|I love this cover, it's from a 1949 edition.|
The story starts with a mysterious stranger, covered in a coat, hat, scarves, and goggle-ish sunglasses, who arrives at a boarding house in Surrey, where he takes rooms. The landlady begins to wonder if her new tenant has had some terrible accident or is disfigured because she never sees his face or hands uncovered, and he never eats in front of anyone else. He has mysterious boxes and parcels delivered, and is working on something scientific. She finds him eccentric but ignores it, because he pays well and on time.
Eventually, people become suspicious, especially after a break-in at the local vicarage coincides with the stranger's inability to pay the rent on time. After a confrontation, the locals realize his secret and he's on the run. After some plot twists and turns, he finds refuge with an old schoolmate who coincidentally lives nearby (it's a Victorian story so there has to be at least one amazing coincidence, right?) Wells uses this meeting with the old classmate to give the Invisible Man a chance to explain the back story of how he became invisible, and we finally learn his name.
Of course things take a turn for the worse and it becomes quite thrilling. Anyone who thinks Victorian novels are boring has clearly never read this book, because it's quite a page-turner. I think H. G. Wells was very clever to start the novel in the thick of the story, so you become intrigued by the mystery of the Invisible Man, and curious about his history. I was also really sympathetic towards the Invisible Man until I learned the back story; then it was all action and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. I did listen to the entire thing on audio and found myself walking just a little longer so I could find out what happen next. I actually preferred it to the print version because the narrator was so good. (It was the OneClick Digital version narrated by Victoria Morgan, in case any one is wondering).
|The first edition -- what a great cover!|
I'm counting this as my Book I've Started But Never Finished for the Victorian Reading Challenge.