The Invisible Man (Signet Classics)
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From the twentieth century's first great practitioner of the novel of ideas comes a consummate masterpiece of science fiction about a man trapped in the terror of his own creation.
A stranger emerges out of a freezing February day with a request for lodging in a cozy provincial inn. Who is this out-of-season traveler? More confounding is the thick mask of bandages obscuring his face. Why is he disguised in such a manner? What keeps him hidden in his room? The villagers, aroused by trepidation and curiosity, bring it upon themselves to find the answers. What they discover is not only a man trapped in the terror of his own creation, but a chilling reflection of the unsolvable mysteries of their own souls.
“My fantastic stories do not pretend to deal with possible things. They aim indeed only at the same amount of conviction as one gets in a gripping good dream.”—H. G. Wells
With an Introduction by W. Warren Wagar
and an Afterword by Scott Westerfeld
of the curate and the Misses Cuss and Sackbut. No doubt there was a slight uneasiness in the air, but people for the most part had the sense to conceal whatever imaginative qualms they experienced. On the village green an inclined string, down which, clinging the while to a pulley-swung handle, one could be hurled violently against a sack at the other end, came in for considerable favour among the adolescent, as also did the swings and the cocoanut shies. There was also promenading, and the steam
headlong. The two were then kicked, knelt on, fallen over, and cursed by quite a number of over-hasty people. Now when Hall and Henfrey and the labourers ran out of the house, Mrs. Hall, who had been disciplined by years of experience, remained in the bar next the till. And suddenly the parlour door was opened, and Mr. Cuss appeared, and without glancing at her rushed at once down the steps towards the corner. “Hold him!” he cried. “Don’t let him drop that parcel! You can see him so long as he
One might think we were in the thirteenth century.” He got up, went to the window, and stared at the dusky hillside, and the dark little figure tearing down it. “He seems in a confounded hurry,” said Doctor Kemp, “but he doesn’t seem to be getting on. If his pockets were full of lead, he couldn’t run heavier. “Spurted, sir,” said Doctor Kemp. In another moment the higher of the villas that had clambered up the hill from Burdock had occulted the running figure. He was visible again for a
is invisible!” he said. “And it reads like rage growing to mania! The things he may do! The things he may do! And he’s upstairs free as the air. What on earth ought I to do? “For instance, would it be a breach of faith if—? No.” He went to a little untidy desk in the corner, and began a note. He tore this up half written, and wrote another. He read it over and considered it. Then he took an envelope and addressed it to “Colonel Adye, Port Burdock.” The Invisible Man awoke even as Kemp was
brush with death led him to break away from a lifeless marriage to his cousin and to quit his uninspiring teaching position. He became determined to fulfill his dreams of authorship and of finding a perfect relationship with a woman. His childhood fascination with science found expression in The Time Machine (1895), the first of several enormously popular novels of scientific mythmaking, including The Invisible Man (1897) and The War of the Worlds (1898). Fame brought him an invitation to join