The Incredible Shrinking Man
“Scott Carey is trapped in a barren wasteland. His food supplies are dwindling; every day he must struggle up huge cliffs and barriers to find a few shredded crackers to sustain him. He’s sick and injures himself more with each passing hour. And he is hunted; by a beast that knows no pity, which can appear anywhere, and is determined to devour him alive.
Scott Carey is living in his basement. He is one inch tall. And a spider is trying to kill him. “
I picked this book up not expecting to be surprised. ( I mean, I must have seen the movie version about 100 times as a kid.) Before I even read page one, I thought I knew just about all there was to know about Scott Carey’s diminishing stature, marital woes and difficulties with that pesky spider. So of course, despite (or because of) my blasé attitude, I simply could not put this book down.
“Originally a six footer, Scott Carey has been shrinking a seventh of an inch daily for quite some time now, and come Saturday, there will be nothing left of him at all.“
The story starts, with Scott stuck down in the basement of his house, fighting for his life in what he assumes to be his last week alive. At this point, he is almost more animal than man, driven by instinct to keep himself alive. He not only has to deal with the immediate threat of being eaten alive by a giant black widow spider, or of starving to death when his food supply, (a box of crackers) runs low, but he must also make ameds with his brutal, belligerent treatment of his friends and loved ones.
What’s so fascinating about this story is how Scott’s shrinking- or loss of status, forces him to realize just how important size is in terms of our everyday interactions with people. To him, and everyone else, the loss of size equals the loss of power. And as he gets smaller, he grows younger in the eyes of the outside world, essentially losing his adult identity.