's been duped into believing what hethought was the truth, when in fact it is only another variation. Of the Brothers, he eventually discerns: "They were blind, bat blind, moving only by the echoed sounds of their voices. And because they were blind they would destroy themselves.... Here I thought they accepted me because they felt that colour made no difference, when in reality it made no difference because they didn't see either colour or men".

Invisible Man is certainly a book about race in America, andsadly enough, few of the problems it chronicles have disappeared even now. But Ellison's first novel transcends such a narrow definition. It's also a book about the human race stumbling down the path to identity, challenged and successful to varying degrees. None of us can ever be sure of the truth beyond ourselves, and possibly not even there. The world isa tricky place, and no one knows this better than the invisible man, who leaves us with these chilling, provocative words: "And it is this which frightens me: Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?" --Melanie Rehak, Amazon.com

Review

"I personally consider the greatest of English living writers [to be] H. G. Wells." --Upton Sinclair

I personally consider the greatest of English living writers [to be] H. G. Wells. Upton Sinclair"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2581 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1541245253
  • Publisher: Atria Books (18 Nov. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L4ZZ3NO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 189 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,185 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Feb. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Originally appearing as a serial the book came out in the same year of 1897. As a stranger appears in the village of Iping, Sussex on a cold February evening so the village will never be quite the same again. For this stranger as we are about to find out is invisible. As we read of the incidents that happen in the village it eventually becomes too much for people, and as things progress so the invisible man has to escape and find somewhere else to stay.

When Griffin, as we find out the name of the invisible man eventually comes into contact with a former fellow student, Kemp, so we find out more about his tale, and how he became invisible. From time immemorial Man has told tales of cloaks, potions and rings that will render their users invisible, right up to today’s experiments being tried for military purposes, but for Griffin he knows the answer. The only thing is that he has no way to render himself visible again.

This story still holds people’s imaginations, even if you read it numerous times, and as we see here Griffin starts out with an idea and as he progresses and not helped by the fact that he cannot render himself visible, goes mad wanting to eventually take over power and rule. There is comedy here as well with some of the incidents caused by being invisible and able to move about without being seen, and there is a lot to ponder upon here as well. Always a pleasure to read this is great for both young and old.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The opening scenes of this novel are superb and evocative of any number of mystery stories. A stranger, his face heavily wrapped in bandages, arrives during a violent snow storm in a small out of the way town. Seeking shelter in a wayside inn his strange behaviour and secretive ways soon arouse suspicion, distrust and ultimately hostility. What makes this novel different from any other with a similar set-up is that the mysterious stranger isn't on the run from the law, or his partners in crime, but rather has put himself at odds with his fellow humans by his scientific, and brilliantly successful, experiments into invisibility. Something so keenly sought, and something which has long been a dream for many, turns out to be a curse beyond all imagining.

H.G. Wells was very good at portraying the dark flip-side of scientific research. For every brilliant scientific advance that helps mankind there is something destructive and unpleasant that crawls from the laboratory and causes misery and chaos. Having studied under T.H. Huxley Wells was uniquely placed among the popular authors of his day to address the debates surrounding the dark directions, and casually abandoned ethical codes, that dogged scientific advances during the twilight years of Queen Victoria's reign. Griffin - the Invisible Man - shows by his fanatical adherence to his scientific work how brilliant results can be achieved but, all too frequently, only at the expense of terrible suffering.

Having successfully discovered the secret to invisibility Griffin finds himself hounded and attacked by everyone who senses his presence. Obtaining food, finding shelter, even walking down a crowded street become nightmarishly difficult tasks.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This would have been a five-star read for me: I absolutely adored the first half of this book. Very slow-paced, very sophisticated writing style, really character-focused and I absolutely loved it. I would have hands down given it five stars.

Then it got to the halfway point and took a TURN. It was suddenly full of action and espionage!
Whilst I still enjoyed this quicker-paced section, it just wasn't quite as good for me as the first half so that is why the rating was brought down but I still really liked it. It went from being this really slow, literary, character-focused process to this slightly strange, action-adventure James Bond film combined with Lord Voldemort so it does change a lot but overall, I still really liked it and would definitely reread it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Probably very exciting in its day. A good read for people who like reading classics. I, personally, found it difficult to maintain an interest in the story.
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This tale has lost nothing over the years. It has stood the test of time, and is still as fresh as when I first read it, something like sixty years ago. H G Wells' ideas have oft been copied, which only goes to show how far ahead of his time he was.
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I read it because it is a classic which I hadn't read. It is a book of its time, which was probably better then than now.
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Now I can read my Spanish version
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It was free so can't complain.
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