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The Time Machine, the Invisible Man, the War of the Worlds (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics) [Hardcover]

H. G. Wells , Margaret Drabble
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

3 Aug 2010 Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics
Gathered together in one hardcover volume: three timeless novels from the founding father of science fiction.

The first great novel to imagine time travel, The Time Machine (1895) follows its scientist narrator on an incredible journey that takes him finally to Earth’s last moments—and perhaps his own. The scientist who discovers how to transform himself in The Invisible Man (1897) will also discover, too late, that he has become unmoored from society and from his own sanity. The War of the Worlds (1898)—the seminal masterpiece of alien invasion adapted by Orson Welles for his notorious 1938 radio drama, and subsequently by several filmmakers—imagines a fierce race of Martians who devastate Earth and feed on their human victims while their voracious vegetation, the red weed, spreads over the ruined planet.

Here are three classic science fiction novels that, more than a century after their original publication, show no sign of losing their grip on readers’ imaginations.

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The Time Machine, the Invisible Man, the War of the Worlds (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics) + Journey to the Centre of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Round the World in Eighty Days (Everymans Library Classics)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library (3 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307593843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307593849
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 13.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 256,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5.0 out of 5 stars The origins of sci-fi 1 May 2011
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
One of the very first science fiction authors -- and the one with the biggest impact on sci-fi -- was undoubtedly H.G. Wells. And "The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds" brings together three of his timeless novels, filled with weird occurrences and even weirder creatures.

"The Time Machine" concerns the Time Traveller, an English scientist who has built a machine capable of taking a person through time. So he goes to the year 802,701 A.D. and finds that civilization has fallen -- the human race has become the grotesque, apish Morlocks and the innocent, vague Eloi. And as he continues traveling into the future, it becomes bleaker.

"The Invisible Man" involves... well, an invisible man. A stranger covered entirely in clothes, goggles and bandages arrives in the village of Iping, and frightens the locals with his strange behavior. When the "invisible man" stumbles across the house of Dr. Kemp, he reveals his true identity and just how he became invisible...

Finally, "The War of the Worlds" takes place when the narrator finds a bizarre metal spaceship, filled with enormous tentacled Martians -- and soon they're decimating the army with their heat rays and tripodal fighting machines. Now, the human race is threatened with annihilation or enslavement, unless something can turn the war of the worlds in their favor.

A future "dying earth," time machines, strange elixirs and even the idea of aliens invading the Earth -- H.G. Wells came up with a lot of the ideas that are now pretty common in science fiction. Some of his ideas have been disproven (I'm pretty sure there are no hyper-evolved, tentacled monsters on Mars), but that doesn't make his books any less groundbreaking.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The origins of sci-fi 3 Aug 2010
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
One of the very first science fiction authors -- and the one with the biggest impact on sci-fi -- was undoubtedly H.G. Wells. And "The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds" brings together three of his timeless novels, filled with weird occurrences and even weirder creatures.

"The Time Machine" concerns the Time Traveller, an English scientist who has built a machine capable of taking a person through time. So he goes to the year 802,701 A.D. and finds that civilization has fallen -- the human race has become the grotesque, apish Morlocks and the innocent, vague Eloi. And as he continues traveling into the future, it becomes bleaker.

"The Invisible Man" involves... well, an invisible man. A stranger covered entirely in clothes, goggles and bandages arrives in the village of Iping, and frightens the locals with his strange behavior. When the "invisible man" stumbles across the house of Dr. Kemp, he reveals his true identity and just how he became invisible...

Finally, "The War of the Worlds" takes place when the narrator finds a bizarre metal spaceship, filled with enormous tentacled Martians -- and soon they're decimating the army with their heat rays and tripodal fighting machines. Now, the human race is threatened with annihilation or enslavement, unless something can turn the war of the worlds in their favor.

A future "dying earth," time machines, strange elixirs and even the idea of aliens invading the Earth -- H.G. Wells came up with a lot of the ideas that are now pretty common in science fiction. Some of his ideas have been disproven (I'm pretty sure there are no hyper-evolved, tentacled monsters on Mars), but that doesn't make his books any less groundbreaking.

Wells wrote in a staid 19th-century style, full of vivid descriptions ("The red eastern sky, the northward blackness, the salt Dead Sea, the stony beach crawling with these foul, slow-stirring monsters") and powerful emotions (the wild chase scenes in "The Invisible Man"). He also had a knack for inserting some really alien stuff into the stories, as well as some truly bleak depictions of what might come to pass.

And he wove in plenty of science -- bacteria, albinism, evolution and the life cycle of a planet, as well as the question of whether there was life on other worlds. I can only imagine how these books must have expanded the imaginations of the Victorians who read them.

HG Wells' most famous works are brought together in "The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds." It's bleak, brilliant sci-fi that needs to be read to be believed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful volume, amazing novellas! 27 Oct 2010
By HardyBoy64 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not being a huge science fiction fan, I bought this volume hoping to enjoy the stories here. I was not disappointment! H.G. Wells wrote with confidence, imagination and depth, which surprised me I guess. The high literary tone of the prose makes for an amazing yet accessible read and the stories themselves are much more allegorical and profound than I had anticipated. Wells makes comments on humanity and society that cause the reader to think about the implications of his messages. "War of the Worlds", for example, is much more than Aliens vs. Mankind. Highly recommended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two of Wells' best novels 13 Feb 2014
By G. Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This compilation includes two of H.G. Wells’ best novels, both of which combine science fiction with sociological themes. The Time Machine (1895) is an allegory of class warfare. Centuries of separation between the aristocracy and industrial workers has caused humanity to bifurcate into separate species. The Eloi are the degenerate descendents of the aristocrats. Generations of leisure have reduced both their physical strength and intelligence: they are a race of childlike idiots. The subterranean Morlocks are the brutish, malevolent descendents of the proletariat. The War of the Worlds (1899) is based on the premise that more technological advanced races will always conquer more primitive ones. Humanity is overwhelmed by the more evolved Martians, and civilization disintegrates. The vividly descriptive prose and wealth of authentic detail adds a gripping immediacy to both novels. By comparison, The Invisible Man (1897) is more a psychological study, as a man who has achieved invisibility becomes a murderous psychopath
5.0 out of 5 stars Three of H.G. Wells' greatest works of science fiction 31 Jan 2013
By Kurt A. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This wonderful book is a collection of three of H.G. Wells' (1866-1946) greatest works of science fiction. Mr. Wells was a pioneer in the genre of science fiction. Indeed, he did not simply write stories to entertain; instead, each one uses the scientific angle to teach a lesson. All three of these stories are thought-provoking and quite interesting to read.

So, if you are a fan of great literature, or great science fiction, then this book is for you. I highly recommend it. By the way, the three stories in this book are:

The Time Machine - 1895 - A dinner party is disrupted when the host arrives all disheveled, and telling what he found when he ventured into the far future.

The Invisible Man - 1897 - When a strange, bandaged man moves into town, tongues begin to wag. But, when strange things begin to happen, the town soon finds itself facing a nightmare in the form of an invisible man.

The War of the Worlds - 1898 - The Martians have exhausted the resources of their planet, and decide to take the Earth as their new home. Can man, with his most advanced technology hope to stop the Martians with their much more advanced technology?
4.0 out of 5 stars Three of Wells' most famous books. 7 Aug 2011
By Sean Curley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
H. G. Well (1866-1946) has gone down in history as one of the founders of the science fiction genre (I would group him alongside Mary Shelley and Jules Verne as the leading 19th century inspirations for it), pioneering literary science fiction that used futuristic and speculative motifs to comment on trends in human society as he saw them. This Everyman Library collected edition consists of three of Wells' most iconic novels from the late Victorian period (in terms of his total output, the only notably absent work is "The Island of Doctor Moreau"), each of which was incredibly influential and helped found distinct sci-fi sub-genres.

"The Time Machine" (filmed a number of times, most famously by George Pal), the first of the three books, features the first iteration of the titular device; obviously, the long-term impact of that idea is all but impossible to calculate. Wells' science-hero protagonist relates his adventure through time to a group of assembled dinner guests, describing his voyage to the far future where human evolution has taken two very divergent courses. This is Wells' stab at social commentary, describing the possible outcome of the massive class divisions that had been produced in Britain and elsewhere in the western world by the Industrial Revolution. A reasonably straightforward story, it ends on an intriguing note that leaves much to the imagination.

"The Invisible Man" (filmed, most famously, with Claude Raines in the lead role in the 1930s by RKO Studios) is probably the disappointment from a modern perspective. Genre-founding stories that greatly influence later books will live or die based on whether the author develops memorable stories and characters that will endure after the novelty has worn off, or whether he hangs the whole thing on the novelty of the concept. Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", to give an example of the former, is a powerful morality play on science and scientific responsibility that is perhaps even more relevant today. Wells' "The Invisible Man", by contrast, has very little to it beyond the basic idea of an invisible man, and to an audience now very familiar with that idea, it has little to offer.

Last, longest, and certainly not least is "War of the Worlds" (filmed notably twice, once in 1953 and once in 2005 by Steven Spielberg), the originator of the alien invasion sci-fi story. This is, in my opinion, Wells' best book. He imaginatively depicts the arrival of an alien invasion force is the middle of late Victorian Britain, and the ensuing carnage as the most formidable superpower of its day faces off against the advanced technology of invaders from Mars. Wells' conceit of the aliens represented a direct challenge to Victorian ideas of the supremacy of human and especially British civilization. Indeed, Wells constantly compares the behaviour of the invaders to both man's attempts to dominate nature and Britain's attempts to subdue other peoples (such as the native population of Tasmania). It posed a complicated moral question to readers (though we're never asked not to root for the survival of familiar human civilization). The ending has become a classic.

An interesting collcetion of classic sci-fi works by one of the fathers of the genre.
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