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The Time Machine Paperback – December 8, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

First novel by H.G. Wells, published in book form in 1895. The novel is considered one of the earliest works of science fiction and the progenitor of the "time travel" subgenre. Wells advanced his social and political ideas in this narrative of a nameless Time Traveller who is hurtled into the year 802,701 by his elaborate ivory, crystal, and brass contraption. The world he finds is peopled by two races: the decadent Eloi, fluttery and useless, are dependent for food, clothing, and shelter on the simian subterranean Morlocks, who prey on them. The two races--whose names are borrowed from the Biblical Eli and Moloch--symbolize Wells's vision of the eventual result of unchecked capitalism: a neurasthenic upper class that would eventually be devoured by a proletariat driven to the depths. --The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

"This is undoubtedly the definitive edition of H.G. Wells s masterpiece, as fresh today in its imaginative power as the day it was written; but here refreshed by excellent introduction, notes and a comprehensive collection of appendices by Wells s contemporaries. The method could not be bettered." (Brian W. Aldiss, author of the Helliconia trilogy; Billion Year Spree: A History of Science Fiction and, most recently, White Mars: or, the Mind Set Free: A 21st-Century Utopia )

"This is an invaluable edition of a text with a crucial role in modern culture. Wielding his meticulous scholarship and wide-ranging knowledge, Ruddick produces a splendid introduction and a rich selection of contextual materials." (H. Bruce Franklin, author or War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination and Future Perfect: American Science Fiction of the Nineteenth Century )

"Ruddick offers a wide-ranging and stimulating Introduction to this generously documented edition of one of the great source texts of modern science fiction. General readers, students, and scholars will all be grateful for the comprehensive appendices, which provide a full selection of the scientific, philosophical, and cultural contexts out of which The Time Machine first emerged. This should be the scholarly edition for some time to come." (Douglas Barbour )

"The structure of Ruddick's book makes the complexity of The Time Machine easy to map, while the critical materials provide a basis for deep and detailed study. The impressive scholarship included ensures that it will remain a useful resource for teachers, essential for libraries and especially suitable for students or newcomers to Wells' canon." (Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts ) --Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts

"This is undoubtedly the definitive edition of H.G. Wells s masterpiece, as fresh today in its imaginative power as the day it was written; but here refreshed by excellent introduction, notes and a comprehensive collection of appendices by Wells s contemporaries. The method could not be bettered." (Brian W. Aldiss, author of the Helliconia trilogy; Billion Year Spree: A History of Science Fiction and, most recently, White Mars: or, the Mind Set Free: A 21st-Century Utopia )

"This is an invaluable edition of a text with a crucial role in modern culture. Wielding his meticulous scholarship and wide-ranging knowledge, Ruddick produces a splendid introduction and a rich selection of contextual materials." (H. Bruce Franklin, author or War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination and Future Perfect: American Science Fiction of the Nineteenth Century )

"Ruddick offers a wide-ranging and stimulating Introduction to this generously documented edition of one of the great source texts of modern science fiction. General readers, students, and scholars will all be grateful for the comprehensive appendices, which provide a full selection of the scientific, philosophical, and cultural contexts out of which The Time Machine first emerged. This should be the scholarly edition for some time to come." (Douglas Barbour )

"The structure of Ruddick's book makes the complexity of The Time Machine easy to map, while the critical materials provide a basis for deep and detailed study. The impressive scholarship included ensures that it will remain a useful resource for teachers, essential for libraries and especially suitable for students or newcomers to Wells' canon." (Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts ) --Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts

About the Author

H.G. Wells (1866–1946) was a professional writer and journalist who published more than a hundred books, including novels, histories, essays, and programs for world regeneration.
Marina Warner is a prize-winning writer of fiction, criticism, and history.
Steven McLean is secretary of the H. G. Wells Society.
Patrick Parrinder has written on H. G. Wells, science fiction, and James Joyce.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453767525
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453767528
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Debby on October 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
"A Perfect World Crumbles"
By: Cameron Wright

H. G. Wells, in his novella, The Time Machine, weaves a tale that at first seems like a simple science fiction. However, it contains many symbolisms about the lifestyle choices of mankind today. The main character's name is never given in the story; he is referred to as "The Time Traveler". He invents a machine that can travel back and forth throughout the fourth dimension of time. He successfully travels forward approximately eight-hundred thousand years into a time when humanity has been split into two groups: the Eloi and the Morlocks.

In the author's depicted future, mankind has undergone extreme favoritism of all living things. Plants, animals, food, etc, have all been winnowed into what is considered best. We act this way even in the present day. For instance, we decide which breed of dog is superior amongst the others and preserve and flourish these select. We feel that we have the right to judge and decide what has the right to exist and what does not. After eight-hundred thousand years of this practice, The Time Traveler has stumbled onto the result of a world with only "the perfect fruit" and the "the perfect animals". The Eloi live on the surface of our planet among those that have passed our critique.

The Time Traveler notices wells along the ground spread out from each other. For a time, he does not understand what they are. It seems too primitive that a well should exist in the future. He discovers that the wells lead to the underground world where the Morlocks live. The Morlocks act like slaves for the Eloi underneath the planet. They are only allowed to come onto the surface during the night. Earlier, the Time Traveler had noticed that the Eloi sleep in clumps huddled together during the night.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eric Noren on October 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
The book was written quite well, but slightly exaggerated in some aspects of the future world even considering the period of time in which the book was written.
The true appeal of the Time Machine and, perhaps, the reason it has remained a classic book is due to its precise nature. Before reading this book I had the idea of reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, little did I realize the language of that particular book was, rather verbose. The terms used seemed to have assumed the reader had knowledge of nautical terms and language as well as knowledge of particular works of the era whereas The Time Machine required none of these things.
Within the book H.G. Wells discusses this idea that time is the fourth dimension, yet he explains it in such simple terms no one needs prior knowledge of such scientific principles. Using easily understood language and understandable concepts H.G. Wells portrays the story of a Time Traveller with clear-cut language. Save for a little bit of exaggeration on the part of the Eloi and the Morlocks, the story was quite well-written. No fandom of Science-Fiction required!
For any story the ending is the most paramount and this can be seen no better than in The Time Machine. The story itself is engaging, but the ending is what makes the book. Everything becomes clear in those last two chapters. I'd recommend this book to just about anyone.The preciseness is what makes The Time Machine a classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MAC on March 11, 2015
Format: Paperback
I have heard great things about this book from others, and I must say, it did live up to all the hype. It is a slow read at first, but once you dive into the book, and travel through time with the Time Traveler, you will be unable to put the book down. Your heart will race sporadically along with his as he finds love, and escapes the frightening cannibalistic Morlocks. This book will make you question what will become of Earth after we die, and it will make you question our society's need for progression. This book recounts the Time Traveler's adventure through time, and will make you question where all your time went while being engrossed on the book. It is a must read, and a high-valued Classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Torres on March 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
H.G. Wells introduced the concept of time travel in literature, and this book is nothing short of magnificent. I only wish it was longer. I wanted to hear more about the protagonist's theories on time travel and more about how he came up with the idea for the machine. I wanted to know more about the worlds he saw after the first one, in which 95% of the story takes place. I wanted questions about that world answered. Like so many others who read this book, I couldn't get enough. This book is a treasure to be cherished.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dione Basseri on April 23, 2015
Format: Paperback
A classic of what would one day become known as "steampunk" literature. An unnamed Time Traveller heads thousands of years into the future to find humanity split into two factions: the idle and kind Eloi, and the industrious but evil Morlocks. All with some good old-fashioned Victorian racism! Because of COURSE the Morlocks are descendants of the working class, driven to work and act in a violent manner, while the upper class is refined and innocent.

Really, it was the end of the novel I liked the most (and not because it was ending). The next journeys, further forward in time, are intriguing, if not scientifically likely, based on current knowledge. Humanity and almost all animal life is gone by the first jump, with just lichen, crabs, and butterflies. As he jumps further and further, even those die off, until the Earth becomes a lifeless husk watched over by an enormous red sun.

It's stark, but beautiful. The Time Traveller now knows that there is, in effect, no future. And so he returns to the past, never to be seen again.

It has its flaws (that racism thing), but overall, it's an interesting story. And, since it's available free online both as an ebook and an audiobook (on Librivox), there's no risk, other than your time, to checking out this book.
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