The Dream

By H.G. Wells

Rating: 4 stars

Sarnac is a scientist in a distant, utopian future. At a critical point in his work, he needs a break so goes on holiday with his partner and some friends. After an excursion to a recently excavated site from the early 20th century, he is disturbed by the images he saw and falls into a deep sleep from which he awakes, hours later, having lived an entire lifetime in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as one Harry Mortimer Smith. This is the story of that life that he tells.

I really enjoyed this book, with its framing narrative of the utopian future that allows Wells to comment on and criticise his own present through alien eyes. Harry Mortimer Smith is an everyman, and through him, we, as well as Sarnac and his friends, can see the reality of life in the early 20th century.

Much of Sarnac’s incredulity about Smith’s time would stand just as valid about the early 21st century as well. We are still ridden with jealousy and self-doubt, often poorly educated and neurotic to the point where we appear not to care about our planet and our own lives and those around us. Wells’ cautionary tale is just as relevant to us as it was when it was published.

Book details

ISBN: 9780755103997
Publisher: House of Stratus
Year of publication: 1924

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