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The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine (original 1895; edition 2011)

by H. G. Wells

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11,286225248 (3.71)657
Title:The Time Machine
Authors:H. G. Wells
Info:Project Gutenberg, ebook
Collections:Your library, ebook
Tags:1800s, avventura, eng, sci-fi, movie-tie-in

Work details

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

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1890s (5)
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English (217)  Spanish (4)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (225)
Showing 1-5 of 217 (next | show all)
For crying in the night! That's it?
The adventure ends and every bit of mystery remains a secret! At the height of intrigue, the story halts so abruptly my head is still spinning. I will not say it comes to an end because plainly there are chapters upon chapters more to be told! Where is the end? Where are the missing pages between the point where my eyes ran out of words and that sense of closure? This is a glorious job of storytelling! A book teeming with creativity! I want more!
Yes, the intent of Mr. Wells' work may have been to prove the folly of a class system that separates and oppresses. He points out in horrific fashion how the tables can drastically turn. And I grasp the message that trials and hardships do indeed compel the human race to seek greater knowledge, while total tranquility lends to stagnant lives and stupidity. Those points are made in the first excursion, but could not the story have continued with the same entrancing force simply for the sake of entertainment?
I'm left wanting to such a degree that I nearly hate the book as much as I love it!!!
  REGoodrich | Aug 10, 2016 |
Although this story was written in 1895 and one should Wells pay tribute about his vision of the future, the story do not grabbed me really. He described his landing in a country where there is only harmony and peace. At closer inspection there was still a shadow world. This should be the life of the rich and poor, which is not fully convinced me. He also flew in the distant future, where there were only giant crabs etc..
It is probably due to me that this book is not really one for me. ( )
  Ameise1 | Jul 9, 2016 |
I listened to this audiobook on librovox. This was such a great story! classic, timeless. it was action packed and enthralling and also dramatic and quite sad as well.
( )
  XoVictoryXo | May 31, 2016 |
It's been a long time since I read this; it might be the only one of Wells's 1890s scientific romances I didn't have cause to reread at some point during graduate school. But here I am at last, and I'm glad I did. It's depressingly easy, sometimes, to forget how brilliant H.G. Wells was during the 1890s. Not only does he invent the genre we now calls "science fiction" by looking at the stories around him (time travel narrative, utopian narrative, future-war narrative) and figuring out how they work and then outdoing them all,* and not only does he have a better grasp on what science actually is than all his contemporaries, but he's just a really good writer. Like, there's some seriously gripping stuff when the Time Traveller fights the Morlocks, and Wells's eye for detail is great. That final sequence, with the Time Traveller on the beach of the dying Earth under a dying son, is a haunting image that I have remembered since reading this book in childhood.

One thing that struck me this time out was the scale of it all, and how inconceivable it really is. The Time Traveller ends up in the year 802,701 A.D. We currently think that homo sapiens evolved around 200,000 years ago; in 1895, things were a little less certain, and some thought the species might go back to the Pliocene (which ended 2.5 million years ago) or even the Miocene (which ended over 5 million years ago). Still, the gap between the Time Traveller's native period and the future era he travels to is longer than recorded history-- and yet he's constantly trying to figure out how this future world descends from his contemporary society. That's ridiculous, but I'm pretty sure it's the Time Traveller's mistake, not Wells's. One mustn't overlook that this is a very mediated story (the narrator is telling us a tale that the Time Traveller told him, so our access to what actually happened is pretty distant). The Time Traveller is constantly projecting narratives onto events that turn out to be false, though he always thinks that this one that he's currently operating under, this one is right... up until it's proved wrong. He has little self-awareness; no matter how long he's among the Eloi, for example, he seems to keep expecting Weena to act like a human of his home era. Anyway, it's patently absurd to find an answer for the biological divisions of the year 802,701 in the class divisions of 1895; he wouldn't look for an answer to the problems of the Victorian era in the events of 798,912 B.C, and yet he does the opposite.

He can't help it: we like to impose our narrative on history, and many of our narratives are nationalistic. (And we see in The War of the Worlds and The War in the Air evidence of Wells's obsession with the dangers of nationalistic narratives.) I was reminded of "England, Long and Long Ago," a piece on geological history from an 1860 issue of All the Year Round. As you can tell from the title, it makes this history of geology a history of England, even though the time of the iguanodon was 125 million years ago, long before "England" has any meaningful existence. We impose our narratives on history, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the museum; there's an 1862 issue of All the Year Round that shows how the narrative of "England, Long and Long Ago" has been concretized in the form of "Owen's Museum." Of course, Wells shows how pointless this all is: when the Time Traveller goes to visit the museum to discover the story of the future, there's nothing for him there to discover. The museum is useless as a record of history, because 800,000 years is more than any human being or human institution can cope with. But the Time Traveller doesn't see this for what it is, and keeps trying to impose a familiar Victorian narrative on events that don't allow for it. But the fact that the span of evolutionary history wrecked this museum makes me think that Wells saw what his protagonist did not.

This, of course, raises the issue of what else Wells saw that the Time Traveller did not. I mentioned earlier that the narrator is always expecting the Eloi in the general and Weena in particular to act more human than they actually do. The touch of the Eloi he finds attractive; the touch of the Morlocks he finds repulsive. He sees the Morlocks as brutes and monsters, but it is the Eloi who do not tend their children, leaving them to fend for themselves. The Eloi are beautiful... but they have little else that convinces you of their humanity. Meanwhile, the Morlocks are cunning and possess intelligence and curiosity. But what if he's just projecting a narrative onto events again: the Eloi are beautiful and therefore good, while the Morlocks are hideous and therefore bad. Because of the influence of the George Pál film, no doubt, I always imagine that at the novel's end, the Time Traveller has returned to the future to help the Eloi make a go at it... But reading it this time, I started to wonder: What if he was backing the wrong side?

* Of course, Wells has to explain how his take is better than others'; the narrator specifically states that he has no guide in the future world, unlike in all those other utopian books you read.
1 vote Stevil2001 | Apr 15, 2016 |
Good solid time travel. Maybe the original serious science fiction time travel novel. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (141 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
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
Parrinder, PatrickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Priestley, J. B.Introductionsecondary 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

The Time Machine; The Island of Dr. Moreau; The Invisible Man; The First Men in the Moon; The Food of the Gods; In the Days of the Comet; The War of the Worlds 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

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

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439971, 0141028955, 0143566431, 0141199342

Coffeetown Press

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An edition of this book was published by McFarland.

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2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100771, 1400109094

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