The Time Machine

By H.G. Wells

Rating: 4 stars

One of the great classics of SF, this remains a gripping and moving novel. The unnamed Time Traveller tells his story of his visit to the far future in a style that still feels eminently readable. The future he visits is, upon first glance, a Utopia, but it hides many secrets. The Eloi who live in what appears to be a Garden of Eden have lost the intelligence and cutting edge that made the Human race masters of the Earth. The Morlocks who live underground, tending the machines have devolved into cannibalistic monsters, the serpent in this Eden.

Wells has extrapolated his (and our) society to the nth degree and yet it’s plausible enough to be uncomfortable. Wells’ musings on the future of society are interesting but never get in the way of the story, which is well-paced and easy to read.

Aside: It’s mildly amusing to think that if someone left the house today with the stuff that the Time Traveller (or indeed, any hero of a book written up to the second half of the last century) carried routinely, matches, pocket knife etc, he’d probably be regarded with great suspicion.

Book details

Publisher: Signet Classics
Year of publication: 1895

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