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O Incrível Homem Que Encolheu

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  7,105 ratings  ·  528 reviews
While on holiday, Scott Carey is exposed to a cloud of radioactive spray shortly after he accidentally ingests insecticide. The radioactivity acts as a catalyst for the bug spray, causing his body to shrink at a rate of approximately 1/7 of an inch per day. A few weeks later, Carey can no longer deny the truth: not only is he losing weight, he is also shorter than he was a ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 344 pages
Published 2010 by Novo Século (first published 1956)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  7,105 ratings  ·  528 reviews


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Nancy
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

After reading about white male privilege, racial oppression, and gender inequality, I found it interesting that I chose to read a book about a man who is losing his height at nearly an inch per week. Not only is he greatly inconvenienced because he can't reach high shelves, he is also losing his power and significance as a man and a human being and reduced to merely survival. It’s an adventure tale, and it has some horror and sci-fi elements. I like how the story didn’t
...more
Stephen
Richard Matheson took the platform afforded him by his tremendous skill as a writer and used it as a platform to confront a serious and important issue that had been kept hidden for too long....MALE SHRINKAGE
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Here was a man that was WAY ahead of his time. Not only was he a gifted writer with an amazing and wide-ranging imagination, but he was also someone who wasn’t afraid to tackle tough and controversial social issues. From general topics like race relations, war and politics to deeply pers
...more
Matthew
3 Stars

The Incredible Shrinking Man is just okay. When comparing it to some of the other Matheson I have tried, it is not my favorite. There are parts that are very good and thought provoking, but generally it felt slow and repetitive.

The Good and Thought Provoking:

What would it be like if you were the same person, but started to shrink? You feel the same, but others start to see and treat you differently. You are an adult, but now you are being bullied by kids who think you are one of them, bec
...more
Baba
SF Masterworks (2010 relaunch series) #63: A science fiction which lives more comfortably on the horror shelf like most of Matheson's work I've read it. One of those stories that you think you've either read or seen an adaptation of, until you actually read it, and realise you haven't. Essentially the trials, tribulations, shock and horror of the very slow shrinking of Scott Carey from a 6 foot 2 plus man. What makes the book (published in 1956) stand out is Matheson focuses just as much on the ...more
Lee  (the Book Butcher)
a good mixture Psychical and psychological horror. From a OG of modern horror Richard Matheson.
The plot as the title suggests is about a man who is shrinking a little everyday. told in two parts the present features the Psychical. The Psychological is told using flashbacks from the past as Scott Carey tries to come to terms with what is happening to him!

First I want to discuss the more successful psychical horror. Scott's day to day survival is full of challenges and perils. Like black widow spi
...more
Jim
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a really long time since I last read this & even longer since I've seen the whole movie, but there were some iconic scenes that stayed with me. Rereading it was a great idea since I'd forgotten how masterfully Matheson had woven the story together. The great environmental message about how he comes to shrink through massive, random exposure to radiation & a pesticide.

The most exciting thread is his struggle in the basement as he shrinks from 1" down even further. He's battling hunger,
...more
Lou
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-reads
A Timeless novel, Matheson is such a great writer he writes with many themes undead, ghosts, haunted houses , shrinking man and human endeavors, I only wish he had written more novels, this story is of the highest caliber!
This is a story of survival for one man and his emotional and psychological journey as life slips away from beneath his feet Inch by Inch literally. We follow his realization and self-discovery with this fate put before him.

"He looked at her full body again, feeling breath
...more
Wayne Barrett
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2015, sci-fi, classics

Thoroughly enjoyed this story.

Scott Carey is shrinking 1/7th of an inch a day until he reaches a point where he knows he will shrink to nothing. But even this knowledge cannot prepare him for the unknown world that awaits him.

There were some truly horrifying moments in this story but the real power was the perspective it gave, not from just one, but from constant viewpoints during his transformation. I don't know what was worse; fleeing from a black widow that was the same size as him or lying w
...more
Frankh
Considering this is a Richard Matheson book, an author who is probably best known for his horror stories, I have initial expectations that this was going to be a scary venture in the same manner as Hell House was when I saw the movie as a child and later on read the book. But in the first fifty pages or so of this novel, my expectations were met in a different way yet it was also something more satisfying which could be what Matheson has intended when he wrote it.

The Shrinking Man tells the sto
...more
Kat  Hooper
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Every day Scott Carey is getting shorter by 1/7 of an inch. The doctors have figured out why -- he was exposed to a combination of insecticide and radioactivity -- but so far they have not been able to make him stop shrinking. Now Scott is only one inch tall and he is trapped in the cellar of his family's rented home with a stale piece of bread, an out-of-reach box of crackers, a sponge, a garden hose, a water heater, and a black widow spider. And in seven
...more
Thomas Strömquist
I wish I could return this book and get the one that most of my friends here read instead. Naw, just kidding, I'm sure I read this all wrong. But even after really gritting my teeth in my efforts to suspend disbelief - or actually turn a blind eye to facts and physics, I really couldn't find much engaging in this story.

Scott shrinks 1/7th of an inch each day (radiation+insecticides effects obviously follow the imperial metric system), which of course works out to exponential shrinking as it goe
...more
David (דוד)
The Shrinking Man is a really good book, in the sense of its horrifying idea, style of narration, its meticulous description whenever required, and its hidden sub-layer. This was Mr. Matheson's first story that I read, being amongst his earliest written works.

The book initiates with a very small chapter, which in short, describes the causes of the protagonist's initiation of shrinkage; and continues while he is 5/7th of an inch tall with the following chapter. The story then interweaves with two
...more
Alazzar
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thank God it’s over.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. From the moment I saw the cover (a tiny man fending off a spider with a spear-sized needle—how awesome is that?), I wanted to read this story by an author I thought could do no wrong.

When I had 5 pages left, I almost stopped reading. Not because I was disappointed with the direction of the plot, but because I just couldn’t take it anymore.

The Shrinking Man is the story of Scott Carey, AKA “The Flash” from DC Comics. (I figure he must
...more
J.M. Hushour
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Reality was relative."
A surprisingly funny and surprisingly downright disturbing "function" story.
By "function" I mean a kind of story that sounds like it'd be uninteresting but which, if done well, never is. Like another recent read, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Matheson's nightmare tale centers a lot of its drama and fascination on answering the question, "Okay, what if this really did happen? How would a person cope?"
Trapped in a basement for months, the ever-shrinking man battles hunger and
...more
Kirk
Jan 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

A BELATED TRIBUTE

Richard Matheson was my Ray Bradbury, the gateway drug to science fiction books as a teenager. I started with his short stories, probably his best and most consistent terrain, marked by no frills narrative, emotional honesty and often a twisting of the knife. Not long after I read I Am Legend, which is sort of the Velvet Underground of vampire novels, in that it influenced countless other properties many of which no doubt made more money than the original ever did. It’s a ri
...more
Lou
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-reads
Timeless novel Matheson is such a great writer most of his novels written in the 50s it can outdo many of today's stories. He writes with many themes the undead, ghosts, haunted houses , and human endeavours, I only wish he wrote more novels this story is of the highest calibre! This is a story of survival for one man in this emotional and psychological journey as life slips away from beneath his feet Inch by Inch literally. We follow his realisation and self-discovery with this fate put before ...more
Chris_P
For a moment the entire grotesque spectacle of it swept over him forcibly, the insanity of a world where he could be killed trying to climb to the top of a table that any normal man could lift and carry with one hand.

The Shrinking Man. Yeah, the title says it all. What a bold thing it was to write this story at a time when man was the undeniable cornerstone of every home! And what irony to read it today when economic difficulties and rapid social changes have reduced many men to inert member
...more
Carla Remy
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From 1956
This actually has a lot in common with his I Am Legend, from 1954. Both are stories of a single doomed man fighting for survival. This has intense action but also focuses on the sad psychology of the situation. Him finding ways to survive while shrinking ever smaller is interesting and fun.
Love of Hopeless Causes
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Love of Hopeless Causes by: Stephen King
Shelves: horror, gunpowder
My expectations were too high for this.
Michael
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sarah Hadley,
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eddie Generous
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Shrinking Man story was fucking something else. So much more than the usual monster romp. Absolutely harrowing. The stories collected additionally in this book were a pretty great offering, too. Many I'd read before, but a few I hadn't. Matheson will blow you away if you link up with the right story. This book has a handful of the right stories, for this guy anyway *points thumbs at self*. ...more
Simon
Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, sf-masterworks, sf
Matheson does pretty much everything he can to ensure the protagonist is hard to sympathise with for most of the book. He is consumed with rage, bitterness and fury at the hand the universe has dealt him. He is entirely self-absorbed, lashing out at his friends, family and the world. No one understand what he is going through, they all laugh at him behind his back and pity him to his face. He feels belittled in every way, not just physically.

So, I can see why many people might dislike this book.
...more
Skip
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Not impressed. The main character, Scott Carey, is whiney and lacks motivation for doing anything. His main nemesis, the spider, was more conceptual, than real, with only one short battle. The secondary characters were weak and mostly non-existent. His wife, child, even the Tom Thumb character at the circus were boring. It took more than half of the book to explain why he was shrinking an inch per day, and then you were left hanging at the end. Skip it.
Joe
A slightly silly sounding premise but it works out rather well. It has both dark moments and humour throughout, with an ending that I didn't predict. ...more
Sesana
It's kind of nice when the title of a book is also a perfect, if brief, description of the plot. The shrinking man of the title is Scott, who is shrinking exactly 1/7 of an inch every day. We're watching him during his last week before vanishing entirely, trapped in a basement with little food or water and stalked by an enormous (to him) black widow. Exactly how he got to be this size is shown through a series of flashbacks.

In a way, it's almost like two books. One is a tediously, almost painful
...more
Melanti
Books like this are the exact reason I no longer read much science fiction. I prefer a fantastical viewpoint - i.e. "it's works that way because it's magic!" to a pseudo-scientific explanation that doesn't make a bit of sense.

Why does Scott Carey shrink at the rate of 1/7 of an inch a day? Well... he was sprayed by radioactive insecticide and the radiation caused the insecticide to mutate and ... wait ... something non-living can mutate? Since when? Ok, well, ignore that bit. See, this insectic
...more
Kat  Hooper
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Incredible Shrinking Man: A beautiful psychological study of masculinity

Every day Scott Carey is getting shorter by 1/7 of an inch. The doctors have figured out why — he was exposed to a combination of insecticide and radioactivity — but so far they have not been able to make him stop shrinking. Now Scott is only one inch tall and he is trapped in the cellar of his family’s rented home with a stale piece of bread, an out-of-reach box of crackers, a sponge, a garden hose, a water heater, and
...more
Charlie Collins
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, classic, horror

Great, scary little book. Quite an ordeal, survival in a world not made for your new size and a giant spider making your attempt a living hell. The end of the book left me with a different perspective on my surrounding world and my life within it. Pretty cool stuff.
Jenni DaVinCat
It's rare that a Matheson book doesn't get full stars for me. I think this story would have been better off as a short story. Granted, it's not that long of a book (around 200 pages) but even at that length, it felt too long.

The story is set in the present, where he believes that he is only a few days away from disappearing. He has somehow ended up in the cellar of his home and there's a spider that's after him. Not to mention having to feed himself and obtain water. How he got to this point is
...more
Shorty
I sincerely disliked this character’s attitude. Yes something terrible happened to him, and I’m guessing it was because the universe (or whatever) decided that he had a lesson to learn about being a better person. But in the meantime this dude Scott Carey was a whiny little shit, pun intended. He whined and raged and generally acted like a spoiled baby, and then got all lusty after a rather weird 16 year old babysitter and acted exceedingly pervy about her. (Yeah ok, she was being really weird w ...more
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Born in Allendale, New Jersey to Norwegian immigrant parents, Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married in 1952 and has four children, three of w ...more

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