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The Time Machine ~ H. G. Wells

November 4, 2009

Genre: Adult Fiction

Publisher: Bantam Classics

128 pages

ISBN: 9780553213515

So, last week your friend had a few gentlemen, all learned men, over for cocktails and conversation. He pulled some sort of elaborate parlor trick by which he made a trinket disappear before the party’s eyes. Thinking him a grand magician, indeed, you meet at his house, again, to find the host nowhere in sight. As dinner is about to be served, your man of the hour stumbles in the front door, covered head-to-toe in scrapes and dirt. In one giant breath he tells you fantastic, daring, and quite frankly, unbelievable tales of time travel and life threatening heroics.

Welcome to The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Said to be one of the first, and still creepiest, science fiction thrillers of all time, the short story is essentially a monologue on culture, disguised as the whimsy of time travel.

Because the story itself is so short and the basics of it rely on the element of surprise, I’ll stop there on the details.

I’ve recently found myself reading the Victorian classics where I’ve always stayed a bit clear of them in the past. Of course, one trip into a Wells book and a reader quickly realizes that it wasn’t all lace and stuffy parlors. He most certainly held no punches regarding his thoughts on the status-quo.

Through a series of  now antiquated, then cutting edge, revelations, he steam rolls over evolutionary predictions and brings pointed accusations at his peers and countrymen, regarding social economics. Allegories both beautiful and sinister could aptly apply to London (or New York), today, those same questions of moral responsibility framed technologically, socially and spiritually.

I have always loved the story but I don’t think I have read it in its entirety in a long time. It’s a great story and I found myself shaking my head and wondering what Wells would think of our technologically dependant, still socially divided society.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2009 11:00 pm

    I haven’t read this one, but it’s one of my son’s favorites.

  2. November 5, 2009 11:25 am

    I really need to read this. Also, are you interested in a book swap?

    I should really get a library card asap. :/ I think it’s going to have to wait until 1. I get my license and car registration taken care of and 2. until NaNoWriMo is over with. But, yeah. I soooo do not need more books to read. You are such an enabler. 😛

    Have you read any of Neil Gaiman’s books? I’m on such a kick right now.

  3. stacybuckeye permalink
    November 5, 2009 11:44 am

    I read this for the first time in January and I loved it. It’s one of my favorites read so far. War of the Worlds is on my reading list and I hope tp get to it soon.

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