Details from Audible:
This is the terrifying novel that inspired the classic motion picture.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
As you know I’ve been on something of a Richard Matheson kick, partially due to I quite enjoy his writing (some books more than others) and also because I want to read “He is Legend” a book where all the short stories are sequels to stories Matheson has done.
The book starts out the way so many books and TV shows often do, at a really exciting point and then moving backwards. As I’ve said before I know it’s popular and a way to hook the reader but I believe it’s overdone. So with that done you get to know Scott Carey, a regular guy who has an incredible thing happen to him, he starts to shrink.
I’ll also have to add that I didn’t love the narration here. He does fine with voices and emotions but always sounds a little bit nasal and/or lisping. I don’t want to dwell too much on the negative though. I enjoy the story, most of the time, the characters and as always Matheson does a great job with action, suspense, dialogue and description. This book he even gets Philosophical and also delves into the psyche of a man under great stress and put in bizarre situations.
The next part is SPOILER ALERT!
I know this book was written in the 50s and times have changed, but still there are some disturbing ideas here. For example when Scott has shrunken to the size of a small child and now lives in the basement, he becomes obsessed with spying on his daughter’s babysitter. Scott mentally is in his early 40s and the girl is 15-16, so no matter his size I found it creepy. There is also a scene where he meets with a little person at the circus (which is obviously also offensive) and the scene is also weird/sexist/rapey at the start.
Despite the concerns above it still enjoyed this book. The ending surprised me (in a good way) and there are more good parts than bad (though I was bored a couple of times). That said I can only give it a 7 out of 10. Please don’t let kids listen to this, ages 16+. I would recommend it to any Matheson/sci-fi fan but I would suggest you possibly read it instead, or find an audio version with a different narrator. I need a break from Matheson, so my next listen will be something different. Until then, have a good one.