#Bookreview – The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

book reviews

What Amazon says

“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 his 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.

My review

The Time Machine, even on the face of it, is an extraordinary story, particularly if you consider the time when it was written. The book is narrated by a third party who tells of the Time Travelers wonderful invention of a machine that can travel through time and of his experiences, travelling into the future.

The books starts with the Time Traveler explaining his theories of time travel to friends and others whom he has invited to a dinner party. He demonstrates his theories using a miniature time machine that he has built and tells them that he is nearly finished building a full sized one. The attendees of the dinner are most circumspect although they recognise the Time Travelers superior intelligence. His audience come across as slightly suspicious of the Time Traveler and it seems they think he is far to clever for his own, or anyone else’s, good and that he might be tricking them. The narrator reveals that he has pranked his friends in the past.

He is quite genuine though and does manage to travel far into the distant future on his machine. He discovers a world that appears to be on the decline, that is inhabited by beautiful, almost doll-like people, who demonstrate the behavior and intelligence of children. The Time Traveler, who is an intellectual snob, finds this very difficult to understand and speculates at length about why the intelligence and innovation of mankind has eroded so significantly. He initially comes to believe it is because the Eloi have evolved over time to have a perfect life, completely free of any sort of threats. The climate is lovely and temperate, there is plenty of delicious fruit to feed them and, as a result, they do not need to develop their brains in order to deal with adversity and to improve their chances of survival.

Soon after the Time Travelers arrival in this future world, his time machine is removed and hidden. He quickly works out where it must be stowed but he can’t understand the circumstances around the theft. As time passes, he soon realises that everything is not quite as it seems in this paradise. There is a threat and it is more horrible than the Time Traveler could have ever believed.

I already knew the basic story of The Time Machine before I re-read this book recently. The story is fascinating but I was most intrigued by H.G. Wells interesting analysis of human intelligence, how it develops and how it could decline. He also makes acute and accurate observation about societies and how the interaction between the employers and the employees could play out over time. There are some conveniences in the book which a reader quickly identifies, but for me, they did not detract from my delight and interest in this great story.

Purchase The Time Machine

29 thoughts on “#Bookreview – The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

  1. I can’t remember how long ago I read this book. I remember enjoying it but forgot the details. I’m going to have to reread it, too. Great review:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I saw the movie a long time ago, Mae. I remember the basic storyline but no details. I remembered the Morlocks as being scary and horrible. The book was much better. Such interesting ideas and details about the future of societies and the development of the human intellect.


  2. Lately I have been on binge reading of classics. I have knopw about this author and book, but it never reallhy called me. Now, after reading this review, I will be ordering my copy from Amazon. Great review. You succeeded in selling me on it.


  3. I read this again recently on my Kindle. I was interested in the fact we go so far into the future and it is not impossible that we develop into such different species, after all, many of us are cosseted in modern life without the knowledge to create the technology we need. But I did not enjoy the novel as much as I remembered. I think the bicycle jarred. Couldn’t Wells have thought of something a little more spophisticated – none of us know if time travel could work, so we can make it up without proving the science – I do in my novel and short stories! The poor man would be dead sitting on his bicycle, exposed to time and temperature changes, not to mention lack of oxygen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all enjoy different things in books and Wells did live in a much less sophisticated time than we do. I enjoyed the book for its philosophical aspects and I do believe that our technological progress may be the very thing that dumbs us down in the long run.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I will post a review in due course. No, I don’t like it. It is very long winded and a bit preachy and there is not detail about how the scientist created the being or gave it life. I was expecting juicy grave robbing and electric currents but there is nothing like that.

          Liked by 1 person

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