Memoirs of an Invisible Man

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Not to be confused with The Invisible Man.
For the film based on the novel, see Memoirs of an Invisible Man (film).
Memoirs of an Invisible Man
Memoirs of an invisible man cover.jpg
Author H. F. Saint
Country United States
Genre Science fiction Novel
Publisher New York: Atheneum
Publication date
1987
Media type Print (Hardcover) Print (Paperback)
Pages 396 pp
ISBN 0-689-11735-3
OCLC 15053005
LC Class PS3569.A38 M4 1987

Memoirs of an Invisible Man is a 1987 science fiction novel by H. F. Saint.

Synopsis[edit]

Nicholas Halloway is a 34-year-old Manhattan securities analyst who writes a narrative memoir (presumably this book) of his life starting on the day of an accident which renders him invisible. He recounts his involvement in a romantic affair with Anne Epstein, a woman who has taken interest in his aptitude for business and is a reporter for the Times. He escorts her to MicroMagnetics where scientists are holding a press conference for research on the magnetic containment of a nuclear process.[1] While there, Nick sees a group of Marxist student protesters who demonstrate nuclear catastrophe by attempting to explode a cat. To get everyone away from the MicroMagnetics presentation, they cut off power to the laboratory where nuclear equipment is operating. The control computers lose function and in a flash of eerie light, everything in a fifty-foot radius becomes invisible, including Nick.[2]

Nick later wakes up in astonishment concluding that his limbs were blown off, that he became a ghost, and finally that he became invisible.[3] Military personnel quickly set up fences and camps around the site and they soon discover Nick's presence. They lose his trust by bringing a net and he overhears that they plan to give him to scientists and enlist him for military espionage, while disregarding his personal liberty for national security.[4] He decides to loot miscellaneous invisible items, shoot the leg and waist of a captor, and set fire to the building in the process of escaping.

He goes back to his apartment and discovers that food becomes invisible after being digested over a long time. He can remain invisible for the rest of his life and must surmount obstacles of invisibility that wouldn't affect a visible person, for instance, driving, working, sheltering, etc.[5] While avoiding government agents, he arranges a fake paper identity and authorizes funds to make himself a millionaire[6] while ending up in the care of Alice Barlow, a red-blonde woman in her late twenties.[7]

Characters[edit]

  • Anne Epstein is a love interest of Nick and plays a small role of setting up the events that leads to the explosion of MicroMagnetics. She later ends up marrying her fiance instead.[8]
  • Clellan, Tyler, and Morrissey are subordinates of Colonel Jenkins and work on locating Nick and securing the invisible MicroMagnetics site. Tyler gets shot twice by Nick on his escape. They attempt to track Nick throughout the novel.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

The book is the first and only book written by H. F. Saint and is generally well received. Time magazine reviewed it as a "flat-out thriller, accurately described by its narrator-hero on the opening page as 'quite genuinely exciting and superficial'".[9] It is applauded by user reviews for its extreme detail in portraying the difficulties of invisibility which makes it unique among other books sharing an invisibility plot.[10][11] An editorial review from Publishers Weekly describes the book's dialogue as "absolutely true and suspense sustained at high pitch throughout, this supple fantasy attends so cleverly to plausible elements that it entertains from beginning to end".[12] The book has been adapted in a film version for which H.F. Saint received a generous sum, in comparison to other films, of $2.5 million USD in motion picture (from Warner Bros.) and book-club rights.[13] The film had less success than the book, gaining only 24% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.8/10 on IMDb.[14][15] Although the final publication had good reviews, an early partial draft was rejected from another publisher.[13] Early on, H. F. Saint was devoted to becoming a full writer but later retired due to the book's success.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Saint, H.F. (1987). Memoirs of an Invisible Man. New York: Atheneum. pp. 1–12. 
  2. ^ Saint, H.F. (1987). Memoirs of an Invisible Man. New York: Atheneum. pp. 44–47. 
  3. ^ Saint, H.F. (1987). Memoirs of an Invisible Man. New York: Atheneum. pp. 48–53. 
  4. ^ a b Saint, H.F. (1987). Memoirs of an Invisible Man. New York: Atheneum. pp. 71–74. 
  5. ^ Saint, H.F. (1987). Memoirs of an Invisible Man. New York: Atheneum. pp. 132–146. 
  6. ^ Saint, H.F. (1987). Memoirs of an Invisible Man. New York: Atheneum. pp. 271–277. 
  7. ^ Saint, H.F. (1987). Memoirs of an Invisible Man. New York: Atheneum. p. 319. 
  8. ^ Saint, H.F. (1987). Memoirs of an Invisible Man. New York: Atheneum. p. 8. 
  9. ^ Porterfield, Christopher (8 September 2005). "Books: A Serious Image Problem BEING INVISIBLE". Time Magazine. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "Amazon.com: Customer Reviews". Amazon. 
  11. ^ "Memoirs of an Invisible Man". goodreads. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  12. ^ "Amazon.com: Editorial Reviews". Amazon. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Edwin, McDowell (28 January 1987). "A FIRST NOVEL'S WINDFALL IN FILM AND CLUB RIGHTS". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  14. ^ "Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)". IMDb. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  15. ^ "Memoirs of an Invisible Man - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  16. ^ Swaim, Don. "Audio Interview with H. F. Saint". Wired For Books. Retrieved 12 September 2010.