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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As modern as tomorrow
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...
Published on 11 Feb 2012 by Jeremy Walton

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spelling mistakes
Excellent book, that's is why I bought it. But the book is littered with spelling and punctuation mistakes. I guess this is down to the publishers, Rupa and Co, since the mistakes aren't in any other print. The mistakes can take you out of the book, they're that annoying.
Published 11 months ago by DLB


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As modern as tomorrow, 11 Feb 2012
By 
Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant short SF but not too keen on the edition..., 13 Feb 2009
This review is from: The Time Machine (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Future Imperfect, 27 Oct 2010
By 
Gregory S. Buzwell "bagpuss007" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Time Machine (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
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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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what a novel should be..., 14 Dec 2005
This review is from: The Time Machine (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 5 Nov 2012
By 
J Eddison-cook (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Time Machine (Kindle Edition)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars H.G. Wells' classic and well worth reading., 16 Jan 2014
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Forget the movies this is the story that inspired them and it is a thought provoking read, I was impressed how H. G. Wells described the future sun as a Red Giant, spectacular for a late Victorian author. Some could find it a little and wordy to start with, but perservere and you will be well rewarded by a story that will live in your imagination long after you've closed the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spelling mistakes, 3 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Time Machine (Paperback)
Excellent book, that's is why I bought it. But the book is littered with spelling and punctuation mistakes. I guess this is down to the publishers, Rupa and Co, since the mistakes aren't in any other print. The mistakes can take you out of the book, they're that annoying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 14 Jan 2010
By 
David Cranson (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful, 3 Sep 2003
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Classic, 30 Nov 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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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. At first, he basically thinks that the Morlocks, stuck underground, have been forced to do all the work of man while the Eloi on the surface play and dance around in perpetual leisure. Later, he realizes that the truth is more complicated than that. The whole book seems to be a warning against scientific omniscience and communal living. The future human society that the Time Traveler finds is supposedly ideal--free of disease, wars, discrimination, intensive labor, poverty, etc. However, the great works of man have been lost--architectural, scientific, philosophical, literary, etc.--and human beings have basically become children, each one dressing, looking, and acting the same. The time traveler opines that the loss of conflict and change that came in the wake of society's elimination of health, political, and social issues served to stagnate mankind. Without conflict, there is no achievement, and mankind atrophies both mentally and physically.
This basic message of the novel is more than applicable today. While it is paramount that we continue to research and discover new scientific facts about ourselves and the world, we must not come to view science as a religion that can ultimately recreate the earth as an immense garden of Eden. Knowledge itself is far less important than the healthy pursuit of that knowledge. Man's greatness lies in his ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Speaking only for myself, I think this novel points out the dangerousness of Communism and points to the importance of individualism--if you engineer a society in which every person is "the same" and "equal," then you have doomed that society.
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