My May pick for ‘The Unread Shelf Project’ was ‘The Invisible Man’ – as this was the shortest unread book on my shelf.
I did not know what to expect from this novel – I did not know the story other than the obvious you can infer from the title. I had simply picked up a copy of this book as I had quite enjoyed ‘The War of the Worlds‘ and thought I would give some more H G Wells a go.
I devoured this book – in fact, I struggled to put it down. I really enjoyed the Gothic vibe of the story; it reminded me ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde‘. There was that conflict between the desire for scientific knowledge, and the drive of wanting to be remembered for that one great discovery – and the impact that has on people and their morals.
I do not like to give away spoilers, so I do not want to go too deeply into the story other than to say that I was not a fan of Griffin – so I do not have a lot of empathy or sympathy for the ‘Invisible Man’. Although, I understood some of his motivation, even if it is not a good path that he takes. However, I can understand how this book is a classic and it is definitely one that I would recommend, especially if you are fan of ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, as it is almost a more modern take of the dangers of science in the wrong hands.
I am not a fan of sci-fi; in fact, I am very vocal that I am not a sci-fi fan. However, I may have been proved wrong by the classic ‘The War of the Worlds’.
I was inspired to pick this book up after seeing the most recent BBC adaptation, but it then did sit on the shelf for a while. But now it has been read and, like with so many books on the shelf, I wonder why it has taken me so long to read it.
What struck me as I was reading this book is that it is literally timeless. It could have been written for pretty much any time period since its original publication.
‘The War of the Worlds’ is told like a long report of events after the arrival of the Martians. Very matter of fact in its narrative, yet still so engaging as you see how England deals with such an unknown. And, there are those who do not think that the situation applies to them. However, as the terror builds, it is quite a study of humans and their reactions. I can imagine that it created fear on publication.
Reading this in lockdown, it really does resonate as we face an invisible enemy. Our reactions may not have been quite the same, but there are certainly some parallels.
I may have also found a whole new collection of titles to read from the pen of H G Wells because, so far, I am impressed with his storytelling and observations of the world.