The Shrinking Man

The Shrinking Man

by Richard Matheson

The radioactivity acts as a catalyst for the bug spray, causing his body to shrink at a rate of approximately 1/7 of an inch per day.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Science Fiction
  • Rating: 3.80
  • Pages: 201
  • Publish Date: 2002 by Gollancz / Orion
  • Isbn10: 0575074639
  • Isbn13: 9780575074637

What People Think about "The Shrinking Man"

The ending is sad and surprisingly hopeful. There was so much tension in this story that I wasnt sure who or what would die at the end.

Richard Matheson took the platform afforded him by his tremendous skill as a writer and used it as a platform to confront a serious and important issue that had been kept hidden for too long....MALE SHRINKAGE Here was a man that was WAY ahead of his time. Of course, given the social mores of his time, Matheson was forced to disguise the central theme of his story by having his plot revolve around the shrinking of the main characters ENTIRE body. As the story begins, Scott Carey is a man of above average size with a wife and daughter. The present shows Scott when he is shudder 5/7 of an inch big, hiding in his basement and living a survivors existence trying to find food and water while battling a Black Widow spider and an oversized pussy cat (the obvious symbolic meaning of these two are discussed below). Here are just a few examples of Mathesons superb ability to write an acceptable upon surface story while engaging in heated, passionate intercourse upon his true themes: Surface Plot: As mentioned above, the trauma for Scott begins story begins with him being doused with water after which he immediately begins to experience shrinkage....Subtext: Scott is shown to be the everyman as he is confronted with the classic factors contributing to shrinkage. Surface Plot: As Scott finds himself smaller and smaller he is confronted by the main monster of the story....a female Black Widow spider.... Surface Plot: Almost as telling is Scotts dangerous encounter with an oversized pussy cat just after going through a heartfelt inner monologue about his concern over his current size.....Subtext Here Matheson seems to be touching on the fear and angst that can accompany someone regarding the physical act of love when dealing with excessive shrinkage.

The most exciting thread is his struggle in the basement as he shrinks from 1" down even further. Yet he struggles on to escape from the basement prison. In between these battles & bouts of despair, Carey remembers the earlier part of his shrinking.

Considering this is a Richard Matheson book, an author who is probably best known for his horror stories, I have initial expectations that this was going to be a scary venture in the same manner as Hell House was when I saw the movie as a child and later on read the book. The Shrinking Man tells the story of Scott Carey who was one day sprayed with a radioactive chemical by accident, and found himself physically shrinking since. Scott may be shrinking into a size that's even below his kid daughter, but he still has the same needs and entitlement as any grown man does--and the harrowing and pitiful ways he tries to hold onto these things but fail are almost hard to read for me.

It wasn't a sudden illness taking him, leaving the memory of him intact, cutting him from her love with merciful swiftness. At least then he'd be himself and, although she could watch him with pity and terror, at least she would be watching the man she knew. This was worse, far worse." "Odd that after all the moments of abject terror he had suffered contemplating the end of his existence, this night - he felt no terror at all. That was what kept most men living." "But now, in the final hours, even hope had vanished. At a point without hope he had found contentment. He felt almost embarrassed. I've fought a good fight!

Now Scott is only one inch tall and he is trapped in the cellar of his family's rented home with a stale piece of bread, an out-of-reach box of crackers, a sponge, a garden hose, a water heater, and a black widow spider. Readers who are expecting a horror-adventure story will be pleased with Richard Matheson's The Incredible Shrinking Man because there's plenty of scary excitement. But it's the rest of the story -- the flashbacks, marked with Scott's height as he continues to shrink -- that make The Incredible Shrinking Man such an excellent book. Scott was originally 6'2" and he had a good job and a loving wife and daughter. The Incredible Shrinking Man is so much more than an exciting and well-written horror story -- it's a beautiful psychological study of masculinity and loneliness.

Scott Carey is shrinking 1/7th of an inch a day until he reaches a point where he knows he will shrink to nothing.

I wish I could return this book and get the one that most of my friends here read instead. But even after really gritting my teeth in my efforts to suspend disbelief - or actually turn a blind eye to facts and physics, I really couldn't find much engaging in this story. Scott shrinks 1/7th of an inch each day (radiation+insecticides effects obviously follow the imperial metric system), which of course works out to exponential shrinking as it goes from a couple of per day starting out to 25 - 33 - 50 % and beyond as he edges into sub inch height.

The Shrinking Man is a really good book, in the sense of its horrifying idea, style of narration, its meticulous description whenever required, and its hidden sub-layer. The story then interweaves with two timelines: one whilst he is shrinking from 68" onwards; and the other where he reduces in height from 5/7th of an inch to . Narration I When Scott is under an inch in height, his narrative describes his mundane activities, but which are the only ones that can be described because his size is so small in relation to the 'large stuff of materials' around him. Personally to me, it took a while to imagine and get accustomed to a perspective from a tiny man, and the descriptive details of his mundane activities got me bored indeed at various times. This is the time when the writer describes of what the protagonist has to face during the period of his shrinkage: implications on his social and family life, the problems that he faces with his inability to use his sexual drive and the way he has to cope with it, the loss of authority of fatherhood to his daughter and in turn losing her respect, the insanity of going through a celebrity status, his thoughts on hopes of survivalism, questions on whether human life is valuable, purposeful and meaningful at such a small scale, etc. The problems that the protagonist faces while he is shrunk are allusive to a Poor Man, a human who is cast in a society as being in a Lower or Working Class or the Poor Class, an outcast even perhaps; someone who can easily lose hope, and might even question the value and use of his presence in existence.

Tre millimetri in una cantina (per tacer del ragno) Alla mia cagnolina sarebbe piaciuto questo libro. Una volta superata la sensazione di disgusto kafkiano verso il ragno, allo stesso tempo mostro e metafora di sfida esistenziale, la detonazione esplosiva del combinato spavento-terrore, lascia il posto a una riflessione più grande e universale che corre parallela al percorso a ritroso del protagonista. Passi gli effetti speciali caserecci, che secondo me hanno sempre un certo fascino, quello che manca è lanabasi del protagonista verso la consapevolezza di sé, una cosa millimetrica, un puntino nelluniverso, ma sempre essere pensante e dotato di intelligenza. Non credo si possa parlare di spoiler se vi passo sottobanco lo screen, che oltretutto in inglese suona molto meglio che in italiano, ma vi consiglio comunque di non guardare se non avete ancora aperto il libro.

His first short story, "Born of Man and Woman," appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1950. Between 1950 and 1971, Matheson produced dozens of stories, frequently blending elements of the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres. He wrote a number of episodes for the American TV series The Twilight Zone, including "Steel," mentioned above and the famous "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"; adapted the works of Edgar Allan Poe for Roger Corman and Dennis Wheatley's The Devil Rides Out for Hammer Films; and scripted Steven Spielberg's first feature, the TV movie Duel, from his own short story. Other Matheson novels turned into notable films include What Dreams May Come, Stir of Echoes, Bid Time Return (as Somewhere in Time), and Hell House (as The Legend of Hell House) and the aforementioned Duel, the last three adapted and scripted by Matheson himself.