Being Invisible: A Novel

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Everything means something. Bush has always been a storyteller. When she first hit the public consciousness with Wuthering Heights in , she appeared like a whirling dervish, shrieking and waving her arms in the air, presenting an image of an entirely new female pop star. In the 40 years since, she has followed her own unique path, producing nine albums and retreating into private life between each one.

Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible, YA Novel Featuring a Mixed-Race Heroine

Knowing the albums as well as I do, reading these familiar lyrics is to experience the songs I love in an entirely new way. And these five songs are drawn from four different albums. In the former, titled The Ninth Wave , a story is told of a woman lost at sea. As she floats, she drifts between calm and panic, hoping that the light on her vest will guide the searchers to her.

The only parallel to this work of genius is A Sky of Honey , the sequence that backs up Aerial. Soon the rain comes, his colours begin to run, and something wonderful and unexpected is created. Poetry can be found in single songs too. Such a simple, clever idea, but one so rich with meaning. The novelist David Mitchell provides an erudite introduction to the collection. Essentially this is a book for fans, and fans of the Great Kate are as legion as we are loyal. The collection ends with Lake Tahoe , which includes one of my favourite images from her songs.

Maybe the Academy got it right with Dylan after all. We use cookies to personalise content, target and report on ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. For more information see our Cookie Policy. John Boyne. Sat, Dec 8, , First published: Sat, Dec 8, , More from The Irish Times Books. Tax: Coping with complexity and uncertainty. New research takes another step towards self-aware artificial intelligence. South Africa: wildlife, wine country and out-of-this-world adventure awaits.

How spectacular is the cover art? My interest had officially been piqued, and I had yet to even read the synopsis The first thing that intrigued me about this book was the title. My interest had officially been piqued, and I had yet to even read the synopsis in fact, I'm not sure I ever did. I knew I wouldn't be able to resist it for long. The story begins in the same way as the synopsis.

I would like to say that I remained entirely engrossed for the rest of the book, but that would not be true and I know how much Strato hates lies. Although I didn't dislike the book as such, I did have my problems with it. But, as Strato Nyman would say, more of that later. First I will tell you what I did like about it. I did like the atmosphere of the book.

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By that I mean the feeling that the setting and characters gave it, and the overall feeling that the narrative supplied. At times it read a lot like a more 'classic' children's book. I don't mean that I think it is a classic, because I don't, but I feel like it has a more traditional feel to the narrative than a lot of other books being published today have.

For me, this made it quite nostalgic and I found that I flew through it with ease. I also loved the concept. The idea of a boy coming across a strange book, given to him by a strange How many children don't fantasise at some point about being able to turn invisible? And then there's what Strato decides to do with it — I would have done exactly the same thing although I would have been more mischievous and made objects float in midair too Some of the characters were also fantastic. Strangely, Strato was not my favourite character. Although he was a good narrator and I did like him, I found myself much more interested in the secondary characters; namely Lloyd Archibald Turnbull and Susan Brown.

Lloyd is a subtle bully — he isn't a physical, or even obviously psychological bully — but he does say and do things to hurt our protagonist. However, he has his own story, and as I found out more about him, I found that I liked him more. His character was also the one with the most development. Susan I liked simply because she is a nice person and I found that I could relate to her much more than I could the others. However, as I said, I do have problems with this book, and some of them did pull me out of the story on occasion.

My biggest problem was that I couldn't believe the reactions that some of the characters had in certain situations. I just didn't think that it was realistic — especially when the adult characters were concerned. This was especially evident at the end. I also found that the plot was a little wishy-washy in parts.

Ralph Ellison

Although Strato writes a to-do list when he first discovers his new ability, he doesn't stick to it. He wanders off and investigates other things, and the plot meanders around a bit. It just didn't feel as focussed as I'd have liked. There was strange twists in the plot that were a little out of place. There were also elements of the plot that I would have liked to learn more about — like more about the man who gave Strato the book and more about the magical world that lies beyond it. Having had snippets of information about this, I felt cheated not having any more.

But maybe that's just me. There was also the ethnicity of Strato. We know that he is the only 'black kid' as the synopsis puts it in the town, and that is exactly the point — we're told time and time again, even when this does not seem appropriate. Strato even wonders if a teacher singles him out because of it. This would not be a problem if there was cause for such suspicion, but as far as I could see, there wasn't. And it's mentioned more than once when it really isn't required — when it wouldn't even enter the minds of real people.

I think it's great that the book shows ethnic and cultural diversity, but I felt a little as though a point was being made of it a little too forcefully at times. Despite all of this though, How to Be Invisible is an enjoyable story. It has a sense of fun and mystery, is full of quirky and interesting characters even if sometimes they do not act like real people All in all, I think, a good autumn read.

Originally reviewed for my blog, Pen to Paper. Apr 05, Kimberly rated it really liked it. This review can also be found on my blog Strato is a truly unique character and as he explains he is not the stereotypical black boy that is often portrayed in the media. Strato is obsessed with scientific discovery, particularly the Mystery of the Magic Atom Experiment which observes the behaviour of atoms when shot at a screen.

The atoms appear to behave differently when being observed and I believe the point being made is that there is no such thing as an "objective observer. Also the book states that if anyone finds out about his ability to be invisible he will lose this power and this means it is impossible to disprove the claim he makes that he was invisible. Strato is also the only black boy where he lives. This means that he often comes up against ignorance and subtle racism. He is often left out but his teacher, a black man himself, says that he behaves like a victim.

What Strato discovers from being invisible is that people have a great deal to hide from him. What he also finds out is that when he changes his approach to life people are more open with him and this is rewarding. He is also a gifted child meaning that his parents are unsure how to relate to him and often leave him to his own devices.

Invisible Man

What we find, however, is that Strato understands that science is one type of magic but love and everything to do with relationships is another. It is refreshing to read about a geek who is able to connect with others in his world. While he may not get it right all the time he is capable of social interaction and while he is constantly analysing his environment he is aware of himself in a way that isn't expected of geeks.

At its core this book is about love as something that cannot be measured and analysed in a clinical setting. Strato is constantly trying to understand something that can only be felt and rarely explained. I am definitely interested in reading future titles by this author. May 05, Dominique White rated it really liked it. There is a wide range of juvenile literature for children this age covering all sorts of genres: magic, science fiction, vampires, mystery, historic novels etc. It is beyond comparison quite simply because it is unique.

To which I can only add that this remarkable book ticks all the There is a wide range of juvenile literature for children this age covering all sorts of genres: magic, science fiction, vampires, mystery, historic novels etc. To which I can only add that this remarkable book ticks all the boxes that I look for when recommending English language reading books to year old Spanish children — the language is easy enough for them to understand, the content is suitable for their age and furthermore this book comes with the added bonus that most of the unusual vocabulary is kindly explained to readers by thoughtful Strato Nyman, narrator and main character in this story.

I found the scientific theories dotted through the novel an informative, although somewhat nerdy, extra. I wouldn't hesitate in adding this book to a recommended reading list for year 7 upwards.

Even though I have given the book three stars, it is actually lucky to get 2. The title that Lott has given this book really appealed to me and reading the back of the novel, I thought this would be a good read which it is, but it's not the best.

How to be Invisible Synopsis

The concept itself is really interesting as the main character Strato finds a way to become invisible. However, Lott has failed to materialise on the concept and to me it struggles to communicate it. Throughout the novel, I feel that the concept is unde Even though I have given the book three stars, it is actually lucky to get 2.


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  2. Elements of International Economics.
  3. Energy Methods in Time-Varying System Stability and Instability Analyses!
  4. How to Be Invisible.
  5. Plane and Solid Analytic Geometry: An Elementary Textbook.
  6. On Internet Freedom.
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Throughout the novel, I feel that the concept is underdeveloped and also the characters are too. It would seem to reflect Strato failing to use his gift to his advantage. Lott does touch on issues such as bullying, racism and loneliness to raise a few of them but I felt that I was waiting for something to happen in the novel that didn't come.


  • Biological Magnetic Resonance - Volume 16: Modern Techniques in Protein NMR;
  • How to Be Invisible by Tim Lott;
  • Forming The Mind: Essays on the Internal Senses and the Mind/Body Problem from Avicenna to the Medical Enlightenment;
  • Being Invisible by Thomas Berger?
  • An Introduction to Probability and Statistics (Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics).
  • In Situ Spectroscopy of Monomer and Polymer Synthesis.
  • Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq.
  • For me, Lott's past few novels have lacked flair, depth and analysis of the subjects he is writing about. And it is a shame as I loved White City Blue and to me that will always be his best work. It was an okay read but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Jan 17, Delfina Calderale rated it did not like it. Strato Nyman is a young boy who is obsessed with scientific discovery. Having recently moved to Hedgecombe-upon-Day he explores the town and stumbles upon a hidden bookshop.

    In this bookshop the owner gives him a book with the title "How To Be Invisible" which as it states it gives Strato the ability to turn invisible. This young scientist uses his new ability to discover facts about his life and of those around him. I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone. The title catches the at Strato Nyman is a young boy who is obsessed with scientific discovery. The title catches the attention of any reader as well as its summary at the back.

    Yet throughout the book Tim Lott fails to develop his idea and leaves the reader with new information at the end of the book that could have potentially be used in a totally different way to create a better plot. Mar 02, Karoline rated it liked it. This book does have an great premise and it is at points quite interesting and it's in no way a bad book. I do think it was a bit annoying at times though if you feel like using a long and intellectual word and then feel like explaining the word to the reader then have footnotes or a glossary in the back or explain it in an entertaining way instead of having the sentence "incidentally this word means" and then the meaning ten different places throughout the book and it's also a bit dry and see This book does have an great premise and it is at points quite interesting and it's in no way a bad book.

    I do think it was a bit annoying at times though if you feel like using a long and intellectual word and then feel like explaining the word to the reader then have footnotes or a glossary in the back or explain it in an entertaining way instead of having the sentence "incidentally this word means" and then the meaning ten different places throughout the book and it's also a bit dry and seems written in a way I don't want books to feel. With that said it's still fascinating enough and I do like that it used the concept "boy learns to become invisible" in an original way instead of being a Goosebumps-clone.

    Conclusion: okay, could have been better, but totally oki doki Jan 07, Laila Bangwar rated it liked it.

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    This book was a little different from the books that I've read as it contained a lot of scientific knowledge. It wasn't bad at all, for the first time I actually enjoyed knowing about the experiments and such. The author had a way of making it all sound very cool because the narrator in the book is the protagonist who is a 13 year old boy so it was basically like reading his diary and his thoughts about things.

    This storyline was very basic except for the being invisible part in the sense that This book was a little different from the books that I've read as it contained a lot of scientific knowledge. This storyline was very basic except for the being invisible part in the sense that everything that was happening was very general and an everyday life type of struggle, romance and drama. Regardless I did enjoy it and would recommend it to someone who is less into extremely dramatic fantasy novels and more of reality based fiction with a twist of the impossible or unknown. Nov 02, Harriet Beale rated it liked it.

    I really enjoyed the idea of this book and felt it touched upon some really important issues such as racism and parental separation. The characters were given elements of complexity but I felt these were introduced too late in the book and opportunities were missed. I was disappointed with the ending and felt it was unatural and went against the last pages in the book.

    Some great elements but an ending that felt forced. Nov 24, gemma rated it liked it. This book surprised me in many different ways. First of all, all the physics stuff was so interesting, and many of which I didn't know before I read the book. Starto was such a gripping character, I felt myself curious as to what was going to happen and what the complications could be of Starto going invisible. However, I did wish something a bit more exciting would occur, after he figured out how to go invisible, the plot didn't seem to go anywhere.

    Overall, a 3. Aug 10, Sara Hassan rated it it was ok. Not quite sure how to begin with this. The title did pull me towards reading this book, but it didn't match the content. I was so excited when I read the first page. Thought it would be more inspirational and has to do with life perks and stuff, but apparently it doesn't. Most of the time I felt like I was studying physics. The wow factor apparently, never came.

    I did like the ending tho.. A bit disappointed I must say. Don't recommend it to anyone. Sorry, Tim Lott.

    Apr 06, Sophie Marshall-Unitt rated it really liked it. An easy-going, entertaining read. There are a lot of scientific elements to this book, and even as someone who doesn't find science very interesting, I enjoyed them thoroughly. I don't think this book would be entertaining to everyone, but as light relief, I think it is perfect, and there are a lot of lessons that can be learned from it.

    Advantage of the Invisibility of Elisions Narrator in Invisible Man Book Report/Review

    Oct 03, Sophie Young rated it it was amazing. I thought this was a very moving book. It shows what happens in the world around us, but invisible to our eyes.



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