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The Time Machine (Penguin Classics) by H.G.…

The Time Machine (Penguin Classics) (original 1895; edition 2005)

by H.G. Wells, Steve McLean (Editor), Patrick Parrinder (Editor), Marina Warner (Introduction)

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Title:The Time Machine (Penguin Classics)
Authors:H.G. Wells
Other authors:Steve McLean (Editor), Patrick Parrinder (Editor), Marina Warner (Introduction)
Info:Penguin Classics (2005), Paperback, 128 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (1895)

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Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
This a fun adventure with some cool ideas about the evolution (or should I say devolution) of intelligence. It??s a classic, so everyone should read it. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
A brilliant inventor creates the world’s first time machine. After explaining its inner-workings to guests of his weekly dinner parties, he arranges for a follow up meeting about a week later. When the group convenes, they find the scientist exhausted and weathered. After cleaning up and consuming a well deserved meal, he sits down to tell of his journey over 800,000 years into the future.

Damn, this book is old. In fact, I’m certain it is the oldest novel I've yet to read clocking in at one hundred and twenty one years since initial publication. Wells seemingly went to great lengths to explain to the reader how a theoretical time machine would operate and I often wondered if Wells had built one himself based on how detailed his explanations and theories were. It would certainly explain the theory that the author himself is the main character.

That isn't to say it’s too philosophical and technical, there is quite a bit of action and danger. The events in the future carried with it a constant sense of urgency. Whether the traveler is trying to understand his surroundings, avoid capture or trying to find his missing time machine, the action moved at a brisk pace. In fact, a memorable moment had the traveler racing forward in time, worrying that a pillar or some kind of concrete structure may now be erected in the spot he occupied when he initially began his journey. Would he become a part of the object when he slammed on the brakes or would his machine and body simply explode? The story would be a hell of a lot shorter if he ended up like Han Solo encased in carbonite.

While I enjoyed the world building and the spectacle of time travel, I found myself re-reading passages over and over again as I struggled with Wells’ writing. I’m sure prose like this was probably commonplace back in the late 1800s but it was a major hurdle for me in 2013. However, you probably don’t need my endorsement or recommendation, this book is certainly a classic that inspired generations of sci-fi writers - it’s just not something I think I’ll find myself picking up again.

Cross Posted @ Every Read Thing ( )
  branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
More punch than pages.

This tale is either a long short story or a novella(my copy contained 91 pages of text as well as introduction and notes) but it certainly packs a punch. What is remarkable is that this book was written in 1895 in a post-Darwinian era when survival of the fittest was the buzz word and when Victorian scientific and industrial development was at its height and went on to spark a whole new genre. Rather than mere ghost stories here was a book about scientific advancement with a social message. A kind of cautionary tale.

The book is in some respects like a three act play, with a dinner party at the beginning where traveler's theory of time as the fourth dimension is discussed complete with vanishing model, the journey itself and then another dinner party (a week later) where the traveler's experiences in the year 802,701 are discussed. The book is told in the frame of an oral narrative with one unnamed narrator mouthing the words of another named narrator. This ploy suggests that the narrator is more therefore reliable than the original giving the story more credence.

In the year 802,701 firstly meets the Eloi, descendants of modern man, who seemingly live an idyllic life of ease and without fear but the traveler soon becomes aware that the Eloi fear the dark and with justification for darkness is the realm of another race of man,the Morlocks. The Morlocks are the workers who have been forced to live in the darkness of underground and who prey on the Eloi. Now in Wells's mind the Eloi come to represent the elite in society who live increasingly a life of leisure whilst the Morlocks represent the masses, the working class. Whilst the elite become increasingly idle they also become less worldly whereas the Morlocks cut of from education, privilege etc finally due to sheer weight of numbers revert to their more baser attributes. Thus in the end the Eloi become rather like sheep to be grazed upon by the Morlocks whenever they see fit. Therefore, the book becomes a social commentary on man's ever more reliance on machine and as such still has a relevance in today's society perhaps even more so in our increasing reliance on robotics and the internet. I found it interesting that the traveler defeats the Morlorks with mere matches like some modern day Prometheus and when he returns to his own time his first desire seems to be for meat suggesting that mans' decline was somehow inevitable, this coupled with his continued journey forward in time when he saw earth's ultimate destruction in an uncaring universe. Like I said a book with a punch. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Apr 1, 2014 |
This book really wasn't for me, I had such a hard time getting into it, and it took me forever to finish. I pushed ahead though and finally did finish it, but I really didn't like it.

Full review on http://www.thebooktower.webs.com ( )
  bookish92 | Mar 20, 2014 |
This story is well told. I enjoyed the nineteenth-century atmosphere of the Time Traveler's gatherings with his friends and Well's description of how the dim light of the smoking room illuminated the people within it. Wells pays attention to detail without spilling over into tedium, and the main story, which tells of the protagonist's travels forward into the future, was gripping, so that I didn't want to put the book down. ( )
  Coffeehag | Mar 6, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (560 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
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
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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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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THE TIME MACHINE was written by H. G. Wells.
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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)

(see all 9 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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Nineteen 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

Coffeetown Press

An edition of this book was published by Coffeetown Press.

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An edition of this book was published by McFarland.

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