This has been one of my favorite books since I was a kid, so when I saw a free audio version on Lit2Go (http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/120/the-inv...) I naThis has been one of my favorite books since I was a kid, so when I saw a free audio version on Lit2Go (http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/120/the-inv...) I nabbed it. It had been more than five years since I re-read it, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I still really, really love The Invisible Man. Wells writes with such a dry, wry voice, subtly bringing out the humor and incongruities in every scene. Contrast that with Griffin's chilling self-centeredness and lack of empathy, and the result is a truly compelling and amusing story. Sometimes the classics really are best.
The thing that really gets me about this novel is that (view spoiler)[Griffin's "madness" doesn't derive from his transformation--he is a complete monster long before he becomes invisible. His callousness and hunger for self-aggrandizement drive him to make his experiment regardless of the cost to himself or others. Only when completely cut off from humanity by his self-imposed distinctions, only when the realities of his supposed self-empowerment become clear to him, does he being to realize how much he needs the help of his fellow human beings. But unable to relate to them through any means except dominance, violence, and cruelty, Griffin remains isolated and adrift, without community or charity.
I read The Invisible Man for the first time around the same time as The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the similarities and differences between the two characters always struck me. Jekyll, driven by unnamed compulsions to seek out a way to fulfill his desires without consequence to himself, and Griffin, completely uncaring of consequence to others. Both scientists, both profoundly selfish, full of hubris. (hide spoiler)]
I should note that the reading at Lit2Go really is pretty good. The quality of the recording is fairly high. The American reader makes a fairly creditable attempt at capturing the dialects of the texts, and rarely mispronounces anything. On top of that, he does a great job matching the narrator's tone with his reading. You can't ask more from a free audiobook!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Should I post a spoiler warning for a novel that came out in 1864? Possibly. Ok. Very mild spoilers lurk below.
I don't think "Uncle Silas" is as succeShould I post a spoiler warning for a novel that came out in 1864? Possibly. Ok. Very mild spoilers lurk below.
I don't think "Uncle Silas" is as successful as "The Woman in White," in part because I found Maud's naivete and passivity frustrating, at times.
That said, I think Le Fanu is a brilliant writer of villains--the complexity and psychological realism of Madame de la Rougierre, Silas, and even Dudley's portrayals is enthralling to a modern reader. It was terrifying to read (hear, since I "read" this in audiobook form, provided by Librivox.org) the micro-aggressions, manipulations, and abuses perpetrated on Maud--especially as the actions of the villains and the poor girl's self-doubts and minimizations felt entirely realistic to me.
However, the plot felt extremely obvious, and there were many times throughout the novel when I just wanted to shake the protagonist and tell her to run away, d***it. One of the times when reading a work many years after it was produced does the novel itself a disservice, I think.
Still, "Uncle Silas" serves up enough psychological realism and tension that, in spite of a frustrating and somewhat useless protagonist, and a plot made over-familiar unto trope-itude, it manages to be quite the thriller. ...more
I was really surprised by how funny I found this book. I expected it to be dry, dour and gothic-flavored, but there were moments when I genuinely laugI was really surprised by how funny I found this book. I expected it to be dry, dour and gothic-flavored, but there were moments when I genuinely laughed. Perhaps that was due in part to the lovely reader of the free audiobook offered by Lit2Go. (The reader is excellent at characters and the slightly sardonic tone of Ishmael's narration, but he does occasionally mispronounce some words. I would love to have a short talk to him about how the 2nd syllable of "obliquely"--one of Melville's favorite words--rhymes with "leek," not "like.") ...more
**spoiler alert** If you love Victorian fiction, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and H.P. Lovecraft, you will love this story. It's a brilliant mashup of Doyl**spoiler alert** If you love Victorian fiction, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and H.P. Lovecraft, you will love this story. It's a brilliant mashup of Doyle's famous detective and Lovecraft's elder gods, in which HRM Queen Victorian and the royal family has been replaced by Lovecraft's eternal horrors. The most delightful thing about the story is how perfectly Gaiman matches Doyle's tone and style. What would Holmes' London be like with a multi-tentacled, madness inducing Queen? Read Gaiman's work to find out....more