“The Invisible Man” by H.G. Wells

I decided to revisit The Invisible Man a few weeks ago when I saw it on a feature shelf at my library.

I’d first read it when I was in high school and was so hooked on the story back then that I completed the book in a day. I wanted to know if my experience with the story would be the same or if the intervening years had dried the story for me and made it a bore, so I gave it another read.

Genre:

Sci-fi; Classic

Pubbed:

1897

Goodreads summary:

This masterpiece of science fiction is the fascinating story of Griffin, a scientist who creates a serum to render himself invisible, and his descent into madness that follows. (Goodreads)

My thoughts: (spoilers)

In short, I enjoyed the story. Again I was hooked just as I was when I first read it. But unlike my high school years, I now have responsibilities that claim my time, so it took a few days to complete the story, which is quite short at under 200 pages.

Also like my first read, I was hooked as soon as I started. The narrator draws you in with long sentences and hooks you with the mystery surrounding the oddly dressed “stranger” who “staggered into the Coach and Horses,” an inn in a small English village called Iping, on a wintry February day. I like that the pace is quick and appreciate the humor we get in how the villagers talk about the stranger and later react to the invisible man. The pace and humor made the story an entertaining and quick read.

Since there’s much mystery surrounding the invisible man when he appears, my curiosity about him was immediately piqued. I wanted to know why he seems so disgruntled and unhappy and wanted to know how he came to be invisible. I was surprised when we learn, couple chapters from the end, that his name is Griffin because I’d gotten so used to thinking of him as just the invisible man or the disembodied voice characters hear that I didn’t expect to get a name.

The invisible man gains more substance when we learn his name because with it comes his backstory. This made me think of dragons and other fantastical creatures in fantasy novels that don’t easily share their names because doing so can make them vulnerable to others. That’s exactly what happens in The Invisible Man. The invisible man shares his name for the first time when he is in a vulnerable position. From there, we get his backstory and learn of the terrible things he has done and plan to do.

A person’s name can be a powerful thing. Lord Voldemort does away with Tom Riddle to assume a title he considers to be powerful, but Dumbledore sometimes refers to and calls him by his given name to recall Lord Voldemort to who he was and thereby exert power over him. I think something similar occurs in The Invisible Man when the invisible man’s name is used. The invisible man is recalled to who he was before he became invisible, but doing so fuels his rage and exacerbates his madness.

I pitied the invisible man despite the monster he became. I kept thinking he could be redeemed. That he just needed to reconnect with society and be welcomed in a community. I understood how he must have felt living on the fringes of society because he was poor and an albino and how that drove him to become invisible only to realize that invisibility made him more ostracized. His experience made him bitter, angry, selfish; but I think he could have come back from that.

The end was unsettling. The invisible man was a threat that the villagers united against, yes; but he was also something unnatural that they didn’t understand and stomped out. He was detained, yet the mob of people proceeded to beat him to death because they could not see him, did not know him, and did not understand him. They didn’t even realize that they had killed, were killing, him.

Anyway, on another note, Thomas Marvel is one lucky fool, or maybe he knew what he was doing all along.

Overall: ★★★★☆ ½

A good read. I recommend it.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass
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BBC #4: Autumn Colors

This edition of BBC, a meme I started where I feature books with beautiful covers, will focus on the robust colors of autumn.

I love autumn colors. They are rich and majestic. When I walk among trees donned in fall colors, I feel as if I’m walking among royalty about to partake in autumnal festivities. I love the mustard yellows, dark greens, plums, burnt oranges, maroons, and rich, warm browns. Ahh… Autumn. It hasn’t yet fully arrived in my part of the world, but I feel tendrils of it in the air as it slowly creeps in.

To herald it’s coming, here are some book covers in autumnal covers.

Before the Feast by Saša Stanišić, trans. from German by Anthea Bell

cover art by Claire Scully

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I Heart Characters! #11: A Stylish, Scary Character

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani at Perspective of a Writer to share our love of great characters. Each week, Dani will assign a topic/type of character that we must find examples of in the various media we consume (books, TV shows, movies, comics, podcasts, etc.).

October 4 topic:

A Character with Style 

Showcase the look you would want to emulate.

Serena van der Wooden (played by Blake Lively) from Gossip Girls

Y’all! 😀 I love this topic. I immediately thought of Serena from Gossip Girls. I was a huge fan of Gossip Girls back in the day and never missed an episode. I didn’t care so much for the drama, though it was entertaining; I watched the show for the fashion. That’s what I was most interested in.

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Top 5 Wednesday #27: Favorite Villains

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by GingerReadsLainey and now managed by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. For more information on this meme, visit the Goodreads group.

This week’s topic:

Favorite Villains

I am so excited for this topic! I like quite a few of villains; here are the ones that immediately came to mind:

Thanos

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Illustrated Books: “Sky High” and “Spot, the Cat”

I’m surprised at myself that I haven’t read much illustrated books or comics so far this year. I wonder what’s going on with me. These two books bring me to a total of 4 illustrated children’s books read so far. Hopefully I’ll read a few more before the year is done.

Both of the books I’ll discuss in this post where cover buys. I love looking at illustrations of architecture and both books have illustrations of buildings on their covers. Naturally, I picked them up, ran my hands over the cover, and convinced myself to purchase them. I bought them at two different independent bookstores and I’m glad to now know that both were good purchases.


Sky High by Germano Zullo, illus. by Albertine

Genre:

Children’s Humor

Pubbed:

2012

Goodreads summary:

In this charming illustrated tale, two competing neighbors begin embellishing their mansions, only to find themselves caught up in a race to build the tallest, most decadent skyscraper featuring solid gold doors, diamond-encrusted pillars, grand ballrooms, expensive paintings, live tigers, and indoor swimming pools—with consequences inevitable, and not. Kids will love spotting the funny details hidden in this witty take on an age-old moral, while their parents—particularly any who’ve ever undertaken a remodel—will chuckle with recognition. (Goodreads)

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’90s Quiz Book Tag

My book tags of late have all been ’90s focused. I guess I’m in a ’90s mood. I’ve even been listening mostly to music from the 1990s lately — some Tupac and Biggie and 112 and Mary J. Blige….good stuff. The ’90s, well the late ’90s, were my childhood years (born at the end of the ’80s), so I guess I’m just reminiscing.

I found this tag over on Kristin Kraves Books. I highly recommend you check out her awesome blog!

Rules:
  1. Please, please, please steal this tag and spread it around! I only ask that you link it back to The Literary Phoenix so that I can see everyone’s answers!
  2. Freeze tag was all the rage in the 90s. Tag someone (or many) you think would have fun with this!
  3. Have fun!

Pokemon

A GBA game and trading card game where you battled pocket monsters and strived to catch them all. Back in the day, there were only 150 Pokemon.

Pokemon was fun. I enjoyed watching the show as a kid and these days I’ll rewatch an episode every now and then.

The author you need every book from

Robin Hobb

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Top 5 Wednesday #26: Favorite Magic Systems

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by GingerReadsLainey and now managed by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. For more information on this meme, visit the Goodreads group.

This week’s topic:

Favorite Magic Systems

Wands

Of course, the Harry Potter books immediately popped in my mind when I saw this topic. I’ve wanted a wand since I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as a kid in middle school or high school (whenever it was when I first read it). Wands seem to provide almost limitless magic and I like that it’s a conduit for a person’s magic. Now that I think of it, I wonder where the magical energy comes from. It doesn’t seem to come entirely from within the person wielding the wand, so I wonder where else is this energy taken from.

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