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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest books I've ever read--get this edition!
When I tried reading this book as a child many, many years ago, some of the "big" words and allusions made it hard going, and I never completed it then. Finally, about fifteen years ago I did read it through, but still was missing something. Then, a few weeks ago, I got this edition, after having enjoyed the Penguin edition of "The War of the Worlds" with its...
Published on July 25, 2005 by Polymath

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brutal formatting
I found this book somewhat awkward to read. The story was easy enough to follow, but it was written from the perspective of one man writing down the speech of another. 90% of the book is one run-on speech so every paragraph opens with a quotation. Combined with the god-awful formatting of this Kindle edition, it made this feel very awkward. Beyond this, I found the...
Published on March 3, 2011 by The Tool Man


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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest books I've ever read--get this edition!, July 25, 2005
By 
Polymath (Ithaca NY USA) - See all my reviews
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When I tried reading this book as a child many, many years ago, some of the "big" words and allusions made it hard going, and I never completed it then. Finally, about fifteen years ago I did read it through, but still was missing something. Then, a few weeks ago, I got this edition, after having enjoyed the Penguin edition of "The War of the Worlds" with its annotations and map. Well, the annotations in this edition (about four pages worth as endnotes) of "The Time Machine" cleared away whatever fuzz remained, and I was completely overcome by the greatness of the book, great from whatever way I looked at it: plot, speculation, characters, "sense of wonder", even throw away humor were all topnotch. I couldn't believe what I'd been missing. A few days later, I read another editon of the book that didn't have notes, and had no trouble following that version. I plan to reread the book again shortly. So if you've had difficulty reading "The Time Machine" for some of the reasons mentioned above, get this version pronto and find out what a true classic is.
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127 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Classic, July 14, 2001
It goes without saying that this book is a science fiction classic in every sense of the word and that H.G. Wells was a founding father of the genre. This book proves that science fiction does not necessarily need to be heavily technical but does need to deal with grand themes such as the nature of society; man's hopes, dreams, and fears; and the very humanity of man. Wells does not go to great lengths in describing the time machine nor how it works. He lays the foundation of the story in science and then proceeds with his somewhat moralistic and certainly socially conscious story. This makes his writing much more enjoyable than that of a Jules Verne, who liked to fill up pages with scientific and highly technical nomenclature. One of the more striking aspects of the novel is Wells' treatment of the actual experience of time travel--moving in time is not like opening and walking through a door. There are physical and emotional aspects of the time travel process--in fact, some of the most descriptive passages in the book are those describing what the Time Traveler experiences and sees during his time shifts.
Basically, Wells is posing the question of What will man be like in the distant future? His answer is quite unlike any kind of scenario that modern readers, schooled on Star Wars, Star Trek, and the like, would come up with. He gives birth to a simple and tragic society made up of the Eloi and the Morlocks. In contrasting these two groups, he offers a critique of sorts of men in his own time. Clearly, he is worried about the gap between the rich and the poor widening in his own world and is warning his readers of the dangers posed by such a growing rift. It is most interesting to see how the Time Traveler's views of the future change over the course of his stay there. At first, he basically thinks that the Morlocks, stuck underground, have been forced to do all the work of man while the Eloi on the surface play and dance around in perpetual leisure. Later, he realizes that the truth is more complicated than that. The whole book seems to be a warning against scientific omniscience and communal living. The future human society that the Time Traveler finds is supposedly ideal--free of disease, wars, discrimination, intensive labor, poverty, etc. However, the great works of man have been lost--architectural, scientific, philosophical, literary, etc.--and human beings have basically become children, each one dressing, looking, and acting the same. The time traveler opines that the loss of conflict and change that came in the wake of society's elimination of health, political, and social issues served to stagnate mankind. Without conflict, there is no achievement, and mankind atrophies both mentally and physically.
This basic message of the novel is more than applicable today. While it is paramount that we continue to research and discover new scientific facts about ourselves and the world, we must not come to view science as a religion that can ultimately recreate the earth as an immense garden of Eden. Knowledge itself is far less important than the healthy pursuit of that knowledge. Man's greatness lies in his ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Speaking only for myself, I think this novel points out the dangerousness of Communism and points to the importance of individualism--if you engineer a society in which every person is "the same" and "equal," then you have doomed that society.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Past and present masterpiece, November 11, 2000
This is the little number that started it all. For the English-speaking world (some translations of Verne possibly aside), science fiction begins with the four brief, brilliant novels published by H G Wells in the 1890s. The War of the Worlds is a still-unsurpassed alien invasion story; The Invisible Man one of the first world-dominating mad scientist tales; and The Island of Dr Moreau a splendidly misanthropic story of artificial evolution and genetic modification. But The Time Machine came first, launching Wells' career in literature; and, after just over a century, there still isn't anything nearly like it. A Victorian inventor travels to the year 802701, where the class divisions of Wells' day have evolved two distinct human races: the helpless, childlike and luxurious Eloi and the monstrous, mechanically adept and subterranean Morlocks. Predictably, the film version turned them into the usual Good Guys and Bad Guys, though it's still worth seeing, particularly for its conception of the Time Machine itself - a splendid piece of Victorian gadgetry. The book, despite its sociological-satirical premise, is rather more complex in its treatment of the opposed races, and the Time Traveller's voyage ends, not with them, but still further in the future, with images of a dead sun and a dark earth populated only by scuttling, indefinite shadows. As in the other three novels, too, the premise of the story is carefully worked out and clearly explained - a discipline largely beyond science fiction today, in which time travel, invading aliens or whatever are simply taken for granted as convenient genre props and automatic thought-nullifiers. After more than a century, The Time Machine is still waiting for the rest of us to catch up.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I saw the Rod Taylor movie first. The book difference was a surprise., December 26, 2009
This review is from: The Time Machine (Kindle Edition)
An unnamed time traveler sees the future of man (802,701 A.D.) and then the inevitable future of the world. He tells his tale in detail.

I grew up on the Rod Taylor /George Pal movie. When I started the book I expected it to be slightly different with a tad more complexity as with most book/movie relationships. I was surprised to find the reason for the breakup of species (Morlock and Eloi) was class Vs atomic (in later movie versions it was political). I could live with that but to find that some little pink thing replaced Yvette Mimieux was too munch.

After al the surprises we can look at the story as unique in its time, first published in 1895, yet the message is timeless. The writing and timing could not have been better. And the ending was certainly appropriate for the world that he describes. Possibly if the story were written today the species division would be based on eugenics.

The Time Machine Starring: Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux

Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human L
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!, August 2, 2008
By 
LexiJane (New Market, MD) - See all my reviews
As I stated in my other reviews, I normally don't enjoy science fiction novels; this book I had to read for school. As I read what I expected to be a boring and unentertaining novel, my opinion changed, and I became more open to enjoying the story. I found that it was an enchanting novel that no one should pass up. H. G. Wells made the story come alive and he made the setting, set in the future, somewhere you feel could possibly exist as his descriptions are so vivid and his wording fanominal. Read this story and your beliefs on time travel and the way earth will turn out in the future will change. H.G. Wells gives you somthing to ponder while you enjoy the sentences that flow together like the river he describes. H.G. Wells makes an unknown world seem familiar and is an expert in his proffesion. I guaranty this book will send powerful astonishment and awe up and through your mind.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am a Morlock, April 17, 2001
By 
Mummraa (Galesburg, IL United States) - See all my reviews
Mr. Wells is a fine writer. However, as I read, curled up in my favorite armchair with a cup of tea and a slice of Eloi-pie, I cannot help but feel saddened at his stereotyped and ignorant portrayal of my noble race. The Morlocks are not, as Mr. Wells seems to be suggesting, a brutish and de-evolved form of humanity. We are a highly intelligent and technically adept species. Yes, we do systematically butcher the Eloi. We unfortunately have no other food-source, as our digestive systems cannot extract nutrients from the fruit that sustains our surface-dwelling cousins. But did Mr. Wells bother to mention the great care we take to make our food's death as painless as possible? Hmm? Or that we go to such trouble to make clothes and build shelters for them so that their lives on the surface world will be more pleasant before we consume their delicious flesh? It pains me to know that Wells' mistaken ideas about Morlocks are so widespread in human culture. The movie adaptation of his novel was even more disturbing, as it portrays my race as humans in bad costumes. No wonder so many young Morlocks suffer from low self-esteem; the media is so devoid of positive role-models.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Concise Sampling of Wells' Remarkable Vision, February 13, 2004
First published in 1895, THE TIME MACHINE was Wells' first novel--and it immediately established him at the forefront of writers of his era. And although Wells would go onto a very long and distinguished career that included some one hundred published books, THE TIME MACHINE remains one of his most popular novels to this day.
The story has been famous for over one hundred years. The narrator, identified only as "The Time Traveler," has created a machine capable of moving through time. He boards the machine and rushes headlong into the future--where he finds himself in the strangely utopian society of the "Eloi." But unbeknownst to the time traveler, that society is built on the back of a much darker one, the underground world of the "Morlock," who supply the Eloi's every need in order to harvest them like cattle.
Wells was an extremely didactic writer, a social reformer whose thoughts inform virtually everything he wrote. In many respects THE TIME MACHINE is the perfect example of this, drawing the reader in through an exciting story that Wells turns into a social parable. Born under the rigid class system of Victorian England, Wells had quite a lot to say about the benefits and evils of such a social system, and his thoughts on the subject are extremely clear here--as are his thoughts about the then-new theory of natural selection. The result is an elegant but often fearsome portrait of how class systems and natural selection might combine to create a uniquely horrific civilization.
Wells would return to these themes again and again, perhaps most obviously in THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU and THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON--both excellent novels in their own right. But if you are new to Wells, THE TIME MACHINE is an excellent beginning, for it offers a sampling of his mind in remarkably concise fashion. Strongly recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brutal formatting, March 3, 2011
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This review is from: The Time Machine (Kindle Edition)
I found this book somewhat awkward to read. The story was easy enough to follow, but it was written from the perspective of one man writing down the speech of another. 90% of the book is one run-on speech so every paragraph opens with a quotation. Combined with the god-awful formatting of this Kindle edition, it made this feel very awkward. Beyond this, I found the beginning and the ending of the book to be rather compelling (the middle drags). This is especially effective when you know much of the ending at the beginning, and we as the reader are left to guess as to how they get to that point. Because of the poor formatting, I am glad this came to me at no price.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Colorful and Imaginative Book, January 13, 2003
By 
Sean Smith (CON.,N.C.,U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
H.G. Wells' timeless novel, "The Time Machine," was a great book and well worth my TIME. You will wish some elements of this story were real so you could go back and read it again and again. This story is about a man who studys about the 4th dimension (time). He comes up with a remarkable idea and decides to build a time machine! With this machine, he is able to travel forwards or backwards in time. He travels way into the distant future, about 803 thousand years from now. He lands in a mystical place with gentle, little inhabitants called the "Eloi." They are human-like people that have evolved over time. On his journey, he is faced with many qualms and incorrigible situations. How does he deal with these problems? Does he make it back to his old time dimension? Read the book to find out...
I particularly enjoyed this book because it kept me wondering and on the edge of my seat. It also stretched my imagination so much, as if I were back in the third grade! H.G. Wells' vivid interpretations of the future were interesting and suspenseful; For those reasons, "I dub thee 4 stars."
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wry Epoch, Or Mood Piece? Still A Classic., December 27, 2006
A psychologist builds and uses a time machine to travel 800,000-30 million years into the future. It is made of Ivory, Crystal, and Nickel, with two levers for control. I found his turning the hypocritical Victorian society inside out to be refreshing and made the book a fast page turner. His not using overly technical language was another plus. The future society he described was intruiging and scary in its extremes. The gentle Eloi being taken care of by the slavish Morlocks makes the reader think of other historical eras where the few parasitically lived off the many. Feudalism and Communism come to mind. But, in this world the Eloi send their own on a regular basis to be fed to the canabalistic Morlocks. This book makes the reader think and encourages one to want to read more about both history and other fiction novels. For that alone, it deserves four and a half stars.
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The Time Machine (Great Illustrated Classics)
The Time Machine (Great Illustrated Classics) by H. G. Wells (Library Binding - June 1993)
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