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First published way back in 1895 this novella still has the power to really make us think about the future of mankind. Although time travel had come up in literature before I think H G Wells is the be the work of sleight of hand. But as we read on and these people are gathered for a dinner and person credited for giving us the term time machine which has now become universal.

We never know the time traveller’s name as the narrator leaves out that tantalising detail. The story starts one evening with friends gathered around and they are told about and presented with a small model time machine, which is then made to disappear. Of course like us most of them believe this to chat some time later, the time traveller bursts in on them, saying he has been forward in time.

And so we are taken millennia into the future where we are told of what was seen and experienced. Ending up in what was once London the area seems to be full of partially ruined buildings and the landscape is like a vast garden. There we are introduced to the Eloi, who are like us, but more diminutive and not really showing that much interest in the world around them, as well as being a bit simple. But as our intrepid explorer is about to find out, these are not the only people around, for there are the Morlocks who live underground.

As we read here the time traveller has certain theories on what has happened in the many centuries that have passed since his own and this fits in with Wells’ own politics and leanings, so this is very much a socialist idea with which the traveller forms his opinions. In all this is still a great story to read, and although I suspect most have already read it before at one time or another there will always be those who have never read it before, as well as many who would like to reacquaint themselves with this tale.
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First published way back in 1895 this novella still has the power to really make us think about the future of mankind. Although time travel had come up in literature before I think H G Wells is the person credited for giving us the term time machine which has now become universal.

We never know the time traveller’s name as the narrator leaves out that tantalising detail. The story starts one evening with friends gathered around and they are told about and presented with a small model time machine, which is then made to disappear. Of course like us most of them believe this to be the work of sleight of hand. But as we read on and these people are gathered for a dinner and chat some time later, the time traveller bursts in on them, saying he has been forward in time.

And so we are taken millennia into the future where we are told of what was seen and experienced. Ending up in what was once London the area seems to be full of partially ruined buildings and the landscape is like a vast garden. There we are introduced to the Eloi, who are like us, but more diminutive and not really showing that much interest in the world around them, as well as being a bit simple. But as our intrepid explorer is about to find out, these are not the only people around, for there are the Morlocks who live underground.

As we read here the time traveller has certain theories on what has happened in the many centuries that have passed since his own and this fits in with Wells’ own politics and leanings, so this is very much a socialist idea with which the traveller forms his opinions. In all this is still a great story to read, and although I suspect most have already read it before at one time or another there will always be those who have never read it before, as well as many who would like to reacquaint themselves with this tale.
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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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on 14 December 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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on 26 June 2015
Bank Hodilays, eh!? All wery vell for those actually usefully (or not so, HA!) employed, but what about them as has got no work, are unfit to partake of such, and thus, for want, or not, of a better word, or collection thereof, bleeding SKINT!? For such, I should say, was the position I was oft in myself during what some would call my formative years. Stuck at f----ng home while I knew full well every other bleeder was off at Blackpool or wherelse having the absolute time of his life, probably with one or another of my estranged (usually on financial grounds!) lady fiends? Grayson Perry! what could I do, devoid as I was of any positive influence, my mother being dead, father a flump, than stuff myself with sausages (cold) and watch Robert Taylor in the cinematic version of this tosh, either that or Scorcese's 'Raging Bull' (dull), either that or 'Thunderbirds', either that or 'Carry On Follow That Camel', either that or just get on with it and cut my throat. I mean, Napoleon thought he was fed up on St. Helena! At least he'd lived.
Which all of having said, HG is a Heavy Guy and only real people should read him.
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on 13 February 2009
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. I also love the Time Traveller himself, he takes on the horrors of the future - the chilling Morlocks - with a box of safety matches! He's a hero to challenge the greatest.

I tend to shy away from penguin editions because I just want to enjoy whatever I'm reading without being lectured on how to experience it! Foolish person that I am I read the extensive biography and introduction by Marina Warner before I read the novel and between them both they tell the entire story. I just wish that they had put these behind the story and put Wells preface which is printed at the back at the front. He knows what he's about; his original introduction would have been a much nicer opening. The problem with penguin is that they're so damn smug, any notes that they include should be provided as extras to heighten our experience not a way for intellectuals to show off their knowledge. Wow this really bothers me! This will undoubtedly not annoy that many people and both the notes on Wells life and Warner's short piece are interesting. Anyway rant aside this is a great work and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend and it really, it is all to do with your own preferences whether you take my advice and read the first two segments after you read the story. I would also say that if you trying to decide which of Wells books to start with then maybe go with `The War of the Worlds' as that is a gripping introduction to a brilliant writer.
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on 3 June 2016
I read this book when I was at school during the summer holidays, and we had to do a book report on it. It is still a powerful story, still makes me think about what is going to happen to this planet of ours in the future. It is like being on a different planet, with half of the people living lives where they have nothing to do but laze around above ground, the other half, the Morloks, live underground, where they tend to machinery, provide food for the above ground people, then sound the 'All clear' siren, which calls the aboveground people to them, and then they use them as food. Into this mix comes a time traveller from the 1800s who, when he realises what is going on, wants to change everything;. That's where I will leave it.. One more comment and I am done. The book still reads very well today, as it is very well written so, give it a go, you might like it.
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VINE VOICEon 27 October 2010
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.

It is, especially when you think of it in the context of the time in which it was written, all rather clever. Wells was able to create what was a good adventure yarn on one level work on a far deeper plain of meaning by tapping in to the concerns of the age. The time machine itself is beautifully described and it's a lovely idea but it is perhaps Wells's thoughts on the ultimate destination of mankind which give the story its lasting resonance. It's well worth reading, and not just because it is, in many ways, the grand daddy of a whole branch of science fiction.
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on 29 January 2016
I have no issue, at all, with the content of this book, because this is a timeless classic, but, had I checked the book sooner, I'd have sent it back. This is a very cheap publication, with poor quality paper, poor print quality and no name, or markings of any kind on the spine. If you want to read this once and then pass it on to someone else, who'll do the same, then it's fine, but not as a book to keep. I wish I'd paid the extra for a decent copy, now and it's too late to send it back.
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on 5 November 2012
Great ebook - easy to read and well worth the price. Chose this because I didn't want to pay £7 for 1984, and whilst it is relatively short, it transcribes well to digital formatting - in fact it feels strangely apt that such wonderment as a time machine was accepted in Wells' time but a Kindle is so far beyond anything imagined... Great book, good read...
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