Soon I Will Be Invincible
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Soon I Will Be Invincible

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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  7,195 ratings  ·  1,297 reviews
Doctor Impossible—evil genius, diabolical scientist, wannabe world dominator—languishes in a federal detention facility. He's lost his freedom, his girlfriend, and his hidden island fortress.

Over the years he's tried to take over the world in every way imaginable: doomsday devices of all varieties (nuclear, thermonuclear, nanotechnological) and mass mind control. He's tra...more
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published June 5th 2007 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2007)
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Watchmen by Alan MooreSoon I Will Be Invincible by Austin GrossmanThe Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael ChabonAmerican Gods by Neil GaimanHero by Perry Moore
Superhero Fiction
2nd out of 392 books — 677 voters
Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin GrossmanCassidy Jones and the Secret Formula by Elise StokesEx-Heroes by Peter ClinesCassidy Jones and Vulcan's Gift by Elise StokesConfessions of a D-List Supervillain by Jim Bernheimer
Super Hero Books [Not Graphic Novels]
1st out of 189 books — 249 voters


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Community Reviews

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Ben Flasher
I bought this book based on a strong review, and was quite disappointed. Any reviewer who praises this book's imagination clearly hasn't read a comic book within the last 5-10 years. The settings, characters, and powers all seem to have been lifted wholesale out of the most dire quick cash-in books of the 90s comics boom.

I will grant that there is some amusement to be found in Dr. Impossible's story. His wry, matter-of fact viewpoint is often entertaining, and the telling of a comic book tale fr...more
Sandi
Aug 07, 2008 Sandi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to be entertained
Shelves: 2008, sci-fi, funny-stuff
Should I be embarrassed about giving "Soon I Will be Invincible" four stars? Should I even admit that I bought it because I loved the title and the cover? This a silly piece of entertaining fluff. It's dessert after a really healthy dinner. It doesn't have any hidden meanings, heavy symbolism or deep thoughts. It's just really, really entertaining. I laughed a few times and had a big grin on my face when I put it down. Even better, I can pass this book to my son without any worries about inappro...more
Nathan
First off, I loved the idea of this novel. And even after the disappointment of actually reading Soon I Will Be Invincible, I can still honestly say that I love the idea of it. It's just the novel itself I've got a problem with.



When I first saw this on the shelf, my mind raced frantically back to the long cardboard boxes of comic books that I still keep stored up in the attic, each comic tucked safely away into a plastic sleeve to protect its "value"--a concept that my incredulous wife mockingl...more
mark monday
some surprisingly strong writing in this oddball offering from the most gutter of gutter sub-genres. meta playfulness with the iconic figures of superman/batman/wonder woman is to be expected in today's post-post-modern world, and the novel satisfies on that level. less expected is the charmingly wry writing, the novel's melancholy tone, and the nostalgia that suffuses the thoughts of both narrators. all of this more than helps to make this surprising novel stand out. overall, this may not be ea...more
Amanda
Feb 13, 2008 Amanda rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone with a sense of humor, comic fans or not.
Recommended to Amanda by: Aaron
I have a difficult time describing this novel. On the surface it is a very humorous plot involving superheroes and supervillains portrayed as actual people - you get a look at how annoying it can be to have to save the world when one's marriage is breaking up, for instance. You grow to understand how embarrassing it is to be a supervillain genius putting up with a misguided colleague's cheesy catchphrases and general stupidity. Beneath that highly entertaining surface is, I think, an intelligent...more
Jason Pettus
(Full review can be found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:].)

"This morning on planet Earth, there are 1,686 enhanced, gifted, or otherwise superpowered persons. 678 use their powers to fight crime, while 441 use their powers to commit them. 44 are currently confined in Special Containment Facilities for enhanced criminals. Of these last, it is interesting to note that an unusually high proportion have IQs of 300 or more -- eighteen to be exact. Including me....more
Alexander
Apr 04, 2008 Alexander rated it 1 of 5 stars Recommends it for: beginning writers, those people who wish to do themselves harm
Shelves: read-didntlike
I'm considering writing an essay, in the tradition of Mark Twain, called Austin Grossman's Literary Offenses.

This book is that bad. Really.

It's so bad, I wonder what's wrong with someone that they could actually like this book. I know, that's a really mean thing to say, but if you read this book and it doesn't make you feel like the world just got a little darker and more dreary, I challenge that you aren't actually a human being, but probably some sort of text scanning utility maintained by a B...more
Carolyn
I've got to say, I really enjoyed this book. Not being a comic book geek, or even a superhero buff, I picked this up on a whim at the library. My review was probably helped in that I started reading this the day after I saw "Hancock" with Will Smith.

Anyhoo, mix a bit of Hancock, and some of Disney's Sky High Academy, with a *big* helping of Mike Myers' Dr Evil and you've got some idea of the fun of this book. I'll leave the plot synopsis to others, but I really enjoyed the viewpoint of the main...more
Rainbow
This book is so beautifully written, it actually took me longer than usual to get through because I kept stopping to reread things. Like -- "Wait, was that paragraph *actually* that breathtaking? Oh my God, IT WAS."

I'd take camera photos of brilliant paragraphs, then have no idea what to do with them. I read a ton of it out loud to my husband, just because I needed someone to acknowledge how awesome it was.

"Soon I Will Be Invincible" is a book about comic-book superheroes, but it isn't a comic b...more
Jim
Very well read comic book from two points of view that of Dr. Impossible, the super villain, & a young super hero in alternate chapters. The voice of Dr. Impossible is especially good. Instead of avoiding tropes, this book embraces them all, gives us the origins & motivations of each with a fairly twisty ending including a real shocker, but one that made sense. It was a lot of fun & perfect in this format. I don't think it would have read as well in paper, even graphic format, for me...more
William Thomas
When I was quite a bit younger, I used to run around the apartment in my underwear, a He-Man sword stuffed down the back of my shirt. I used to try to ride the dog like he was Cringer and pretend he was Battle Cat. Later, I concocted plans to become a vigilante like Batman if I were to ever come into money, like winning the lottery. Early on in puberty, I hoped to develop mutant abilities like the X-Men. Instead of becoming any of these things, I now worship barbarians, read history of barbaric...more
Dan
Everything started out fun enough - hearing the story from an old super villain's point-of-view. It kinda made you think of Dr. Doom by way of The Monarch from Venture Brothers. Then the book gets into a routine of switching every other chapter between the villain and a rookie hero who just got invited to join the big super team. Again, all well and good. Grossman apparantly created and entire world, mythology, and history for all the heroes and villains. Problem was, he REALLY wanted to make su...more
Stephen
2.5 stars. Great concept, decent execution. As a superhero fan, I was hoping for a rich, detailed plot involving superheroes that would allow the author to explore the characters more than they can when limited to the simple comic book (or graphic novel form). This book, while decent, was not what I was hoping for. If you are looking for good superhero story, I would suggest something like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen to name just two of the better ones.
KJ
This world is fascinating but the writing is really unfocused -- I'm having a hard time following the passage of time, and we're really thrown into both the characters and the action. Too much of the world building is retroactive. I'm about 1/3rd of the way in, we'll see if the storytelling settles down.

Update upon finishing: I really wanted to like this book, but it never gelled for me. Too much jumping around from flashback to current timeline to hints dropped about the future, and the charact...more
Jennifer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Noran Miss Pumkin
Aug 04, 2008 Noran Miss Pumkin rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: comic fans of old
Recommended to Noran by: bookgrasm.com
Shelves: comics
full review to follow. supervillian 4 stars. super heroes three stars. overall 3 and a half stars. a fun read--do not regret it, just wish it was better--when you hold the making of something great in your hands, and half of it falls way short of the mark, it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.
Melissa Proffitt
I'm not sure why I've rated this three stars (probably closer to 3.5) because there was a lot I liked about it. I'm very fond of superhero stories, particularly ones like this, and I actually liked that the villain's perspective alternated with the hero's perspective. Actually, that's misleading; the "villain" has some sympathetic traits, and the "hero" is a newbie who's just been invited to join the number one super-group in the world. Both of them have doubts about what they're doing, but not...more
Ben Babcock
I read Soon I Will Be Invincible in a single sitting (although the two-hour rain delay before the ball game began helped). It has an easygoing, tongue-in-cheek style that makes it a pleasure to read. Sometimes it feels like a comic book, other times it feels like a parody of the superhero/supervillain genre in general. In making an effort not to be too serious, Austin Grossman has created a literary mélange of Douglas Coupland-style humour, characters worthy of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, and a...more
Gus Sanchez
Soon I Will Be Invincible recognizes that superheroes are nothing if not for having supervillains as their arch enemies. And for the New Guardians, a super group of super heroes, their arch enemy is the wily, savagely brilliant Doctor Invincible.

And it's Doctor Invincible's story that's told throughout this fine novel. You can't help but love a guy like Doctor Invincible, tenacious and determined to defeat his arch enemy CoreFire (whose relationship with Doctor Invincible is the foundation of th...more
Rob
Jun 08, 2008 Rob rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: grown-up comics fans (also: John, Fogus)
Shelves: 2008
A fun, rather endearing little novel by Austin Grossman (his first), Soon I Will Be Invincible offers us a "generic" superhero milieu that honors just as much as it satirizes its comic book forebears. Grossman gives us a real loser of an evil genius (Doctor Impossible, suffering from "malign hypercognition disorder") that is every inch the protagonist this story needs -- considering that he's the villain being chased by the cattiest, bitchiest bunch of superheroes that ever seemed patrol the wil...more
K
Oct 23, 2007 K rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone, esp. people who like Venture Bros.
Picked up this book because Jackson Publick, creator/writer of the Venture Bros. series recommended it on his blog.

A superhero novel that switches narrative viewpoints b/w supervillain and new superhero. It is more melancholy and internal than comic/action-packed, though all those aspects are present.

Had following emotional reaction
15% - admiration for Grossman's approach to these old themes
15% - amusement at cleverness
15% - outright snickering
20% - sadness
25% - not reacting because nothing t...more
Speedtribes
Mar 09, 2008 Speedtribes rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Comics fans, DC Universe fans
Good points: I loved how the DC Universe archetypes were turned sideways. Namely Batman, Superman and Lex Luthor. I loved the thorough walk-through of how genius can become a sort of insanity, and gave me a better appreciation of the original crazy-scientist Lex Luthor. (I've preferred the Machiavellian businessman version.) Look! It's the Justice League! Also, Superdickery! Acknowledged superdickery!

The Bad: While there is a very strong in depth view of Dr. Impossible and his world -- where he...more
Frankie Brown
Maybe it's bad that I most identified with Doctor Impossible, this story's villain (because he is a villain) and protagonist (because he is a protagonist). Or maybe it doesn't matter, because who could really identify with a hero? No one I know.

What makes a hero? Or, more interestingly, what makes a villain? Better: what drives them?

Every hero and villain has an origin story. But the better story is not how they were made; it's what they've become, where they're going and why.

I'm not really a co...more
Rusty
I don’t want to point any fingers, but some people lead me to believe that this book was humorous. I had been reading a lot of horror, so I thought I’d try something light. This was a light, quick read, but not humorous, or imaginative, or entertaining, really. The main reason I finished the bloody thing is the fact that I was on a long plane ride. I’m not overly perceptive, but part of me gets the feeling that this book was written by someone who doesn’t like comic books, so he decided to write...more
Terence
In the tradition of Alan Moore's The Watchmen but not as dystopian and leavened with more humor.
John Knoop
I gave this a shot based on many raving reviews claiming it is entertaining and hysterical. Well, it wasn't funny, it wasn't interesting and I almost gave up on it several times. It took seven chapters to get beyond character introductions and there was still really no story behind it. Aside from the fact that it made me think of my friend who makes hero costumes by hand and frequents comic cons, it just plain sucked. It was sort of slap-stick silly, but otherwise, pointless. I did finish it but...more
Flo
my favorite line in this book:
"there's a fine line between a super power and a chronic medical condition".
Donald
Jan 06, 2013 Donald rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: fans of superheroes, science fiction, or fantasy
Shelves: superheroes
I am not a big reader of superhero comics. I generally find the idea boring or silly. I'm not trying to be offensive to fans, and I don't think less of anybody who does like them, they're just not my thing.

I had heard good things about this book. We follow, through alternating chapters, an evil genius of a supervillian, and a cyborg woman newly added to an established superhero team.

I liked the chapters from the villian's perspective. It was nice to see that point of view, and while his backgrou...more
Emmett Spain
Are you a fan of comics and looking for a superhero novel that isn't written for twelve year olds? This is the book for you.

Written with a real reverence for the Silver Age of comics, Grossman pitches a tale of two characters--Doctor Impossible, the genius supervillain, and Fatale, an insecure cyborg getting her first real shot at big time superherodom--telling both their stories in the first person in alternating chapters.

Every hero archetype is on display here in the ensemble, and long-time co...more
Lisa
Sep 29, 2013 Lisa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
In need of a super-power fix, this looked the perfect distraction while waiting for SHIELD to air, but didn't live up to its early potential and left me wishing I'd just watched Megamind instead.

Doctor Impossible is an evil genius, languishing in prison after yet another attempt at world domination has seen him once again bested by his nemesis, CoreFire, and the super powered members of the Champions (since disbanded).

When CoreFire mysteriously disappears and Doctor Impossible escapes, the Champ...more
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Why does this have humor tag? 3 22 Jan 10, 2014 08:15AM  
First, it was the cover that caught my interest.. 7 155 Nov 01, 2012 09:21AM  
The Sword and Laser: Superhero genre - Sword or Laser? 12 100 May 14, 2012 10:45PM  
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Austin Grossman graduated from Harvard University in 1991 with a plan to write the great American novel; instead he became a video game designer at Looking Glass Studios.

He has since contributed as a writer and designer to a number of critically acclaimed video games, such as ULTIMA UNDERWORLD II, SYSTEM SHOCK, DEUS EX, and TOMB RAIDER: LEGEND, and has taught and lectured on narrative in video gam...more
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“There's a fine line between a superpower and a chronic medical condition.” 38 likes
“When your laboratory explodes, lacing your body with a supercharged elixir, what do you do? You don't just lie there. You crawl out of the rubble, hideously scarred, and swear vengeance on the world. You keep going. You keep trying to take over the world.” 28 likes
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