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The Shape of Things to Come: The Ultimate Revolution (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 26 May 2005

3.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (26 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141441046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141441047
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 363,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

The founding father and presiding genius of UK science fiction--The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

Wells's scientific romances were works of art with unique relevance for our times

Wells is the Prospero of all brave new worlds of the mind, and the Shakespeare of science fiction

The greatest science fiction writer of them all --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A prescient look at mankind's future from the greatest science fiction writer of them all. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You either love Wells or you hate him. The Shape of Things to Come is a fascinating book and I found a good read. There are plenty of reviews from other contributors and I would suggest reading those.

I would point out though that I read the Kindle version and, whilst I am a lover of the Kindle, here is yet another example of the publishers failing to properly proof read their Kindle versions of books before releasing them. The formatting of 'years', of which there are many in this book,is appalling eg z000 instead of 2000, zoi6 instead of 2016 etc etc. One gets used to the failure and quickly compensate for it but I find it very annoying when paying for a book (including VAT in the case of Kindle versions)to find sloppy editing and poor proof reading. From reading reviews of other Kindle versions of books it would appear that this is becoming a common problem which is a great shame as it will undoubtedly put some readers off buying Kindle and Kindle books.

However, this is a good read and I would not wish to put anyone off reading it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved the Time Machine and looked forward to reading this "classic".
It only took a few pages for me to realise that this was an altogether different book to the Time Machine - it was uninteresting and worse still, badly written. I hated reading it and only finished it to see if it had any redeeming features. It was a good idea poorly developed.
Because Wells imagined his readers were complete morons he repeats things again and again. Every key point is thoroughly laboured.
The kindle version is probably much worse than the printed one because you have no idea when the torture will end. Seeing only a percentage indicator and enough waffle added to the front and end to fill a book in their own right, you have no way of guaging when your misery will end.
I would have given this 0 stars if Amazon would let me.
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Format: Hardcover
First off, the Hardcover version is brilliant. It's a nice edition and makes me look very intellectual on the journey home from school on the tram. I have no faults there.

The book itself is somewhat a book of two halves. It is a very well written book and contains a lot of great ideas. However the book is about 420 pages and for those wanting a straight up sci-fi novel, look elsewhere, for the first 100 odd pages, Wells recounts established History, and personally, having chosen to read the novel for utopian novel and as one who has studied early 20th Century International relations, I found it dragged a bit but once you get to about halfway through Book II, it's all pretty great there on in.

I found A Modern Utopia, his other discourse and proposition for a utopian society, unfocused but on reflection, enjoyed it a lot more than this one.

Overall it is enjoyable but I have enjoyed some of his other works much more and felt I it could have been a lot shorter, but this is all just my opinion...
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Format: Paperback
HG Wells has always been a bit of a guilty pleasure for myself, I've loved his War of the Worlds, I thoroughly enjoyed The Time Machine and have been entertained many a time by The Island of Dr Moreau. So when this title was rereleased in hardback by Gollancz, I felt it was time to reacquaint myself with this prolific author and to see what this title was about.

Whilst I hadn't read this book before I was wondering exactly what I was letting myself in for with this title from his later period of writing and whilst a number of events had an echo within our own history you can see the authors political views coming through quite strongly as well as his idealised version of society. It is well written, the characters engaging and the concepts discussed will generate quite a varied number of discussions amongst readers and whilst many feel that they can avoid reading this due to the films that have been released they don't do this title any real justice for the work that's within. Definitely a title that I'd suggest that you read once as it is not only the shape of things to come (at least genre wise) but a title that will have influenced a great many of today's writers who have taken Well's torch and carried it proudly.
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Format: Paperback
This is without doubt one of the major works of speculative fiction of the 20th century, and the fact that it is still so little known and so hard to get hold of is ample fuel for conspiracy theorists the world over - thank God, finally, there is a new edition! It presents itself as a history book written in the 22nd century, covering the previous 400 years; the rise and fall of capitalism and the establishment of a utopian world government. Whilst Wells' own communistic ideology shines through, it is nevertheless a reasoned, accessible attempt to discuss the geopolitical forces which shape our world and to debate the future of our species and our society. Wells is profoundly against the laissez-faire approach to social and political development, and argues for an intelligent, directed interventionism towards a more just and egalitarian future. It's possible to read this book as a counterargument to such dystopian classics as Zamyatin's "We", Huxley's "Brave New World", or Orwell's "1984", but at the same time it's hard to dismiss the suspicion that Wells' political and ideological enemies have happily buried this controversial and deeply thoughtful work whilst championing its "dark vision" contemporaries.

"The Shape of Things to Come" is profoundly anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and anti-corporate feudalist. It effortlessly exposes and deconstructs the cynical manipulations which drive world politics; in the age of the oil wars and the artificial enemy, it's more relevant than ever.

I would put this book on any O-level or A-level curriculum. I'd challenge any thinking person with hope for the future of our society to read this book and disagree. You might not agree with Wells, but you can't deny that this is a topic we should all be talking about.
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