The Time Machine – H.G. Wells

Title: The Time Machine

Author: H.G. Wells

Publication Date: 1895

Review Score: 7/10

One night at a gathering at his house, a Victorian scientist tells his guests of how he has invented a time machine. Obviously no one believe the young man and so to try and prove that time travel is possible he first shows them a scale model of his machine which he sends into the future.

Still not convinced, the scientist invites the men to come to dinner again next week and once they are again all gathered he emerges from his laboratory, tired and dishevelled, ready to regale his guests with the story of his time travelling adventure.

The scientist then takes his guests, and the reader, on a journey into the future, to the year 802,701 AD, where he first discovers a peaceful, calm and beautiful society, where a small, simple elf like race of people, known as the Eloi, play all day and live in peace with each other.

This at first strikes the time traveller as a wonderful society, until he discovers a second branch of our once great humanity, that live underground, feed of human flesh and have hidden his time machine. The Morlocks are a disturbing, ape like race, which the time traveller must confront in order to secure his machine and get back to his own time.

Given that the time traveller himself is telling this story in his own dining room, after the events have occurred, we know from the outset that he must find a way to get back to the Victorian age. However, although this does at first take some of the drama out of the book you will soon find yourself so wrapped up in the tale of his adventure that it becomes a fleeting thought and does not stop you from experiencing the highs and lows of his journey.

What’s more, as with War of the Worlds and the Island of Doctor Moreau, Wells has been able to come up with remarkably original ideas in The Time Machine that are still ingenious by today’s standards, despite being written over 100 years ago.

As with his other novels I am surprised at how much he Wells able to fit into such a small book and my only wish is that it had continued for a second adventure, perhaps into the past or less distance into the future.

This is the 1 of 3 books H.G. Wells has on the 1,001 Books to Read Before you Die list and, in my opinion, they are all well deserving of their place. This is once again a fantastic read for anyone who loves Sci-Fi or just great storytelling.


Filed under Sci-Fi

2 responses to “The Time Machine – H.G. Wells

  1. I haven’t read this Wells, but I have enjoyed both War of the Worlds and The Island of Dr Moreau. I always find that his ideas are better than his actual story-telling, would you say this is true of The Time Machine as well?

    • Hi Sam,

      Yes I would agree with that to a point. His initial ideas are very good and sometimes the story doesn’t live up to this.

      However, I think a lot of this is because they have been made into films and glamourised, but if we had read these books 100 years ago when released I think the story would have blown the mind!

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

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