Title: The Time Machine
Author: H. G. Wells
Genre: Fiction, Classic, Sci-Fi
Pub Date: This ed. Jan 2005, Barnes & Noble, orig. 1895
Hardcover, 83 pages
Book Source: Purchased from BN.com
From BN.com: The Time Machine, H. G. Wells’s first novel, is a tale of Darwinian evolution taken to its extreme. Its hero, a young scientist, travels 800,000 years into the future and discovers a dying earth populated by two strange humanoid species: the brutal Morlocks and the gentle but nearly helpless Eloi.
I always feel that one has to have a certain appreciation for classic literature, regardless of whether or not one actually likes it. I've been fortunate to read a lot of classic works that I have loved, and while The Time Machine may not be one of my favorite classics, it is certainly an impressive work of its time. Really, isn't any book that is still in publication over a hundred years after its first printing worthy of note?
The premise of this short novel is fascinating but at times I became so bogged down in the often-involved writing that I had difficulty getting into the story. At other points, the writing was markedly clearer and I found myself able to focus much more easily on the story. There is little to speak of in terms of characters and character development, but I will say Wells's presentation of the descendants of humankind certainly makes one pause to consider what might happen in the future. Wells leaves much open to the imagination and I really found myself trying to picture this distant future on Earth. Towards the end of the Time Traveller's 8-day trip in the future, events start to get pretty interesting as we are given a glimpse into how Wells pictured the end of the world. Really, these few pages were my favorite part of the story and I rather wish more time had been devoted to this, but at the same time I imagine Wells wanted to give readers food for thought. After the Time Traveller returned to his own time and told his story to an unbelieving audience, the story ends almost abruptly and leaving much to speculation.
I really appreciated what we see are the beginnings of Science Fiction. I can only imagine that as a debut work, The Time Machine must have created a bit of a stir at the end of the 19th century. It's interesting to see how people then pictured the distant future of the planet and the possible fate of humankind. This is a short book, at just over 80 pages, so even though it may become involved, it still doesn't take too long to read and gain a general understanding of what is going on. I definitely think it is worth reading as a Classic work, and a glimpse at the beginnings of Sci-Fi.
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