An interesting story, first published in the 1950s. On the surface, the story of a man's struggles as he shrinks into nothingness. Beyond that, it is a story that highlights themes of emasculation and impotence in the face of the demands of modern society, almost as if Arthur Miller had written a science fiction novel. I found the basement struggles somewhat tedious to read through, but really enjoyed certain episodes, such as the protagonist's visit to a traveling carnival and a harrowing drive with a deluded (and possibly demented) old man. The central character was not likable - a George Castanza loser who suffers angry outbursts, fits of loneliness and sexual deprivation. I felt sorry for his poor wife much more than him. And the spider. The ending was interesting, though predictable. The moral of the story is that size matters.