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The Time Machine (Penguin English Library) Paperback – 31 May 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (31 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141199342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141199344
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Every time-travel story since "The Time Machine" is fundamentally indebted to Wells." --Robert Silverberg, author, "Legends" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
It goes without saying that this book is a science fiction classic in every sense of the word and that H.G. Wells was a founding father of the genre. This book proves that science fiction does not necessarily need to be heavily technical but does need to deal with grand themes such as the nature of society; man's hopes, dreams, and fears; and the very humanity of man. Wells does not go to great lengths in describing the time machine nor how it works. He lays the foundation of the story in science and then proceeds with his somewhat moralistic and certainly socially conscious story. This makes his writing much more enjoyable than that of a Jules Verne, who liked to fill up pages with scientific and highly technical nomenclature. One of the more striking aspects of the novel is Wells' treatment of the actual experience of time travel--moving in time is not like opening and walking through a door. There are physical and emotional aspects of the time travel process--in fact, some of the most descriptive passages in the book are those describing what the Time Traveler experiences and sees during his time shifts.
Basically, Wells is posing the question of What will man be like in the distant future? His answer is quite unlike any kind of scenario that modern readers, schooled on Star Wars, Star Trek, and the like, would come up with. He gives birth to a simple and tragic society made up of the Eloi and the Morlocks. In contrasting these two groups, he offers a critique of sorts of men in his own time. Clearly, he is worried about the gap between the rich and the poor widening in his own world and is warning his readers of the dangers posed by such a growing rift. It is most interesting to see how the Time Traveler's views of the future change over the course of his stay there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Oct. 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
OK, we've all seen at least one of the movie versions of H.G. Well's The Time Machine, but none of them truly compare with the oringinal Sci-Fi classic. The book tells the story of the Time Traveler's journey nearly a million years into the future and the very unexpected and disturbing society he finds there. The Time Traveler formulates various theories based on what he observes of the society, which each, in turn, prove to be oh, so wrong! [Warning: mild spoiler] In the end, his realization of the future is especially terrifying considering it is the result of our current social structure (or H.G. Well's, anyway).
I especially recommend this book for those of us with short attention spans - it's only 140 pages (and that's the large print version). But don't get the wrong idea, this book still has more depth and creativity than most 500 page books i've read and is a great read, even compared with today's science fiction standards.
This book has to be considered a classic considering it spawned a whole genre of time traveling books, movies, and tv shows whcih imitated it. Get a hold of a copy and read it today!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J Eddison-cook on 5 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Cranson VINE VOICE on 14 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike either of the two main film dramatisations so far and far better for it. Nothing whatsoever to do with the most recent film despite to front cover. Mr Well knows how to spin a good yarn and his storytelling and characterisation is second to none. There is more to this book than just a good story, there is a very good warning to mankind intertwined also.

The 1960's film is closer to the book - for anyone who has not read any of HG Well's stories yet - and I would recommend anyone who has watched either or both of the films to read this. If you cannot feel the words buried deep within your heart and mind by the first few pages then I feel sorry for you.

This and 'The War of The Worlds' are very good places to start to find out the real stories and appreciate what a vision Mr Wells had.

Brilliant from start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on 3 Sept. 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A dinner party is set in an uproar, when the host, a brilliant inventor, unveils his latest invention, a time machine. The next week’s party is even more upset when the inventor stumbles in, dirty and damaged, telling the story of a trip some 800,800 years into the future. There he met a world inhabited by two degenerated races of human beings: the Eloi, beautiful and childlike in intelligence, and the Morlocks, vicious and bestial.
Having seen the movie, I had thought that I knew this story, and that there would be no surprises. I was very wrong! This book is masterfully written, and fascinating to read. The political satire of this work is somewhat out of date, but does not damage the story. Overall, I did enjoy this story, and recommend it to everyone!
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Format: Kindle Edition
As with Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, H.G. Wells' Time Machine put me in a situation whereby I had seen the film long before I read the novel. I mention the Dickens' classic because Wells' classic happens to be another film adaption to get annual viewing in our house, at Christmas. Reason being, the film, made in 1960, which couples Rod Taylor with the very beautiful Yvette Mimieux, is not only a superb adaptation but has a proper seasonal feel to it - the story departs from New Year's Eve. 1899.

Once again, when reading the book, I was able to appreciate it for what it is, while marvelling at what was achieved with the film.
One of the positives about this book is that, although it is, after all, sci-fi, and deals with time-travel, it still, to a degree, attempts to answer some of those niggling questions we can't help but ask, in spite of ourselves, regarding the very absurdity of the idea - Wells at least endeavours to render the idea a more plausible one than the film ever does.

And that's not all. Although at times I find the language to be a little too stilted, rather than poetic - for me, it lacks the simple grace of Conan-Doyle, for example - its underlying theme, like with Jonathon Swift, is very much political, if somewhat less satirical. Wells must surely have been very much influenced by Swift's Gulliver's Travels; where the latter's creations, the Yahoo and he Houyhnnm, represent the two sides of man, so do Wells' Morlock and Eloi, whom our Time Traveller meets on his voyage. Differently from Swift, however, The Time Machine is not an all-out attack on humankind, even if the goal be the same, but rather paints an ideal.
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