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The Invisible Man
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Group Reads - Fiction > Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (Group Classics Read Aug/Sept 2016)

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Greg | 7684 comments Mod
This thread is for discussing the group Classics Read for August-September 2016, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells


Free (freemaned) | 82 comments I will start reading in a few days. Can't wait.


Greg | 7684 comments Mod
I'm starting too Free! :)


LauraT (laurata) | 13533 comments Mod
Started yesterday and almost finished. Not too long a stroy.
I'll wait for some days till you catch me ...


Leslie | 15985 comments I have never read this but have seen the movie with Claude Rains - it was his first film I think.

Is anyone listening to this? I am sure that there are several audiobook editions - I will have to see what my library has available.


LauraT (laurata) | 13533 comments Mod
Leslie wrote: "I have never read this but have seen the movie with Claude Rains - it was his first film I think.

Is anyone listening to this? I am sure that there are several audiobook editions - I will have to..."


I've listened to the librivox version; not bad, even if it was a cooperative work


Marina (sonnenbarke) I'm definitely going to read this, though I have yet to decide if I'll do before or after my vacation. Probably after, as I will be more relaxed.


Leslie | 15985 comments LauraT wrote: "Leslie wrote: "I have never read this but have seen the movie with Claude Rains - it was his first film I think.

Is anyone listening to this? I am sure that there are several audiobook editions -..."


I ended up getting the Scott Brick narration via Hoopla - there were about 5 different audiobook editions but this one was the only narrator I was familiar with! I also have a Kindle edition and see that it is quite short - 149 pages.

If anyone wants a free ebook edition, this book is also available from Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/5230


Leslie | 15985 comments I am already more than halfway done -- it is different than I had expected. In terms of the writing, I am finding this to be one of the better Wells books I have read.

The more I learn about the Invisible Man, the more I find him an unpleasant person: (view spoiler)

In case anyone wants to follow up reading this with the classic film, it can be viewed (or downloaded) at the Internet Archives:

https://archive.org/details/TheInvisi...


message 10: by Greg (last edited Aug 04, 2016 09:31PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Leslie wrote: "I am already more than halfway done -- it is different than I had expected. In terms of the writing, I am finding this to be one of the better Wells books I have read.

The more I learn about the ..."


Griffin is definitely unpleasant & sociopathic Leslie - I wonder if it's also because of (view spoiler).


message 11: by Greg (last edited Aug 04, 2016 09:32PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
I just finished - overall as with others of Wells' major works, I found it an extremely enjoyable read. It went so quick! His major works are paced almost like modern thrillers, though there's some intellectual depth to the ideas too.

Another thing I noticed this time around: I love his sense of humor- for instance, in chapter 6, when everyone squabbles about what to do, Wells writes: "The Anglo-Saxon genius for parliamentary government asserted itself; there was a great deal of talk and no decisive action." I love that! There's bite of satire behind the humor.

Other parts of the book are quite horrifying/moving too. I find myself still wondering (chapter 23)(view spoiler)!


Leslie | 15985 comments Greg wrote: "Leslie wrote: "I am already more than halfway done -- it is different than I had expected. In terms of the writing, I am finding this to be one of the better Wells books I have read.

The more I l..."


I commented about this same point in my review Greg! For those who haven't finished (or started), I used spoiler tags so it is 'safe' to read my review :)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Leslie | 15985 comments Greg, I wonder if (view spoiler).

I rewatched the film last night -- with the book fresh in my mind, it was interesting to see what changes were made. It was to be expected that they added in a love interest but they also (view spoiler) I did like one aspect that was different from the book -- (view spoiler)


Marina (sonnenbarke) In the end I decided to read it before my vacation, as I was so looking forward to it! I'm almost halfway through, I'll get back with my impressions as soon as I finish reading.


message 15: by Free (new) - rated it 2 stars

Free (freemaned) | 82 comments I am chapter 3. Reading it slowly. So far it's good.


Portia I'm reading the encounter between Griffen and Kemp and finding it hilarious. It would make a great slapstick comedy scene, a la The Marx Bros ( showing me age again!)


Marina (sonnenbarke) I've just finished reading this novella and I really liked it. It was my first book by H.G. Wells and I definitely want to read more by him. I have The Time Machine on my Kindle, so hopefully I'll be able to read it soon enough.

I would like to watch the movie you mention, Leslie, it must be interesting. I hope I'll have some time to do so in the next few days before going on vacation.

I found it entertaining as well as thought-provoking. As you said in your review, Leslie, I had the feeling it isn't dated, too, although as you say the science behind it probably is. I also agree with you Greg, when you say it almost reads like a modern thriller.

(view spoiler)


Leslie | 15985 comments Glad you liked it Marina!


LauraT (laurata) | 13533 comments Mod
Greg wrote: "Leslie wrote: "I am already more than halfway done -- it is different than I had expected. In terms of the writing, I am finding this to be one of the better Wells books I have read.

The more I l..."


He is a sociopath for sure!!!


LauraT (laurata) | 13533 comments Mod
Portia wrote: "I'm reading the encounter between Griffen and Kemp and finding it hilarious. It would make a great slapstick comedy scene, a la The Marx Bros ( showing me age again!)"

I do agree!


message 21: by Bruce (new)

Bruce | 1 comments A very good read with some dry areas but mostly superb. Very well written.


message 22: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Portia wrote: "I'm reading the encounter between Griffen and Kemp and finding it hilarious. It would make a great slapstick comedy scene, a la The Marx Bros ( showing me age again!)"

I agree with this too Portia - there was some great humor in parts


message 23: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Marina wrote: "I've just finished reading this novella and I really liked it. It was my first book by H.G. Wells and I definitely want to read more by him. I have The Time Machine on my Kindle, so hop..."

Leslie, I had the same impression as Marina, that (view spoiler) Did you notice if it explicitly said that Marina?


message 24: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
I'm curious to watch the classic film Leslie! I don't think I've seen it.


Leslie | 15985 comments Greg wrote: "I'm curious to watch the classic film Leslie! I don't think I've seen it."

I will put in the link again -- I think it got buried in my previous comment :D

http://archive.org/details/TheInvisib...


message 26: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Thanks Leslie! :)


Marina (sonnenbarke) Greg wrote: "Did you notice if it explicitly said that Marina?"

Yes, Greg, I do think it explicitly said that. On the other hand, I might have dreamt about that, but I don't think I did :-) Should check again, though.


message 28: by Gill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gill | 5720 comments I've just got a copy of this, so I'll read it in the next few days.


message 29: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Gill wrote: "I've just got a copy of this, so I'll read it in the next few days."

Great Gill!


Gloria Sun (sunrequiem) | 38 comments I read the book recently! I feel like even though it's great science fiction, we see how important a physical body is for being acknowledged and having an identity. Griffin encounters blind men and dogs who rely on their other senses and it seems he is worse off than all of them. It must be so strange to not see yourself, only the effect of your actions, and I feel like this made the main character more and more unlike a human.


message 31: by Gill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gill | 5720 comments Greg wrote: "I just finished - overall as with others of Wells' major works, I found it an extremely enjoyable read. It went so quick! His major works are paced almost like modern thrillers, though there's some..."

Yes, I liked the comment about parliamentary government as well, Greg.


message 32: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Gloria wrote: "I read the book recently! I feel like even though it's great science fiction, we see how important a physical body is for being acknowledged and having an identity. Griffin encounters blind men and..."

That's possible Gloria, also perhaps the power that he imagines he has to affect others' lives without making himself known - there are some people who go drunk on power.


message 33: by Gill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gill | 5720 comments Just finished. I've enjoyed the comments on here, but it wasn't really my sort of book.

I enjoyed the first few chapters, then for quite a few more chapters it felt a bit like a children's fairytale, but for adults, just adding a few absurd things, that were the result of the invisibility . Has anyone read Flat Stanley? It reminded me of this book, except I think FS is more subtle.

Then the part with Kemp. I thought the story bucked up here again, although I didn't follow the science, but I appreciate that this is an area that Wells excels in.

A couple of thoughts (view spoiler). And (view spoiler).


message 34: by Gill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gill | 5720 comments A question re chapter 27, where it says 'the game was opening well'. Any views on what this means? (view spoiler)


message 35: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Gill wrote: "Just finished. I've enjoyed the comments on here, but it wasn't really my sort of book.

I enjoyed the first few chapters, then for quite a few more chapters it felt a bit like a children's fairyt..."


I know what you mean Gill; it does feel a little "simple" in parts (hence maybe the children's fairytale feel?), but I did find it a fast read and great fun! The part with Griffin & Kemp where we hear the invisible man's backstory is great. And there is a little depth to the book, though not a huge amount.

As far as your second spoiler, I'm not sure. Native Son is similar in that it's a book about a person warped by the pressure of occupying a social outcast position (in that case because of race & class) and who ends up doing some reprehensible things. Same thing with parts of Another Country. I don't see the albinoism thing as being too different - it isn't the albinoism itself that's the problem; it's the overwhelming social pressure & disapproval that does the warping. Of course in The Invisible Man, that isn't a prime focus; it's just barely hinted at in his backstory.

The difference nowadays I guess is that these things aren't so monolithic - it isn't socially acceptable to harass, mistreat, and corral people anymore based on their identity or differences in most places; so the story would be different. There may still be some places in the world where it could happen that way for some reason or another but probably not most places.


message 36: by Gloria (last edited Aug 19, 2016 10:26PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gloria Sun (sunrequiem) | 38 comments Just adding after what Gill said about this reading kind of like a children's story:
I remember in one of the books in the Flat Stanley series he becomes invisible and it's actually a similar situation to The Invisible Man, though a lot more innocent. He takes to carrying around a balloon with a face drawn on it to make him feel more present, but he also feels left out when people sit on him, ask why they need to buy an extra seat at the movie theatre, etc. Towards the end he uses his invisibility powers to help a really shy guy get a date. I don't know why, but that story has really stuck with me since childhood. It was really fun to entertain in my mind what being invisible would be like, but Wells demonstrates how isolating and terrifying it can really be.


Portia I think being invisible at will would be excellent. Need a little witchcraft for that one, tho' ;-)


message 38: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Gloria wrote: "but Wells demonstrates how isolating and terrifying it can really be..."

True Gloria!


Nefeli (galacticon) | 52 comments I am now reading the War of the Worlds by Wells but as soon as I finish it I will start reading The Invisible Man. It sounds very promising.


message 40: by Free (new) - rated it 2 stars

Free (freemaned) | 82 comments I have been reading this book slowly. So I haven't finish but I have been checking in here from time to time. Totally enjoying the discussion.


message 41: by Mimi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mimi (heymimi) | 32 comments Gill wrote: "A question re chapter 27, where it says 'the game was opening well'. Any views on what this means? [spoilers removed]"

Kemp sees what goes on between him and Griffin as a (twisted) game of chess, and he hereby acknowledges his admiration for Griffins opening moves (view spoiler)


message 42: by Mimi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mimi (heymimi) | 32 comments I just finished the book. It was not as good as I would have liked it to be; but it was still good.

my review/thoughts can be found here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

(it contains minor spoilers)


message 43: by Gloria (last edited Aug 21, 2016 05:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gloria Sun (sunrequiem) | 38 comments Mimi I read your review, and I agree, it makes the reader really impatient that the reader has to wait four chapters to "find out" that the mysterious man is invisible!


message 44: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Mimi wrote: "I just finished the book. It was not as good as I would have liked it to be; but it was still good.

my review/thoughts can be found here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

(it con..."


I like your review Mimi, and I definitely agree about his sense of entitlement. He feels above other people.

I think the reason he didn't make invisible clothes is because his equipment was destroyed. He purchased enough new chemicals and chemistry equipment to continue experimenting with reversing his condition, but the large apparatus that actually created the invisibility was destroyed in the old lady's apartment and he hasn't been able to make another.


message 45: by Mimi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mimi (heymimi) | 32 comments Greg wrote: "Mimi wrote: "I just finished the book. It was not as good as I would have liked it to be; but it was still good.

my review/thoughts can be found here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show......"


Thanks, Greg.

I guess the clothes issue is just something that bugs my pratical side.
Yes, he would have had to recreate his machine, but that seems easier than to create a cure.
Besides, Griffin plans on doing a lot of things whilst still invisible, so having invisible clothing would prevent him dying from pneumonia before his work is done...

(I know I'm totally overthinking this ;) )


message 46: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
You're right Mimi, recreating the apparatus first to make some invisible clothes sure would've been a lot more practical, made things a whole lot easier .. maybe an invisible weapon too? :)


message 47: by Mimi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mimi (heymimi) | 32 comments Now you're just mocking me... :)


message 48: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Mimi wrote: "Now you're just mocking me... :)"

Actually no Mimi, I did think the same thing about the clothes, especially given that he mentions making objects invisible as you say.


Leslie | 15985 comments Greg wrote: "Mimi wrote: "Now you're just mocking me... :)"

Actually no Mimi, I did think the same thing about the clothes, especially given that he mentions making objects invisible as you say."


I wondered about this too!


message 50: by Mimi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mimi (heymimi) | 32 comments Okay, so I've been trying to come up with an object (besides clothes), that would be of practical use when invisible, and I keep coming up blank.


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