Inch by inch, day by day, Scott Carey is getting smaller. Once an unremarkable husband and father, Scott finds himself shrinking with no end in sight. His wife and family turn into unreachable giants, the family cat becomes a predatory menace, and Scott must struggle to survive in a world that seems to be growing ever larger and more perilous, until he faces the ultimate limits of fear and existence.
©1956 Richard Matheson; (P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks
"A horror story if ever there was one....A great adventure story, it is certainly one of that select handful that I have given to people, envying them the experience of the first reading." (Stephen King)
"A classic of suspense as poignant as it is frightening, a mix that only Richard Matheson could pull off." (Dean Koontz)
Gripping, tense, thought provoking, well written, outstanding narration. A metaphorical exploration of one mans rage against a world seemingly determined to bring him down. This book is about anger, hope, courage, defeat and redemption. Ignore the "b-grade" allusions of the title, this book is literature of the highest quality.
To slowly and actually shrink. From 6 ft, to 3 ft, to 1 ft, then to an inch, less than an inch. How would you get food? How would you get water? How would you feel? This is what Richard Matheson does so well.... create incredible circumstances, put real people in them, and describe the reality of how they feel and survive. If your expecting something cute like Honey I Shrunk the Kids, then move on. This book dwells deep into the emotional drain on the main character who is actually shrinking. It explores his fear, desperation, anger, and loneliness (don't worry, there's also plenty of adventure and excitement).
I loved this book, and highly recommend it for a fun and at times emotional read. The narration was also very well done.
Written in 1956, this book is crying out for a new screenplay. The anger and frustration of a man beset by an unknown physical happening to his body becomes a mental journey into what it means to be human and the search for a reason to live in the face of consuming despair.
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Ok, maybe that’s a little harsh. I did think the story was an interesting one, even if I did zone-out for long periods.
The author did a great job of relating how the world must appear to a person only an inch high (and shrinking); it was very imaginatively depicted, and tremendously action-packed, but after a while the scenes started to feel too long and complicated! I could not follow half of the sponge-needle-thread-cracker MacGyverisms … and I got extremely tired of the whole “Man versus Spider” storyline.
I have a feeling I read this book in High School but I am not sure… it seemed so familiar!! Still, if I did read it I forgot how it ended and that kept me going.
(I could totally see Bruce Willis in this role! LOL)
Say something about yourself!
This novel tells the story of Scott Carey who, because of exposure to a cloud of radioactive spray shortly after he had accidentally ingested insecticide, ends up shrinking at a rate of approximately 1/7 of an inch per day. He encounters all kinds of perils as he diminishes, from a drunken pedophile to sadistic street toughs, from the spider in the basement to the elements themselves, but this is first and foremost a psychological novel about the uncertainty of the individual in the 1950s and his/her place in the possibly futile, certainly alien post-war world.
For example: "What he wanted to know was this: Was he a separate, meaningful person; was he an individual? Did he matter? Was it enough just to survive? He didn't know; he didn't know. It might be that he was a man and trying to face reality. It might also be that he was a pathetic fraction of a shadow, living only out of habit, impulse-driven, moved but never moving, fought but never fighting."
This is a tense, frustrated, dark character study, and it's made all the better by an excellent narration that captures the frustration and fear of the protagonist very effectively.
This is a simple story about a man who thinks he's going mad because he starts to get shorter little by little. No 'Spoilers' here. The story follows through the process of him shrinking and shrinking with all the trials he must face. Fear, terror, loneliness, and betrayal. He learns to deal with all of them He also becomes much more as a result of his 'transformation'.
I chose this book because I am a Stephen King fan and this is one of the few books he'll go on record to recommend. All in all the book really stretched my imagination but only to a certain point. Most of the book takes place in a basement and toggles between current time and flash backs. A neat literary trick but I think SK pulled it off better in IT than Richard Matheson did here. You could see the flashback transitions coming a mile away and honestly, became a bit repetitive and I got tired of constantly "flipping channels" in my head between the two.
I would rate it as an average story, a solid middle of the road and while I don't want my money back, if I knew then what I know now I would have skipped it for another book on my wish list.
Disappointing, considering the author's other work. He goes on and on in much too great detail about the main character's misery and inability to accept his circumstances.
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