The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells I somehow managed to miss this one while I was reading all of Wells' other books as a kid. I guess I just thought an invisible man was sort of a low rent villain. I was thinking that the protagonist (Griffin) would be a scientist trying to advance science for the benefit of mankind but would be caught up in the unforeseen consequences of his invention. Sort of like "The Fly." I also remembered the movie in which it is portrayed that the drugs that allow him to achieve invisibility is what turned a good man into a raging madman.

Not this guy.

What follows below may be spoilers to some. I don't give away any cliffhangers or plot twists but I do realize that some people (myself included) like to know as little as possible before they read a story.

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Griffin is pure psychopath from the word go. I don't want to give anything away, but at one point Griffin tells the story of his life before, during and after perfecting the invisibility process (which by the way is fascinating) and I found his matter of fact and remorseless descriptions of his actions to be chilling. He is pure self-centered id. His only intended uses for his invention are killing, theft, extortion and terrorism and he considers any target to be fair game if it serves his purpose. I found the last third of the book riveting as Griffin unleashes his rage on the world and anyone he perceives to stand in his way. And don't look for any moments of epiphany and change of character. Griffin is pure evil and hate and now has a "gift" that allows him to spread terror to get whatever he wants.

Finally, Wells was a great writer. There is a strong sense of satire and social commentary here as we find that the other characters are really no less selfish (and often violent) as Griffin. There are no heroes here.

I don't know whether this is fair or not but I only gave it four stars because I compared it to other Wells books and I didn't like it as much as "The Time Machine" or the masterpiece "The Island of Dr. Moreau."