The Time Traveller embarks on an astonishing journey into the future. His Time Machine transports him to a far-distant but dying world where humanity is divided into two classes: the graceful, idle Eloi who inhabit the idyllic surface of the world, and the Morlocks, ugly nocturnal creatures who live and work underground. In The Time Machine, Wells created one of the first and finest science fiction stories: a social allegory that is both vivid and perturbing.
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
Published 1895 by William Heinemann
Format: paperback; 118 pages
Also By This Author: War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
When I was twelve or thirteen years old, I remember watching what was quite possibly my first ever live-action sci-fi movie. However, for years afterwards I could not remember the title, or the basic plot, or even the actors; I could only remember one scene that involved a beautiful, misfortunate lady in a red dress and a man determined to save her life. For years I longed to find this movie and watch it again. It bothered me like an itch I just couldn’t scratch, and I started to believe that I had dreamed the whole thing up.
Then one day, somehow, I stumbled across the movie The Time Machine. I probably picked it up for one of two reasons: Guy Pierce was on the cover, and it was about time travel. But then I watched it, and my heart filled up with excitement because at long last I had been reunited with THE movie!
Since then I have watched and re-watched The Time Machine multiple times, and I credit it as the movie that sparked my love for all-things time travel. But, until only recently, I had never actually read the novella that the movie is based on. H.G. Wells is often regarded as the father of Science Fiction, and The Time Machine is what originally brought him critical acclaim at the end of the 19th century. It was one of the first stories of its kind, and it propagated sub-genres of science fiction that remain wildly popular today.
The Time Machine is told through the narrator, known only as The Time Traveler. In the same manner Jules Verne, another pioneer of science fiction, introduced Phineas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days, H.G. Wells introduces The Time Traveler and his time machine by presenting them to a group of intelligent and skeptical peers. The majority of the novella is told as a recounting of The Time Traveler’s journey to the very distant future, when the human species has devolved into two opposing and rival species. The Eloi, which represents the consequences of mankind’s political and cultural aspirations, is a frail and indistinct group that has few interests or emotions in general. Their way of life is free from burden, work, or even relationships. The Morlock tribe, on the other hand, symbolizes the savage and industrial sides of mankind. They are completely nocturnal and reside underground, surfacing only at night to hunt.
The suspense in The Time Machine is incredibly thick and mystical. Even though, through Wells’s use of foreshadow, you know what is going to happen, you can’t help but become caught up in The Time Traveler’s journey to and escape from the future. The imagery of dying Earth and the fall of humanity is both fascinating and worrisome. When coupled with H. G. Wells’s technical voice, it’s easy to pretend you’re reading a memoir and not merely a science fiction novella.
Read This Book If…
…you appreciate both classics and science fiction.
…you are looking for a book that can be read in one sitting.
…you have a healthy imagination and sense of curiosity.
…you love stories about time travel and dystopian societies.
You May Also Enjoy…
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Does anybody else love the movie The Time Machine? Fun fact: it is directed by H. G. Well’s great-grandson.