The Invisible Man – Unabridged

(2 customer reviews)


This is a SoundCraft Audiobooks production of H.G. Wells classic tale of science, ethics and madness: The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance.  It tells the story of a scientist named Griffin who develops an ingenious serum that can render people invisible.

Taking it himself, Griffin begins a slow descent into insanity…and murder.

One of Wells’ infamous Scientific Romances, The Invisible Man is an early sci-fi classic and a must-listen for all fans of the genre.

2 reviews for The Invisible Man – Unabridged

  1. Krystal

    Though I rated this as 4 stars, I would say the story itself is more 3 stars and the performance 5 stars.

    I need to start this review by being upfront about my knowledge of The Invisible Man. Though I have long been aware of H.G. Wells’ novel, what I knew of the Invisible Man came from the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen … and maybe a little bit from the Hotel Transylvania movies. So, to me, the Invisible Man was a quirky, ornery character who liked a lot of mischief.

    “He is mad,” said Kemp. “Inhuman. He’s pure selfishness. He thinks nothing but his own vantage, his own safety.”

    Whoa, buddy, did I finally realize what the original Invisible Man was like with this audiobook. Starting out, I really enjoyed this book. The Invisible Man was living up to my expectations, though maybe he was a little bit more irascible than I expected. It wasn’t until Mr. Marvel was introduced in the story and I got to see the true depths of the Invisible Man that I realized how mean and self-centered he was. My enjoyment of the book dropped off from that point.

    A most interesting commentary appeared at the end of this audiobook, and it pretty much summed up my feelings on the matter.

    “Griffin (the Invisible Man) lacks the mental strength, if such exists, to understand and control himself or his actions after his transformation. The power that his invisibility has given him proves too alluring for him to resist. The anonymity and complete freedom to perform whatever acts he wishes without fear of reprisal is a temptation he cannot ignore or withstand for long.

    Griffin comes to believe himself superior to other mortals, his powers giving him a warped sense of invincibility and strength. Wells explores this weakness of character, asking if it is a temptation any man could resist if suddenly all the most basic human impulses could be expressed without fear of censure or consequence. From petty theft to outright larceny and burglary and worse, Griffin slowly and inevitably descends further and further into criminality and seems to have lost all control of himself, even lacking the will or desire to curb his malignant impulses.

    Could any human being with such powers at their disposal and without a worry of being caught and held responsible for whatever actions are performed, no matter how veenal and despicable, resist the temptation to give in to these, the basest of instincts? Or can morality and basic human nature curb these impulses? Is Griffin typical or atypical of how an invisible person might behave with such an awesome power at their transparent fingertips?”

    Despite not enjoying the story all that much, the audiobook I listened to was performed phenomenally. Produced by Fort Raphael Publishing Company and narrated by Kevin Theis, this work is something that I imagined playing on the radios in the 1930s (much like with the War of the Worlds broadcast) with the family gathered round and being terrified with each new chapter. It was wonderfully performed (it even included sound effects!) and produced. In fact, I believe Theis was the perfect person to narrate this book. It was such an enjoyable performance.

  2. Norma Miles

    “I thought I had immunity to do whatever I chose.”
    “What is the good of pride of place when you cannot appear there?” So ponders Griffin after achieving his plottings and four years of work to become invisible. And this was not the only lack of pre-thought: he’d also overlooked that being invisible did not protect the human body from the weather if it turned cold. Disillusioned, he turns murderous. ..

    The Invisible Man might have been written as a book of horror but now, well over a century after it was written, and with our living daily with far more terrifying ideas than someone on the rampage with little more than anger and a box of matches to work havoc, it really becomes quite a funny story: “His blood be upon his own head.” O.K. the guy is a sadistic megalomaniac idiot who just happened to work out how to make a clever serum to bring about what he thought he wanted, but really he’s just a sad, pathetic and lonely character who gets into fights…

    Narration in the audio was by Kevin Theis, who read the text in an appropriately old fashioned ‘cinema newsreel’ carefully articulated received pronunciation with varying accents in conversation. It feels uncomfortable to hear initially but feels right as the book progresses, especially if playback is speeded up slightly to 1.25. Additionally, there is an ongoing soundtrack, sometimes music but other effects like smashing glass, hanging and knockings, footsteps and crowd voices or gruntings, and this further adds to the atmosphere of, for this reader, hilarity. This is not a favourite read, I have to admit, but it was very easy to hear and enjoy. There are a couple of comments that today would be considered socially inappropriate but, apart from that, this is a story which can be enjoyed by anyone – it is deliciously silly.
    At my request, I downloaded a freely gifted complimentary copy of The Invisible Man from the the rights holder, via Audiobook Unleashed. Thank you.

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