Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells (3/5)

The back says: This, one of the most popular books in the Series, achieved its fame by virtue of the skill and originality with which Wells treats a most unusual theme. The central figure in the story is a student of chemistry, who is obsessed with the idea that it is possible for human beings to be made invisible. The book tells of his fanatical, even ghoulish, researches, and of the final moment of triumph when he proves his theories and he himself becomes invisible.

The theme is developed by Wells into one of his most fascinating stories which grips, even horrifies, the reader by its evil and violence. The shooting of a policeman and a savage attack on a defenceless old man are typical of the crimes the invisible man inflicts on a terror-stricken community.

The grim and merciless man-hunt in which attempts are made to track down and destroy this menace to mankind forms the climax of this unforgettable book.

I say: I think that I have read this before but totally blocked it out of my mind, and it’s easy to see why.

It was so boring.

It starts out nice and mysterious enough, but I lost interest pretty quick; in fact, in chapter 5, The Burglary at the Vicarage, because all the townspeople are so stupid. The further the story progressed, the more impatient I grew with it all – the only offer of reprieve being Mr Thomas and his brief flurry of witty responses. Finding out how he became invisible and his first night in London, was also kind of interesting, but to be honest, I had pretty much already checked out of the story by then.

I’m not sure if it’s Wells’s style of writing that rubbed me the wrong way, or if it just wasn’t a good story to begin with. Considering the psychological effects of being invisible, and the reactions of the townspeople when they start hunting him, I just can’t get over how much better it could have been told to get me more engaged.

I simply did not care two straws about anyone in this tale by the end.

And that epilogue…

No comments:

Post a Comment