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Soon I Will Be Invincible
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Soon I Will Be Invincible

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  13,309 ratings  ·  1,873 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
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published June 5th 2007 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,309 ratings  ·  1,873 reviews

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Ben Flasher
Jan 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
The temperature went on rising. Spiderweb cracks formed on the glass of the containment chamber an instant before the explosion. The pain was like burning or drowning, and it went on and on, unbearable. I wanted to faint, to leave my body. When you can't bear something but it goes on anyway, the person who survives isn't you anymore; you've changed and become someone else, a new person, the one who did bear it all. The formula saturated my body, and I changed.

This is one my all-time favorite boo
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Apr 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Michael Finocchiaro
I found this book poorly written and generally rather boring. The characters were not all that interesting and the plot devices plodding at best. Not my cup of tea, sorry.
mark monday
Apr 15, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This was a surprisingly enjoyable read. It had all the craziness and humor you would expect from a novel about a super villain trying to take over the world, but was also surprisingly sad as Austin Grossman used the opportunity to touch on far more human subjects like growing old, celebrity, fading glory, loneliness, the struggle for acceptance, the issues people have trying to relate to one and other, and the desire to find ones place in life.

On the surface this reads like a classic comic book
Feb 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a sense of humor, comic fans or not.
Recommended to Amanda by: Aaron
Shelves: favorites
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
Jun 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
(Full review can be found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [].)

"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.
Darth J
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who like superhero stories.
I have to preface my review by saying that I was accidentally given an Advance Reader's Edition, so the version that I read may be different than what ended up on store shelves.

Anyway, Soon I Will Be Invincible is a superhero story told from 2 perspectives. The first is of the villian, Doctor Impossible, who is hell bent on doing anything to make his existence matter to the world.

The other main character is not the villain's arch nemesis, but a new hero named Fatale; a cyborg who used to work f
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one for the re-read shelf. I absolutely love Dr. Impossible. I will never share his secret identity. I love his voice in my head. He made me laugh. He did say he had a good sense of humor at one point....Does he want to be Invincible? Well duh, that is what super villains do. But Doctor Impossible is not your usual super villain. He is more. He has depth.He has feelings. And maybe...just maybe, well I will keep that thought to myself. I will say that he makes perfect sense. He is the sma ...more
Aug 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
William Thomas
Jan 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dreck
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
Nov 01, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: never_finished
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
RJ - Slayer of Trolls
A humorous book about superheroes sounds like a promising idea. Too bad someone hit this one with humor-Kryptonite and destroyed all the funny parts. There might be a chuckle or a smirk left, but nothing truly funny or even close. Just watch the Incredibles again; you'll thank me later. ...more
"There's a fine line between a superpower and a chronic medical condition."
--Doctor Impossible

VERDICT: 3 power-ups. I am probably being a bit generous, but it was as good or better than the average superhero/supervillain text novel. Let's face it: most of 'em are terrible. SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE is a 4-star concept with some 2 to 3 star execution; thus, 3 stars overall.

Imagine a few Justice League types teamed up with some X-Men/Women and you get the idea of the main cast here. Sure, it's ove
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I liked this, didn’t love it. I think Austin Grossman and I just don’t blend well as reader/writer. And it all started out so well!

The book begins from the point of view of Dr. Impossible as he reflects from prison on his life and career as a supervillain. He has been arrested twelve times now, after having almost destroyed the world and/or conquered it, also twelve times. His nemesis is CoreFire, leader of a group of superheroes not unlike the Avengers. The world they live in is chockablock ful
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. ...more
Dec 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got problems with this, but first, what I liked...

The larger-than-life characters, and so many of them, that Grossman was able to create and breathe into life. His imagination must have run riot at time as he spins character after character into his storyline about a villainous superhero, Dr. Impossible, who wants to, quite literally, rule the world. (He really does, regardless of the fact that he's tried and failed to do this umpteen times before.) The writing is crisp and distinct. Dialogue,
Melissa McShane
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
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
This novel had such a great concept as a base that I expected a lot from it. Ultimately, I was disappointed. It seemed like it would have a lot of action and tension and clashing of strong characters, but everything in the narrative that would fit those descriptors essentially happens “off-screen” and is recounted after the fact. Dr. Impossible and Fatale spend more time wallowing in their respective uncertainties and depressions than going through things in the present. I’m all for introspectiv ...more
Oct 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Noran Miss Pumkin
Mar 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: comic fans of old
Recommended to Noran by:
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.
Kara 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
Goodreads doesn't allow me to read the same book twice and to not care for it the first time and like it a lot the next time. Or to love it the first time and despise it later. This time I'm giving this book four stars after two years as a two star book.

“This morning on planet Earth, there are one thousand, six hundred, and eighty-six enhanced, gifted or otherwise -superpowered persons. Of these, one hundred and twenty- six are civilians leading normal lives. Thirty- eight are kept in research
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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 ga

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