The Invisible Man

Front Cover
Penguin, 2005 - Fiction - 161 pages
Depicting one man's transformation and descent into brutality, H.G. Wells's The Invisible Man is a riveting exploration of science's power to corrupt

With his face swaddled in bandages, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses and his hands covered even indoors, Griffin - the new guest at The Coach and Horses - Is at first assumed to be a shy accident-victim. But the true reason for his disguise is far more chilling: he has developed a process that has made him invisible, and is locked in a struggle to discover the antidote. Forced from the village and driven to murder, he seeks the aid of his old friend Kemp. The horror of his fate has affected his mind, however - and when Kemp refuses to help, Griffin resolves to wreak his revenge. This edition includes a full biographical essay on Wells, a further reading list and detailed notes on the text. In his introduction, Christopher Priest considers the novel's impact upon modern literature.

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About the author (2005)

Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, England, on September 21, 1866. His father was a professional cricketer and sometime shopkeeper, his mother a former lady's maid. Although "Bertie" left school at fourteen to become a draper's apprentice (a life he detested), he later won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, where he studied with the famous Thomas Henry Huxley. He began to sell articles and short stories regularly in 1893. In 1895, his immediately successful novel rescued him from a life of penury on a schoolteacher's salary. His other "scientific romances"—The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), The First Men in the Moon (1901), and The War in the Air (1908)—won him distinction as the father of science fiction.

Henry James saw in Wells the most gifted writer of the age, but Wells, having coined the phrase "the war that will end war" to describe World War I, became increasingly disillusioned and focused his attention on educating mankind with his bestselling Outline of History (1920) and his later utopian works. Living until 1946, Wells witnessed a world more terrible than any of his imaginative visions, and he bitterly observed: "Reality has taken a leaf from my book and set itself to supercede me."


Christopher Priest has won many awards for his writing, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction and the Arthur C. Clarke Award.


Andy Sawyer is the librarian of the Science Fiction Foundation Collection at the University of Liverpool Library.

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