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The Invisible Man (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – 19 Dec 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library Inc; New edition edition (19 Dec. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812966457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812966459
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 804,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Arthur C. Clarke is the author of more than sixty works of science fiction, including "2001: A Space Odyssey and Childhood s End." He lives in Colombo, Sri Lanka."

From the Inside Flap

A gripping and entertaining tale of terror and suspense as well as a potent Faustian allegory of hubris and science run amok, "The Invisible Man endures as one of the signature stories in the literature of science fiction. A brilliant scientist uncovers the secret to invisibility, but his grandiose dreams and the power he unleashes cause him to spiral into intrigue, madness, and murder. The inspiration for countless imitations and film adaptations, "The Invisible Man is as remarkable and relevant today as it was a hundred years ago. As Arthur C. Clarke points out in his Introduction, "The interest of the story . . . lies not in its scientific concepts, but in the brilliantly worked out development of the theme of invisibility. If one could be invisible, then what?"

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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: Paperback
This book is one of the ones which could have been said to have launched Science Fiction, over 100 years ago.
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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 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
I always thought my first foray into H.G. Wells would be The War of the Worlds - but actually this made a fantastic starting point! A quick read, 'The Invisible Man' is accessible, vivid and packs quite a punch along the way, and I really enjoyed it.

It's about... well, an Invisible Man. Except when he first arrives in the little town of Iping, no one KNOWS he's an Invisible Man. Swathed in bandages, wearing gloves and heavy clothes, and with a hat and goggle-like glasses hiding his features, everyone assumes he's had a terrible accident. It's only when odd things begin to happen and the increasingly volatile gentleman is provoked into revealing his secret that all hell breaks loose. Is he a sympathetic victim or a murderous madman? Will he find someone to help him? How on earth did he reach this point in his life? How DOES a man render himself invisible anyway?

What really surprised me, at least earlier on in the book, is how funny it is. The small-town characters are so amusing - Mr Marvel, the tramp, has some particularly good one-liners that made me chuckle - and some of their brilliantly observed little foibles are ones we all recognise even if we'd rather not admit to them! Nearer the end of the book the humour gives way largely to the Invisible Man's eloquently-told story and the melodramatic thrill of the chase, which was interesting but for me, not as enjoyable as the quick wit of the first half. Nevertheless, I'm very glad to have finally read this classic of science fiction writing - and I'm still looking forward to The War of the Worlds!
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 May 2011
Format: Paperback
Imagine if you were invisible and could come and go as you pleased, with nobody able to see you. Cool, right? Well, not really. H.G. Wells' "The Invisible Man" has the sci-fi master exploring what would happen if a person took an invisibility elixir, and discovered too late that invisibility has some definite downsides. It's possibly Wells' funniest novel, but it also has some wonderfully chilling moments.

A strange man arrives at a hotel in Iping, wrapped up in goggles, bandages, scarves, and heavy clothes. He spends most of his time hidden away in his room, doing odd scientific experiments, and avoiding contact with other people -- while still keeping everything except his nose hidden. Meanwhile, the local vicar and his wife are robbed by a mysterious thief... who is completely invisible.

Well, you can guess what's up with the stranger -- he's an invisible man, and after a blowup with his landlady he reveals his true.... um, lack of appearance to the entire town. After a series of disastrous encounters, the Invisible Man encounters Dr. Kemp, an old friend to whom he reveals how he became invisible, and what he's done since then... as well as his malevolent plans for the future.

H.G. Wells isn't really known for being a funny writer, but the first part of "The Invisible Man" is actually mildly hilarious. He writes the first third or so of the book in a fairly light, humorous style, and there are some fun scenes speckled through the story, like a homeless man dealing with the Invisible Man ("Not a bit of you visible--except-- You 'aven't been eatin' bread and cheese?").

But things get much darker after Mr. Kemp enters the scene, and we find out that the Invisible Man is... well, kind of malevolent and crazy. Very crazy.
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