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The Time Machine (Enriched Classics…

The Time Machine (Enriched Classics (Pocket)) (original 1895; edition 2011)

by H.G. Wells

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Title:The Time Machine (Enriched Classics (Pocket))
Authors:H.G. Wells
Info:Atria Books (2011), Kindle Edition, 180 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

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

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Showing 1-5 of 240 (next | show all)
H.G. Wells' The Time Machine -- I'm ashamed to admit -- is a book I never read until I hit the age of thirty five. It's rather short (barely over a hundred pages) and it's actually a story I've seen multiple times in movie format, so I've been familiar with things like the Eloi and Morlocks for decades now. All that said, I'm amazed by how interesting and different the story in the book is compared to any adaption I've been made aware of.

There's no plotline about the time traveler trying to save his dying wife, and the Eloi are described as small, child-like creatures who can barely communicate -- not normal-looking humans. And the Morlocks? They are described as terrifying and barely seen, not coming after the protagonist in well-lit caverns as seen on video. If I remember correctly, in one film adaptation I've watched, the Morlocks even had a sorcerer or something like that as the antagonist. Here, darkness is the ever-looming threat.

To me, the book is terrific, and shows how even a genius inventor can be absent-minded when it comes to "simple" things like safety and planning ahead, because he just assumed humanity and the Earth would turn out well. It's intellectual horror, and the penultimate chapter describing a world trapped in twilight, slowly dying, with a mysterious black-tentacled creature trying to survive on a snowy, cold beach where there aren't even the sound of waves ... well, that is an amazing scenario to contemplate.

I highly recommend The Time Machine. ( )
  minimalismscott | Mar 10, 2018 |
I read this one as a teen, but it's different, and, in some ways, better than I remember it. "The Time Machine" is, in some ways, an efficiently composed manly-man adventure story that comes complete with monsters, cool machines, and a beautiful, playfully sexual female companion. But in other ways you its a profoundly Modernist text that ably reflects the intellectual currents of its time. Both Darwin and Marx loom large here. Wells's take on human intelligence and endeavor seem directly drawn from the more muscular, violent interpretations of Darwinism: his deceptively peaceful future seems to contain a lesson about the necessity of struggle and suffering in human lives. Meanwhile, the future that the time traveler glimpses might also be described one of the possible fates that might, in the very long run, await a class-stratified society. I don't know too much about the author's politics -- though his character seems to have a low opinion of communism -- so it's hard for me to tell if this aspect of "The Time Machine" has more to do with socialist critique or the author's Englishness. Perhaps it's the latter: there's something about the Eloi, for all their tropical fruits and brightly colored robes, also reminded me of the sort of gently pastoral little folk you sometimes meet in British fantasy literature.

After that, the book gets really wild, as the time traveler rockets billions of years into a far future where Earth has become both uninhabitable and almost unrecognizable. The images that Wells presents here are both memorably bizarre and desolate, and it's here that the book really earns its place in the cannon of dystopian science fiction. Indeed, for all the future's beautiful novelty, loneliness seems to be the emotional chord struck most often here. From being the only man with any need of his wits among the Eloi to being the human left to witness an earth taken over by strange, monstrous creatures, to being the only man at his dinner party who really believes that he has traveled in time, the time traveler is very much by himself at almost every stage of this book. Recommended as both a well-written story and an artifact of sorts from another intellectual age. Be careful what you wish for, Wells seems to be telling his readers: human progress doesn't always come as advertised. ( )
  TheAmpersand | Feb 21, 2018 |
Another classic that I took too long to read...

I enjoyed this, but am glad (I think) that I read it after seeing the movie. The movie was nothing like this, and I could read the book and be pleasantly surprised at the differences, rather than watching the movie after knowing the book and being incredibly disappointed.

It is a product of its era, however, and does read in the literary fashion that is common in other classics. If you like that style - as I do, when I'm in the mood for it - then this is a good book to read. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | Jan 26, 2018 |
This classic sci-fi tale, was interesting, but I really didn't enjoy the writing style, or the delivery of the story told. The whole, time travelling to the end of the world was really cool, and I enjoyed the philosophical ideas discussed, but I just really didn't enjoy the whole telling aspect as opposed to showing. In some books, when a narrator starts telling you a story, it starts out as a telling, but then you become immersed in the tale as if you were there and it was happening right then and there - this wasn't the case in this book - it was just like sitting around and someone telling you about the time they time travelled. Which is all well and good - but not what I enjoy when I read a book.

I appreciate what this story is and did for modern science fiction, but in present day - it just wasn't very great. ( )
  jdifelice | Jan 20, 2018 |
Still very readable and not too long. From what I've heard it's also the first time travel story that has ever been written - though I kinda doubt it. But it might be the first book where someone builds a time machine, which is in itself pretty cool. ( )
  newcastlee | Dec 30, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (139 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wells, H. G.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian W.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arvan, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Auer, AlexandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bear Canyon CreativeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crofts, ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Michele, RossanaTranslatorsecondary 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
Pagetti, CarloIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parrinder, PatrickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Priestley, J. B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reney, AnnieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, MarinaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimmerman, WalterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

The Time Machine / The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine / The War of the Worlds / The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells

The War of the Worlds / The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

Complete Science Fiction Treasury of H. G. Wells by H. G. Wells

The treasury of science fiction classics by Harold W. Kuebler

The Time Machine / The Man Who Could Work Miracles by H. G. Wells

Has the (non-series) sequel

Has the adaptation


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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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:17 -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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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439971, 0141028955, 0143566431, 0141199342

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2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100771, 1400109094

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