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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 11 November 2016
It is chilling how well H G Wells predicts certain things, whilst others are distinctly quaint. The overall drive of the book, however, is as relevant today as it was when he wrote it. The Sleeper must awaken.
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on 19 June 2017
Great classic
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on 3 May 2017
very good
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on 22 January 2017
In my opinion not his best book. In terms of imagination its brilliant but it requires a lot of focus to read and for me personally it was hard to get into the narrative because of his descriptions using outdated language, obviously he was writing this nearly 100 years ago so you expect the language to be different but when you are trying to visualize an imaginary place, time and intricate machinery it doesnt help that the wording is unfamiliar as well.

Also there is a heavily racist under current at some points which put me off. Again i know it was a different time but still massively off putting.

I would say the invisible man, the island of dr moreau and DEFINITELY the time machine are much better.
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on 26 May 2012
Lately I have been reading a lot of early science fiction and classic books; things like H. G. Wells, Jules Verne etc. They offer great value and high quality reads compared to modern throwaway supermarket titles. They are also small enough to carry on the train to work (I'm looking at a pile of unread classics like Dumas!).

I read 'War of the Worlds', 'The Island of Doctor Moreau', 'The Invisible Man' and yearning for more Wells, picked this title up. I have never heard of it, which is a crying shame as it is an amazing read. Granted Wells updated the book some time in the 1920s, but his story of a future world is so far ahead of his time that I was dying to visit the place myself.

Aside from some slightly comical descriptions of 'future devices' that now seem dated, this book still holds a vision of the future that is perhaps more valid today than when Wells first wrote this book. I found it a thoroughly enjoyable read and Wells is possibly my favourite author from his period.

I recommend this book to anybody who is looking for an adventure told in a fantastic vision of how things may be in the future.
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Published in 1899, "The Sleeper Awakes" comes from Wells most creative and imaginative period of science fiction - the period which produced "The Time Machine", "The Invisible Man", "The War of the Worlds" and "The First Men in the Moon". "The Sleeper Awakes" deserves to be as well known and widely read as these others, as it is easily as good and, possibly, the most imaginative of this group. A man awakes from a 200 year coma and is immediately the centre of a popular revolution. And yet the Utopian society he seems to be at the heart of is not all it seems, and "the sleeper" must decide whether to continue living in a bubble of luxury, or to confront the dark side of the new society.

The picture Wells creates of the future society is remarkably Orwellian in tone and is well drawn. Wells is very prescient in his prediction of television, mass air transport and even the "Pleasure Cities" of Las Vegas and others. There are problems with Wells writing: he doesn't do characterisation very well, and he is not very good at building tension. There is also some clear racism in this book (though it is not clear if this is deliberate to highlight the contrast between Victorian society and the future, or whether it is inherent in the author). Overall though, this is essential reading for Wells fans; for anyone interested in the early development of sci-fi; and for interesting insights into late Victorian society. It easily ranks amongst the best of his early work.
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H. G. Wells is one of the pioneers of science fiction and probably one of the most influential authors of that genre. An argument can be made that almost any contemporary science fiction theme (alien invasion, time travel, biological manipulation, technology gone awry, dystopian future societies) can in one way or another be traced back to an H. G. Wells novel.

A big part of H. G. Wells' appeal, as is the case with all good science fiction, comes from the fact that the stories he wrote were not primarily (or even predominantly) designed to titillate with speculation of novel technologies, or space aliens, or any other sensationalist image. His stories explore many of out most fundamental desires and fears, and they all had a significant dose of social criticism. This is one of the main reasons why his stories are still read today and have for the most part aged remarkably well.

Nowhere is the fact of timelessness of Wells' fiction better illustrated than in "The Sleeper Awakes." This is a short novel about a nineteen century Englishman who falls in a deep sleep only to awake over two hundred years later. The World has changed beyond recognition, and "The Sleeper" finds himself in a remarkable predicament - he has become the owner of the entire planet. This state of affairs was made possible because no one really expected him to wake up, so for the most part his ownership of all the World's resources was thought only to be nominal. However, his awakening profoundly shakes this state of affairs, and he suddenly finds himself at the very center of revolutionary social upheavals and a struggle for the ultimate power. This struggle is the main focus of the larger part of the novel.

"The Sleeper Awakes" at a first sight seems to have some resemblance to Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving, but it is a much darker tale. (It is certainly a far cry from Woody Allen's ridiculous comedy adaptation "Sleeper"). Wells expects the future society on the one hand to be a very advanced and a highly desirable place to live, but it also has a much darker and more sinister side to it. This utopia/dystopia dichotomy is the source of tension in the novel, and it also provides very effective rationale for the plot advancement. The theme of sleeper has a lot of strong resonances with both Arthurian legends and the basic tenants of Christianity. It is to Wells' credit that he manages to tap into those subjects in a subtle way that its does not force itself on the reader. In fact, Wells' writing is overall of the very high quality. He was mindful to write good literature, and not just entertaining stories for mass consumption.

There are a few futuristic ideas in this novel that seem silly and naïve in retrospect, but they in no way detract from the main story. The reader should also be mindful of the fact that some of the attitudes that Wells exhibits in this novel might be considered bigoted today, but in this respect he was just a product of his own age. With these caveats in mind, "The Sleeper Awakes" is a very interesting and thought-provoking novel that should appeal to anyone who is interested in serious vintage science fiction.
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VINE VOICEon 4 October 2010
The premise is of a person who falls into a sleep that is more like suspended animation; who wakes up to find a future world far from his own memories. Society has changed and the decisions of his own family have had a major impact upon it.

The vision of the future world resembles today in that globilisation has brought the world together; however it is under one central leadership. The class structure is defined rigidly in the very working lives of all humanity. Social mobility seems impossible rather than unlikely.

The depth of the imagery painted by Wells is exquisite and he imagined many technologies before they came to be or were thought of. The revisions that he made to this text deepen the journey that Graham went on and capture his disassociation with all others.

Excellent and just as readable today as it surely was when it was written.
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on 1 September 2014
Incredible book. Interesting story and such an inside to today's world!! Amazing portrait of a society.
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on 7 January 2017
Okay, I know it is a classic and therefore doesn't need to pass the usual hurdles of being well written, well edited or engaging, but this book is tragically bad. I have read other classics by Wells and enjoyed them but I am only about three chapters from the end but can't force myself to read anymore.
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