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The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson Review

Title: The Shrinking Man

Author: Richard Matheson

First published January 1, 1956

192 pages, Mass Market Paperback

Rating: 3.79


When Scott Carey goes on a vacation, he never expected that an accident would change his life forever. A cloud of radioactive spray and insecticide causes his body to shrink each day, and he begins to lose weight at an alarming rate.

As his height diminishes, Scott realizes that his body will continue to shrink, and he must come to terms with the fact that he may never return to his normal size. The Shrinking Man is a thrilling tale of one man’s battle against the impossible as he fights to survive in a world that is becoming increasingly larger than him.

About the Author

Richard Matheson was born in Allendale, New Jersey, to Norwegian immigrants. He grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943.

After serving as an infantry soldier during World War II, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 1949. He moved to California in 1951, where he got married the following year and had four children.

Matheson’s first short story, “Born of Man and Woman,” was published in 1950, and it quickly made him famous. The story is about a monster child kept in a cellar, and it’s told in the creature’s diary.

Matheson went on to write many stories that blended science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres. Some of his stories explore the dilemmas of characters over several pages, while others incorporate a satirical humor that pokes fun at genre clich├ęs.

Matheson wrote several episodes for the TV series “The Twilight Zone,” as well as scripts for other TV shows and films. He won an Edgar Award in 1973 for his teleplay for “The Night Stalker.” He also wrote several novels, including “The Shrinking Man,” which was made into a film, and “I Am Legend,” which was adapted for the screen three times.

Matheson passed away at his home on June 23, 2013, at the age of 87.

Editoral Review

Richard Mathesons The Shrinking Man is a masterpiece of science fiction literature that has stood the test of time since its initial publication in 1956. The book is a haunting exploration of what it means to lose control over ones own life and body, and the devastating consequences of our own hubris.

With its intricate plotting, vivid prose, and thought-provoking themes, The Shrinking Man is a must-read for anyone interested in science fiction, horror, and the human psyche. Richard Matheson was a prolific writer known for his pioneering works in the science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres.

He wrote several acclaimed novels and short stories, including I Am Legend and What Dreams May Come, which earned him numerous awards and critical acclaim. The Shrinking Man is one of his most celebrated works, exploring the terrifying and existential consequences of shrinking to an infinitesimal size.

The book tells the story of Scott Carey, a man who is exposed to a mysterious and unknown substance while on a vacation. Soon after, he discovers that he is shrinking in size, slowly losing his grip on reality and his place in the world.

As he struggles to cope with this bizarre and life-changing experience, Carey must confront his deepest fears and desires, and the consequences of his own actions. Set in the post-World War II era, the book examines the anxieties and fears of the time, including the threat of nuclear war, the looming specter of communism, and the rise of consumerism and conformity.

Matheson skillfully weaves these themes into the story, creating a haunting and thought-provoking work that resonates with readers even today. Mathesons writing is lyrical and poetic, filled with vivid imagery and richly-drawn characters.

His ability to explore complex psychological and emotional states is second to none, and his insights into the human condition are profound and timeless. He keeps the pace steady and the narrative engaging, keeping readers on the edge of their seats as they journey alongside Carey on his harrowing and desperate quest for survival.

While The Shrinking Man is not without its flaws some readers may find the ending to be abrupt and unsatisfying it remains a classic of the science fiction genre, and a must-read for anyone interested in powerful and thought-provoking literature. Fans of other sci-fi stories like “The Incredible Shrinking Man” will find much to enjoy in this novel, as will anyone interested in exploring the limits of the human mind and body.

In conclusion, The Shrinking Man is an essential read for anyone interested in science fiction, horror, and the human condition. With its unforgettable characters, thought-provoking themes, and expertly-crafted prose, it is a masterclass in storytelling and a true masterpiece of the genre.

Highly recommended. 771 words.