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The Time Machine (Penguin Classics) [Kindle Edition]

H.G. Wells , Patrick Parrinder , Marina Warner
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year 802,701 AD, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realises that this beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture - now weak and childishly afraid of the dark. They have every reason to be afraid: in deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity - the sinister Morlocks. And when the scientist's time machine vanishes, it becomes clear he must search these tunnels, if he is ever to return to his own era.

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Amazon Review

HG Wells virtually defined modern science fiction with the two tales featured in this double volume, a welcome addition to the SF Masterworks series. The Time Machine is the classic tale of a time traveller's journey to the world of 802,701 AD where humanity is divided between the bad and the beautiful, a simplistic vision at first glance but a prophetic take on a future that may not be so far removed from a reality yet to take hold, simply lurking in the shadows and waiting for the human race to bring it about by its own hand.

The War of the Worlds is perhaps one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written, a chilling, brooding tale that has lost none of its power or punch as the soulless alien invaders blast their way across the English countryside, collecting hapless humans for fiendish experiments and scorching the land. Coming at a time of great technological leaps and bounds, it is not surprising that the War of the Worlds makes as much comment on the fragility of the human race and its dependence on technology, as it does the indestructible nature of the human spirit. Though constantly beaten back, the dwindling human armies throw all the might of their warships at the alien machines with little or no effect--in the end, it is the common cold which brings about the downfall of the extra-terrestrial killers. Their motivations are never explained, nor do they need to be, their chilling cries echoing across the deserted, burning countryside of Britain accting as both a chilling war cry and a blood-curdling wake-up call. Surely, one of the most essential science fiction publications you could ever buy. --Jonathan Weir.


"Every time-travel story since "The Time Machine" is fundamentally indebted to Wells." --Robert Silverberg, author, "Legends"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 248 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 145373077X
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (29 Nov. 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI96W6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,164 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As modern as tomorrow 11 Feb. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I first read this novella many years ago, and was pleased to be able to pick it up for free recently as an eBook. It's a classic early work of science fiction from the remarkable mind of H.G. Wells who, working in Victorian England, was able to imagine how a time machine (a phrase which he coined) would work and the sort of things that its operator would be able to do. The main part of the story is a narrative by the unnamed hero as he describes his adventures in the distant future to his disbelieving friends. Part of the tale is used as a vehicle by Wells for his views on socialism, utopia and industrial relations, but these are always secondary to the gripping story; the reader is carried along on the hero's journey, seeing and experiencing the strange world through his eyes.

This is conjured up with great skill; my favorite part has always been his expedition to the distant pinnacles of the Palace of Green Porcelain: a deserted, dilapidated museum lying "high upon a turfy down", containing vast halls of crumbling exhibits shrouded in dust. The picture of a world in slow decay is sketched in very adeptly - as is the later episode, where he travels as far into the future as possible, and views the final sparks of life on Earth before they're snuffed out by the uncaring cosmos. It's a peculiar story that repays repeated reading, and is warmly recommended to those who've yet to have the pleasure of encountering this strange adventure.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Jessica
Wells ever the socialist and philosopher always had a purpose that reflected these interests when writing and `The Time Machine' is no different. The short novel is not only incredibly important considering that Wells broke from the tradition of using the supernatural to explain such wonders as time travel but in so many other things like the heartfelt social commentary, the earnest and powerful characters and the manner in which he mixes (and establishes) realistic writing and chilling fantastical elements.

The result is a wonderfully engaging and I felt moving story that follows `the time traveller', an unnamed scientist that one night announces to a group of his peers that he has created a time machine and he can prove it. He demonstrates his ideas with a miniature model, although he is faced with disbelief and incredulity he is smug in his assertion that it will work, so he sets out to prove his theories and disappears into the future on the finished larger model. Later when he returns he recounts his story to his bemused guests of his strange time in the future and the people and...creatures he meets in his struggle to return home.

I did find Wells writing terribly moving in many places not only because of his intensely hopeless conclusions concerning humanities future, what will we be when we have achieved all that we hoped to? It is not only human nature he explores but ideas surrounding the survival of species and the progression and deterioration of the world in both natural and unnatural ways. The ending chapters in particular are brilliant and Wells is very good at evoking the sublime in realistic writing, this skill makes his works kind of beautiful and a little poetic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Future Imperfect 27 Oct. 2010
By Gregory S. Buzwell VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The 1890s were haunted by the flip-side of Darwinism - the notion that the evolution of mankind may not always follow an upward curve and that, at some point, as a species mankind would regress, degenerate, and collapse back into something altogether less impressive than the heroic, upstanding ladies and gentlemen of the Victorian era. Wells, in The Time Machine, taps into these concerns and via a rather natty piece of narrative trickery puts forward what is almost a fable about the possible ultimate destination of the human race.

The time traveller (he is never named) accelerates his machine far into the future (the year 802, 701 AD to be precise) and finds himself among the Eloi, an elfin, beautiful, delicate and rather feminine species. The Eloi live above ground and seem to like nothing more than lounging about in the sunlight and generally not doing anything. The time traveller finds them rather charming, although his attempts to communicate with them result in failure. Later in the story he encounters an altogether more sinister species, the Morlocks, nasty, brutish, living underground and only emerging at night. Even worse the Morlocks seem to prey - in a very literal sense - upon the Eloi. Needless to say adventure ensues....

Wells, via his time traveller, puts forward some notions about the respective origins of the Eloi and the Morlocks. The former represent the aristocracy flung far into the future, grown weak, idle and decadent. They are beautiful, but of no real worth to anyone, not even to themselves. The Morlocks represent the masses, the working classes, excluded from education and relying upon their brute strength in order to survive. They feed and cloth the Eloi, but they reap a terrible price in return.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what a novel should be... 14 Dec. 2005
Being a fan of dystopian novels I decided to take a look at this, having seen the film (the one with Samantha Mumba) a number of years before. Suffice it to say that the book and the film differ in many ways and that the book trumps the film tenfold.
The book is a real page turner, and is really short at 90 pages long. The plot has it all, both science and fantasy, intrigue, characters that are likeable and even prophetic undertones. One thing that greatly surprised me was the ingenuity of this novel and how many of things described by Wells were actually incredibly accurate even for our age. It is hard to remember that this book was actually written in the Victorian, and not the present, age.
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