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Customer Review

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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