The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells is a science fiction classic written in 1897. The novella was first serialized in Pearson’s Weekly the same year it was published.
Griffin is a scientist who devotes himself to the field of optics. While working in his research Griffin discovers that he can change the body’s refractive index to absorb all light and reflect none, which makes him invisible.
The scientist uses himself as his first experimentation subject but fails to reverse the process. After his friend betrays him, Griffin decided to murder him and begins his own personal “reign of terror”.
What if what you consider a blessing is also a curse? The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells touches on this very same question.
How many of us wouldn’t like to be invisible? That’s what the protagonist, Griffin, thought when he became invisible only to find it to be the bane of his existence. Yes, there are some positives aspects, but H.G. Wells concentrates mostly on the negative ones.
I thought Wells did a good job building up the eerie atmosphere that is prominent throughout the story. Actually, the atmosphere is the star of the book as none of the characters resonated with me and the storyline, which mainly consisted of wrecking havoc for havoc’s sake, was not very inspired. The story itself is also quite funny, I thought and many of the scenes played in my mind as slapstick.
However, one could certainly tell that Wells is a master storyteller, and I find myself engrossed in the story for several chapters (mainly at the beginning and end). I also found the period details in the book very interesting.
The Invisible Man is the ultimate story of an insane anti-hero, before insane anti-heroes became popular. Griffin himself becomes more and more pathetic as the story progress and from the comical start Wells moves away to a darker, subtle satire of small minds in small towns can be just as dangerous as any psychopath.