Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Time Machine

The Time Machine was my first book by H.G. Wells and I owe my discovery of this fantastic author to Nymeth, who in her recent review mentioned that it's available online here.

Reading this online has been a great way to use my coffee breaks and lunchtimes. I will definitely check out loads of the other classics available there when time allows.

The Time Machine itself was very enjoybale and I plan to read more by H.G. Wells. I've certainly always wanted to read War of the Worlds so that might be next. The story is told by an unnamed narrator who hears it told by a man known only as The Time Traveller. He is sceptical at first, but is convinced that time travel is possible by the end of the story.

And what a story! The Time Traveller travels to the year 802,701 and finds life on Earth very different from what he knows in his own time. The people are happy and peaceful and he assumes that this is the natural progression of intellect. I don't want to give away anything about the story, but obviously there are a few twists and surprises.

What I liked most about it is what I also liked about Lois Lowry's The Giver - the question of do we really want peace and quiet and order and what it will really look like once we achieve it.

I was also very impressed by how far ahead of his time H.G. Wells was. Even the chapters where he travels even further than 802,701 show are realistic. I hope not, but you never know, with the direction our planet is going in!

The books was published in 1895 and contains in it so much of early science fiction, but also astute social commentary and an understanding of the world and its people and how they fit together. Figuring out what 802,701 was really like took some knowledge of human nature and interaction.

Anyway, I loved The Time Machine - thanks Nymeth for the suggestion and for helping me discover online reading! :-)

Challenges: A-Z Challenge, 999 Challenge, Casual Classics, Decades 2009, New Authors

3 comments:

Nymeth said...

I'm so happy you enjoyed it! As well as the experience of reading it online. I should do that more often myself.

I like how you linked it to The Giver. I most definitely do want wars to end, but I wonder how happy humankind would be in a perfect world. What would we do without a common goal to strive for?

joanna said...

Nymeth - indeed. I'm not pro-war by any means, but I think that struggle and overcoming struggle is what makes human beings thrive and develop. In situations where there is nothing left to learn we stagnate. Now if natural development creates some sort of different intrinsic attitude in us then fine, but so far none of the utopian and dystopian ideas have appealed to me!

Trish said...

I just read Nymeth's review so now you both have me wanting to pick this one up! Maybe for the classics challenge...? I didn't like War of the Worlds as much as I had hoped, but it might have been timing.