Invisible Man

Invisible Man

by H. G. Wells, Louis Strimpl (Illustrator)
Publisher: SeaWolf Press
Print-on-demand paperback, 168 pages
List Price: $7.95 Sale Price: $6.76

The original unabridged text with 60 illustrations from an early edition.

SeaWolf Press is proud to offer another book in its H. G. Wells 100th Anniversary Collection. Each book in the collection contains the text, illustrations, and cover from the first or early edition (but it is not a photocopy.)

This version has:

  • 60 original illustrations from a 1912 edition. Don't be fooled by other versions with missing or made-up pictures.
  • Text that has been proofread to avoid errors common in other versions.
  • A beautiful cover that replicates an early movie poster.
  • The complete text in an easy-to-read font similar to the original.
  • Properly formatted text complete with correct indenting, spacing, footnotes, italics, and tables.

Usually when we imagine becoming invisible it's a pretty innocuous fantasy—mostly harmless voyeurism or prank-playing. H.G. Wells knew, however, that should invisibility ever become possible for humans it would immediately turn out to their detriment, resulting in chaos and violence as it does in his bizarre science fiction parable The Invisible Man. A man invisible to society and himself can only become a monster of the worst, most frightening kind.

That his transformation comes through great physical pain represents the danger of "mad science" as well as the lengths man will go to escape the limits of nature. The wintry atmosphere of the novel evokes an almost post-apocalyptic English countryside in which the introduction of such an aberration as a man who can't be seen heralds the possibility of any terror, any act of lawlessness. And the invisible man does suffer his own apocalypse, as his alteration and evil intentions have ravaged his mind to the point of insanity, a point beyond which there is only anarchy and disorder.

This isn't a fun adventure story. Wells didn't write mere entertainments because his great concern was preserving the human race and issuing warnings, not sedating people with simple stories of science gone wrong that wrap up neatly and leave us satisfied. The Invisible Man does not leave the careful reader satisfied, ending with the threat that what has just been read could (and in all honesty, probably will) happen again.

The proper response isn't the death of science. The proper response is science tempered by morality, science used to serve humanity. Wells' understanding of human nature and its capacity for evil, as well as the absurdity of claiming scientific progress is amoral, make his intelligent novel all the more poignant. Not a book to be read late at night, this should nevertheless be required reading for every adult living in the modern age.

Did you find this review helpful?