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The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine (1895)

by H. G. Wells

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Recently added byElfwineD, angelista, dwazir, Ludmila.Smirnova, Colonino, private library, TheDalton, mbookshelf, ZombiePenguin65
Legacy LibrariesEvelyn Waugh
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    sturlington: The Time Ships is a sequel to The Time Machine.
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    quigui: I found the aliens on Rocannon's world reminiscent of the future species in the Time Machine. And although there is not actual time travel involved in Rocannon's World, there is a time lapse difference due to space travel at near light speed.
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» See also 542 mentions

English (183)  Spanish (3)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (189)
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
It's a pretty weird story basically expressing commentary on class warfare or something. I'm not sure I agree with the message, but it makes you think. ( )
  krista.rutherford | Aug 10, 2014 |
So, what sort of story is The Time Machine. It's most often called a Science Fiction story. That's generally where it's kept in the library as well (unless it's in the Classics section, or the library interfiles everything and it's just in Fiction). But I Think that calling it just a Science Fiction novel is way too limiting for what's actually a grand novella.

The plot is that there is a 'Time Traveler' who has a group of other men that sit and talk together once a week, probably on the grand themes of the time, which I guess they did back then. So, one week the Time Traveler tells the group that he's built a Time Machine. The next (and this takes up most of the novel) thing he does is tell them the story of his adventure 800,000 years plus in the future.

That's all very Sci Fi, what isn't is that in the future there's a bit of a romance subplot, as well as a whole ton and a half of philosophical ideas and conversation in it as well.

It did take me a bit of reading before I got used to the cadence of the story, got used to HG's voice, but then that faded into the background and the story came alive like only a few authors these days can do.

All in all I would call the piece of classic literature worthy of the title 'Classic' and much, much, more than just a great Sci Fi story, but an amazing story period. ( )
  DanieXJ | Jul 22, 2014 |
Six-word review: Time traveling into my own past.

Extended review:

I've just reread The Time Machine, one of a little batch of free titles I picked up for my new Kindle.

Most of those public-domain freebies are things I've read before, long ago, as a teenager--in school (The Scarlet Letter), or in a 25-cent paperback (this one--The Time Machine), or in a faithfully adapted Classics Illustrated edition (The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man). Wells's ground-breaking story of time travel was one I read over and over as a youngster, transfixed and fascinated every time.

I must admit that the magic has faded a little bit by now. Not only have I read quantities of fiction published in the fifty years since then, much of it building on those nineteenth-century foundations (and making them seem very primitive), but I've been jaded by decades of spectacular special effects in movies--and, of course, by the real drama of unforeseen advances in technology.

Nonetheless, I was able to let myself slip into the right mood and go with it, dated style and conventions notwithstanding, and I found that some of the old wonder and thrill was still there.

Wells uses the common nineteenth-century device of telling a story second hand: a nameless narrator reports the fantastic tale told by someone else, together with his observations of and comments on the storyteller. This allows him to skirt questions of veracity, to speculate on missing details, and to supply an ending. At a time before radio, television, and video technology provided household entertainment, storytelling and reading aloud were popular diversions, and so this format lent familiarity and verisimilitude.

Wells's imagined world of nearly eight hundred thousand years into the future doesn't have to be believable in order to be vivid and affecting. The decay of civilization, the decline of humanity into a symbiotic pairing of opposites, and the poignant retrospective view on remnants of our time as obsolete museum pieces are depicted with intelligence and feeling. As he places hypothetical responsibility for those developments on the hubris and the very perceived strengths of his own time and culture, Wells delivers social commentary meant to give his own contemporaries pause for thought.

I enjoyed the story on its own merits, an adventure in an alien society and landscape, full of charm and menace, as well as one that deserves a monument in the history of modern fiction. I also enjoyed it for sentimental reasons. I hope there are still some young folk today who can read a novel like this and see it as a representative of the early youth of the genre, without disparaging it for its naivete and inexperience. ( )
  Meredy | Jul 22, 2014 |
While The Time Machine’s plot is pretty quick moving and interesting, and the world that Wells creates is intriguing, the book as a whole suffers from the same problems that I think most H.G. Wells novels suffer from. The characters are anonymous to the point of being uninteresting.

“The time traveler” himself doesn’t even get a name, let alone much of a backstory. The narrator of the frame story refers to other characters as “Mr. ____” or “the editor” and provides no other characterizations. There’s a mysterious character who appears the night that the time traveler returns and tells his tale, but it’s never revealed who he is or why he’s important.

This is an attribute of a lot of science fiction, especially written in this era. But I find it very difficult to understand a character’s motivations when the author provides no information about how they have come to the world—what they’ve seen before and how they might interpret the situations before them. The author develops a robust environment, but crucial details of it get lost when the reader can’t understand the main character’s train of thought.

Also, and again like Wells’s other works I’ve read, the characters have an intolerably English-white-male-centric view of the world. From the little I know about Wells as a person, I understand that he was quite progressive for his time. But his nameless, featureless characters who travel to exotic and fantastic worlds with entirely different species and culture can only interpret things from the most basic, stereotypical, privileged viewpoint imaginable.

All that said, The Time Machine contains some really interesting ideas. Even if the time traveler’s motivations aren’t always decipherable, his actions are entertaining, his descriptions are vivid, and his fear feels real. The reader is drawn into the mystery of the futuristic world he encounters and saddened to realize the horrible truth behind it.

But for my taste, unique concepts and plotlines aren’t enough to sustain a novel. ( )
  JLSmither | Jul 16, 2014 |
I think, of all of the Wells stories I've read, this is the one that was the hardest for me to get through. I wasn't very impressed with it.

I have to give it props, however, because he is one of the founders of the science-fiction genre, and so I must recognize that what is in his book was really revolutionary at the time. Even if now, it doesn't seem as big of a deal.

( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (771 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wells, H. G.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian W.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arvan, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bear Canyon CreativeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crofts, ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Michele, RossanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hinkleman, Cindy JoProduction coordinatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, GwynethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, Paul E.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayes, BernardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McLean, StevenNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mugnaini, JosephIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oliva , RenatoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Priestley, J. B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raffin, DeborahExecutive producer & directorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Silverman, KarenProduction managersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viner, MichaelExecutive producersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimmerman, WalterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us.
It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble.
Strength is the outcome of need; security sets a premium on feebleness.
Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is no change and no need of change. Only those animals partake of intelligence that have to meet a huge variety of needs and dangers.
I grieved to think how brief the dream of the human intellect had been. It had committed suicide. It had set itself steadfastly towards comfort and ease, a balanced society with security and permanency as its watchword, it had attained its hopes—to come to this at last. Once, life and property must have reached almost absolute safety. The rich had been assured of his wealth and comfort, the toiler assured of his life and work. No doubt in that perfect world there had been no unemployed problem, no social question left unsolved. And a great quiet had followed.
He, I know—for the question had been discussed among us long before the Time Machine was made—thought but cheerlessly of the Advancement of Mankind, and saw in the growing pile of civilisation only a foolish heaping that must inevitably fall back upon and destroy its makers in the end. If that is so, it remains for us to live as though it were not so.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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THE TIME MACHINE was written by H. G. Wells.
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Book description
When a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year a.d. 802,701, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment, and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realizes that these beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture—now weak and childishly afraid of the dark. They have every reason to be afraid: in deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity—the sinister Morlocks. And when the scientist’s time machine vanishes, it becomes clear he must search these tunnels if he is ever to return to his own era.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451528557, Mass Market Paperback)

“I’ve had a most amazing time....”


So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him the reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes...and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth.  There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well.  Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.


(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:41 -0400)

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The first and greatest portrayal of time travel is printed with a newly established text, a full biographical essay on Wells, a list of further reading, and detailed notes.

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22 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Four editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439971, 0141028955, 0143566431, 0141199342

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