Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells | Book Review


I read The Time Machine as part of my quest to widdle down my reading bucket list. It appears on both Flavorwire's 50 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novels That Everyone Should Read and NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction And Fantasy Novels.

Book Description

“I’ve had a most amazing time....”

So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him the reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes...and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth. There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well.

Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.

Review

The Time Machine was a very unexpected read for me. By unexpected, I mean awesome. The Time Machine is not the first book by Wells I have read. I loved The War of the Worlds when I read it. I was actually surprised by how much I loved that one, too, since I had seen the 1953 movie a few times and had an idea of what I would encounter.

I will jump right to the best part of The Time Machine - it was a scary read. I assumed it would be all science fictiony, maybe a little boring at times. No. The Time Machine made me down right giddy as a reader. The time traveler in The Time Machine goes almost a million years into the future, and Wells offers a lot of consideration towards how humans will evolve and why. It's an amazing read for something published in 1895.

I need to quit making assumptions before reading anything by Wells because apparently I'm a huge fan.

Another thing I really loved about The Time Machine was seeing exactly where pop culture gets its representation of time travel today. We see it all of the time in movies - the days and nights and the scenery progressing around the person doing the time travel. Wells describes it so perfectly in The Time Machine, it's become a standard mechanism for displaying time travel on the screen.

There are so many reasons I would recommend The Time Machine so if you are interested in scifi, horror, or simply classics in general, The Time Machine is a quick, surprising read. It's in the public domain so you can download it for free pretty much everywhere. I think The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds are the only two books I have read by Wells, but I have got to change that. The Island of Dr. Moreau is on my bucket list as well so I will be reading that one next.

9/10: Highly Recommended

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7 comments:

  1. Love that this one was less science fictioney than you had anticipated and more scary! That sounds like the perfect read for you. I love when books surprise me like that. Great review!

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    1. It really was a perfect read for me. I'm still smiling about it. :)

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  2. Nice review. I have not read this but should. I like time travel and it's striking to me he didnt just go a little ways into the future, but like 800k. wow. Kinda wild. Thanks for spotlighting this one, I'll be checking it out.

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    1. I was surprised by that, too. It wasn't one of those let me see the future of my kids/grandkids kind of thing. You should definitely read it because it got even wilder than what I shared in my review.

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  3. I didn't know it was public domain. Will check it out. Thanks!

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    1. Yes, totally free and totally awesome. It's a score.

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  4. I read this one in 2009 and still have my marked up copy set aside to someday read again. Like you, I was surprised at how much I liked it. I need to read more from him too!

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