This may be source material for all the time travel stories that I read or watched. This was also adapted in films multiple times. The one that I watched was The Time Machine (2002). I can now see why, the original material is short. The film has to add more material to flesh out scenes and added characters. While I can see the enthusiasm of the Time Traveler, which was unnamed in the book, almost all characters are unrelatable. The story used first person point of view with which the point of view character not the Time Traveler. Because of this, the Time Traveler narrated his adventures instead and Wells used this to inject his social commentaries. I prefer “show” not “tell”. And I prefer my commentaries subtle, not out-there.
Overall, I still liked this book. Will definitely continue reading classics.
This review is reposted from my blog: https://promdigeek.blog/2017/09/18/review-the-time-machine-by-h-g-wells-1895/
I haven’t read HG Wells since I received a collection of his stories for my 16th birthday. Of course, what I mostly remembered was The Time Machine, and being fascinated by the Eloi and Morlocks but bored by the rest of it. This particular edition is an audio collection of 10 stories of various quality, including The Time Machine. I expected that my experience with TTM would be entirely different as an adult, but was surprised to find that once again, the section following the encounter with the Eloi and Morlocks was a snoozefest, this time with a little eyeroll over the giant crab things. The difference is that I felt a little sorry for the Morlocks this time around, rather than sharing the narrator’s visceral disgust. I was much more interested in the author’s theories regarding the evolutionary outcome of the current (late 1800s Britain) political, social, and economic climate. I wonder why it never occurred to him that the oppressed industrial workers would revolt and take over as the balance of power shifted with the ruling class becoming increasingly weak and ineffectual with indolence and soft living?
The remainder of the short stories were mostly entertaining. Standouts were The Country of the Blind, The Man Who Could Work Miracles, and The Flowering of the Strange Orchid. The Cone was satisfactorily gory.
Stories in this collection:
Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. This is the first time I’ve borrowed a book in the playaway format, and I didn’t like it. For one thing, I had to supply my own battery. For another, the rudimentary playing controls made navigating through the short stories somewhat difficult. And lastly, I’m just plain old spoiled by reading apps on my phone, and appalled by how quickly technology becomes obsolete. It wasn’t that long ago that we would have been delighted by an audio coming already loaded in a (sort of) portable digital format, rather than having to keep inserting the CDs into our heavy Sony Walkman/Discman.
Ralph Cosham provides a very good performance. His somehow old-fashioned stylings really fit the stories.
This was better than The War of the Worlds. H.G. Wells kept it short this time, so no overly long descriptions, though he's still allergic to giving his main characters names. The science is ridiculous, of course, but once you get past that this is a fun little story about the future of mankind, but there's not much else here than that.
I did see the Guy Pearce movie (OMG has that been 15 years ago already?!) and yikes, I can see why people who read and loved this novella hated the movie. It's not really anything like the story at all. Let me just express my appreciation that H.G. Wells realized that the ability to time travel is motivation enough for an inventor to build a time machine - no fridging of a girlfriend necessary. Take note, Hollywood: STOP FRIDGING WOMEN!
I will leave you will this thought:
The Time Machine is more an analysis of the society than it is a novel. The world in which the Time Traveler landed is quite weird and a bit crazy. I love how the Time Traveler is trying to explain everything he sees and how this society is organized. When he discovered how these "people" really live, he is kind of surprised and a bit scared. It was surprising to see that this author could think of this as a plausible future (well, not that much in a sense). Our interpretation of the future is really different from H.G. Wells' one. Because our fears are different than they were during his time, because we know how we are screwing up and what it may cause in the future.
It is a short book but not an easy one. The plot is quite simple to follow, but I guess I would have to read it at least 10 times to get everything he is trying to say.
Really enjoyed it, it was interesting.