The Time Machine, H.G. Wells

Cover ImageFinished 1-3-09, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 1898

” I grieved to think how brief the dream of the human intellect had been.  It had committed suicide.  It had set itself steadfastly towards comfort and ease, a balanced society with security and permanency as its watchword, it has attained its hopes-to come to this at last…There is no intelligence where there is no change and no need of change.  Only those animals partake of intelligence that have to meet a huge variety of needs and dangers.”   Chapter 10

The Time Traveller built a time machine that can travel back to the past or race to the future, much to the skepticism of his friends.  They did not believe him even after one night he came home, disheveled and heartbroken, and told them mankind’s fate 800.000 years in the future.

The Time Traveller had met and been accepted by the carefree and loving Eloi, who spent their days dancing and laughing.  He rescued one from drowning, Weena, and they became companions.  He discovered his machine was moved and in his searching found another people, the Morlocks, who lived under ground and were as dark as the Eloi were light.

The Time Traveller was there eight days and his views changed daily, allowing Wells to expound on his own world view and the state of the human condition.  The story, while being interesting, also had real depth. 

I am surprised at how well this novel has aged.  This is the original time travel book and the sheer imagination and possibilities are impressive.  It is a short classic, well worth the time and suitable for all ages, although the vocabulary could be challenging for younger readers.

6 thoughts on “The Time Machine, H.G. Wells

  1. bermudaonion says:

    This is one of my son’s favorite books. Sci-fi’s not my favorite genre, though.

    Probably not something I would have picked up, but I’ve had it on my shelf for at least ten years and read it for the RYOB challenge. The challenge is making me try new things, which is great. I was surprised that I liked it so much.

  2. jb says:

    It doesn’t sound like the type of book I would choose either, but after reading your review I plan to give it try. It sounds like a book written way before it’s time. Thanks for the insight.

    Maybe the next time I see you I can pass it on 🙂

  3. Mike says:

    I like short stories with imagination – maybe I will add this to my ‘to read’ list!

    I’m glad you’ll be giving it a try.

  4. Steph says:

    I’m not much of a sci-fi reader but this does seem like something I wouldn’t mind reading. Thanks for the review!

    I think it has a lot to say and at only 120 pages there is no reason not to try it 🙂

  5. jjmachshev says:

    Truly one of the classics. I’ll have to re-read it…one day…when my TBR mountain is smaller!!

    I hear you. I keep writing down new books, but I’m really trying to work on books on my shelves already!

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