Monday, May 5, 2008

I shrink, therefore I am

Book • THE (Incredible) SHRINKING MAN • 1956
The original Richard Matheson book was printed in 1956, and titled The Shrinking Man. It was then adapted for film in 1957. Most reprints were subsequently called The Incredible Shrinking Man. The copy I read was from TOR books, and had some extra short stories in the back. Do yourself a favor. If you read any Richard Matheson books, get one with some short stories in the back. You won’t be disappointed, and you’ll see that he’s written a lot of the stories you know already.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen this picture, so I thought I should adore the book. Richard Matheson is one of my favorite authors, so it’s a wonder I never read it before. I devoured each page like a spring fruit torte, and I didn’t share a single slice.
Matheson’s talent for story telling keeps you in the moment through the entire book. The main character, Scott describes his predicament with such detail you believe Matheson has experienced shrinking himself. And not just physical details. The book is so engrossing because he pulls you in so well by showing you how shrinking affects Scott emotionally and egotistically. The behavior of the people around him changes due to his changing stature. It’s only normal that your daughter would treat you like a doll if you were that size. It makes sense that a couple’s love-life would suffer, that bullies would treat you like a freak.
This book will remain on the front of my shelf so I will remember to read it again. I can’t remember how the movie ends, but I was completely satisfied with the book’s ending. I wouldn’t want to spoil it, but suffice it to say you choose whether it was a happy ending or not.
Go ahead and shrink into your favorite cozy space. You won’t get up until you’ve finished the whole thing.

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