HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells
Loading...

The First Men in the Moon (1901)

by H. G. Wells

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,352225,695 (3.59)74
  1. 10
    A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Two early 20th century works of speculation on extraterrestrial life from two of the great unfettered imaginations of English-language literature.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 74 mentions

English (21)  Danish (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Mr Bedford's life isn't going as he planned and, after losing the majority of his money in ill-advised investments and ventures, he moves to the quiet village of Lympne so he can work on writing a play in peace. His productivity is short lived and Bedford soon meets an eccentric inventor called Mr Carvor. The two become fast friends and Bedford is quickly caught up in Cavor's research to create a substance that negates the pull of gravity!

Cavorite, as it is called, is not only possible, but can be produced! The two form a plan to use the substance on a ship and set their sights on exploring the most isolated place mankind is able to reach - the Moon. Expecting the satellite to be barren and desolate, the two are unprepared for what they find there. The Moon is teeming with life and is controlled utterly by the Selenites! Their race is strange and polymorphic; inventive and efficient. The Selenites are as amazed at finding Bedford and Cavor as the pair are at finding an alien race, and are loath to let them travel the Moon's surface freely . . .

The Good
The First Men in the Moon was on of my favourite stories when I was growing up and rereading the book was very nostalgic! It was as imaginative and gripping as I remembered and I found the book extremely difficult to put down! It's a fast read, being full of twists, turns and unlikely events that made it very hard to predict.

Wells has also managed to capture a very sincere look at British gentility and I thought the book read almost like a period piece for the early 1900's. British culture and politeness was in full swing and I really enjoyed reading about how the characters employed this in their thought processes and as justifications for their actions.

The descriptions of the Moon itself is also extremely interesting and fun to read about, being completely novel. Wells' concept of a completely hollow world is something that not many authors have explored so thoroughly and he has really gone all out in explaining how such a world can function and support life.

The Bad
I have very little to fault with The First Men in the Moon, and found it to be aptly paced and gripping!

My Thoughts
Many people consider the The First Men in the Moon as classic work of science fiction and I'm inclined to agree. It's extremely imaginative, enjoyable to read and will stay with you for a long time after you've finished it and put it to one side. What's also good about the book is it's age and it's now in the public domain. This means that there are dozens of free (or extremely cheap) versions of the novel available on retailers like Amazon so there's absolutely no excuse to neglect reading it! ( )
  TaylorPDavidson | Nov 1, 2014 |
The Science Fiction elements of this story are somewhat dated. The notion of a virtually hollow Moon and a substance that is opaque to gravity's "rays" both ring, today, less like science fiction and more like fantasy. The truly wonderful thing about these older SF works (Verne, Wells, even Capek), however, is that as they age they attain this additional status as artifacts of an era and its expectations. The fact that the mechanism by which Cavor and Bedford travel to the Moon is, today, patently absurd is fascinating rather than detracting from the work. To see what seemed possible at that time and turns out not to be is as interesting as the instances in which these visionaries got it right.

Then again, Wells was never quite so concerned with making his stories plausible as Verne generally was. The essence of Wells's stories is, rather, thinly veiled social commentary (for instance on social stratification in The Time Machine). Here, Cavor's transmissions toward the end are a priceless example and the weird eyes of the Grand Lunar a terrific lens through which to see ourselves. Also of note in this story is the extent of detail he put toward the physiology of his alien race and how it relates to social structure. Finally, I can't say enough for the character work. The trope of the unreliable narrator is exquisitely employed. Bedford's annotation on Cavor's transmissions and the ways in which they contradict the version he put forward when he thought no one could question it is the sort of thing Nabokov might have written. ( )
  CGlanovsky | Jan 7, 2014 |
A sort of Trip to the Moon meets First Contact story. Amazing to think it was written in 1901. It was probably hard SF of its day and even now sounds very plausible in its ideas except obviously for life on the moon. ( )
  jerhogan | May 4, 2013 |
Rereading H.G. Wells has been quite an experience. When I first read this one, I remember, I was most impressed by the adventure story. This time around, 45 years later, I was struck by Wells' humor. There were times I almost laughed out loud while reading, a reaction not to the pseudo-science but to Wells deft handling of social satire and irony. A very good read. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
This was decent, but it didn't hold me. I'm trying to give various classic scifi authors a try, though. Is there a Wells anyone recommends?
  amaraduende | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
H. G. Wellsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McLean, StevenNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
As I sit down to write here amidst the shadows of vineleaves under the blue sky of southern Italy it comes to me with a certain quality of astonishment that my participation in these amazing adventures of Mr. Cavor was, after all, the outcome of the purest accident.
Quotations
So utterly at variance is destiny with all the little plans of men.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells. It should not be combined with any abridgement, adaptation, omnibus containing additional works, etc.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141441089, Paperback)

When penniless businessman Mr. Bedford retreats to the Kent coast to write a play, he meets by chance the brilliant Dr. Cavor, an absentminded scientist on the brink of developing a material that blocks gravity. Cavor soon succeeds in his experiments, only to tell a stunned Bedford that the invention makes possible one of the oldest dreams of humanity: a journey to the moon. With Bedford motivated by money, and Cavor by the desire for knowledge, the two embark on the expedition. But neither are prepared for what they find—a world of freezing nights, boiling days, and sinister alien life, in which they may be trapped forever.

First time in Penguin Classics
Includes a newly established text, a full biographical essay on Wells, suggestions for further reading, and detailed notes

 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:05 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"When penniless businessman Mr Bedford retreats to the Kent coast to write a play, he meets by chance the brilliant Dr Cavor, an absent-minded scientist on the brink of developing a material that blocks gravity. Cavor soon succeeds in his experiments, only to tell a stunned Bedford the invention makes possible one of the oldest dreams of humanity: a journey to the moon. With Bedford motivated by money and Cavor by the desire for knowledge, the two embark on the expedition. But neither are prepared for what they find - a world of freezing nights, boiling days and sinister alien life, on which they may be trapped forever."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.59)
0.5
1 3
1.5 1
2 13
2.5 8
3 53
3.5 9
4 64
4.5 8
5 27

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

McFarland

An edition of this book was published by McFarland.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 94,390,270 books! | Top bar: Always visible