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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless (no pun intended)
These stories have not lost a step in the 100+ years since they were written, and they capture the imagination as well as anything since captured on film or in print. The invisible man is a great villain- evil enough to disdain, complex and tortured enough to make you wonder if you should pity him as well. The Time Machine is brilliant all the way through, from its...
Published on January 24, 2001 by buddyhead

versus
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This edition is comical; avoid.
1 star for the edition, 5 stars for the stories = 3 stars.

Imagine that you are the typical Barnes and Noble customer. You like to walk in, grab a coffee, roam around for awhile, and look for good books and good deals. You wander up to the Barnes and Noble Classics section, and spot `The Time Machine' and `The Invisible Man', both by H.G. Wells, in one book...
Published on February 15, 2008 by Douglas J. Paulsen


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This edition is comical; avoid., February 15, 2008
1 star for the edition, 5 stars for the stories = 3 stars.

Imagine that you are the typical Barnes and Noble customer. You like to walk in, grab a coffee, roam around for awhile, and look for good books and good deals. You wander up to the Barnes and Noble Classics section, and spot `The Time Machine' and `The Invisible Man', both by H.G. Wells, in one book for 5 bucks. "I've always wanted to read H.G. Wells," you think to yourself. You pay for it and head to a chair with your still warm coffee to sit down and do a little fun science fiction reading. As with all Barnes and Noble Classics, this one has an introduction by some supposed literary expert, so you start with that. This one is written by Alfred Adam, a comparative literature professor.

Soon you learn from Mr. Adam that his book is not science fiction, but instead is dark social commentary. Before you realize it, you're plunged into an analysis of Marxian thought tied up with Hegelian history and Well's own experiences in the late 19th century. Worse, before having even read either of the stories you know (for example, in The Time Machine) the central characters, the races of the future and how they relate to Well's view of the "loss of human consciousness," vital plot points no `introduction' should include, and an analysis of the ending! And the same occurs with his description of `The Invisible Man.' For example; on the last page of the introduction is an exact description of what happens to the invisible man at the end of the story. Before you even get to the stories, you find yourself already depressed at what Mr. Adams takes as Well's vision of the world, as well as having read plot spoilers and the endings to each story. Somehow un-fazed, you drive on.

So you begin to read the story. However, before you even get past the first sentence you begin to encounter bizarre footnotes. The same person who already ruined the stories for you has followed you into the stories themselves! And for whatever reason (my guess is that he is a little elitist), he seems to feel the need to translate words he doesn't think you'd understand. Vastly difficult words like `unhinged' and `saddle,' which he helpfully tells you mean `upset' and `bicycle seat.' You can't help but chuckle to yourself as you read these footnotes, yet you find yourself irritated at the fact that you were interrupted in order to find out the meaning of the verb `to dress' (`put on an evening dress, or tuxedo, for dinner.')

But the fun doesn't end there. There are endnotes as well! These mostly lack the comical nature of the footnotes (mostly; note 7 of chapter 1 of `The Time Machine' informs you that when the narrator spoke, and describes the sentence with "said I", that this is the narrator speaking and is therefore an objective viewpoint.)

You do manage to make it through `The Time Machine," as it is fairly short, though not without struggle. You fight off the urge to go put the book you bought back on the shelf, or better yet in the garbage, or better yet to go put all the remaining copies in the `humor' section. Instead, you cut your losses and walk out the door. As you do, you think to yourself, "Well, this edition took all the joy out of reading what should be an enjoyable story..."

In all seriousness, do not buy this edition. Yes, you get two H.G. Wells' stories in a compact book for $5, but there are much better editions out there for not much more. Or read it online. When I read older `classics,' I already have a good idea of what the book will be like, or about. Then I just want a cheap edition in which to read it. I very much enjoyed both `The Time Machine' and `The Invisible Man.' But the edition should allow me to read the stories without distraction, and the intro should be a little background on the author and the period in which it was written. This introduction was completely misplaced, and the footnotes were comical. Avoid this book; buy a different edition.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless (no pun intended), January 24, 2001
By 
buddyhead (Taxachusetts) - See all my reviews
These stories have not lost a step in the 100+ years since they were written, and they capture the imagination as well as anything since captured on film or in print. The invisible man is a great villain- evil enough to disdain, complex and tortured enough to make you wonder if you should pity him as well. The Time Machine is brilliant all the way through, from its inception in the study of the Time Traveler's home to the end, when he travels millions of years in the future to scurry back to his machine at sight of a huge amorphous form in the distance. Wells' depiction of the distant future seems no less accurate- and is no less exciting- than any since described anywhere.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic tales from a pioneer of american Science-Fiction., January 28, 1997
By A Customer
H. G. Wells is one of the earliest pioneers of Science-Fiction writings. In this book, two of his most classic stories are told. It makes one wonder how a man of the late 1800's could come up with ingenius ideas as time travel and invisibility. The Time Machine and The Invisible Man portray the imaginary strengths of H.G. Wells

The Time Machine is a story told by a time traveller to a group of local dignitaries. He tells about his trip to the year 802,701 A.D. and how the world has degressed slowly technologically and how humans evolve to two seperate species. One species is peaceful and kind earth-dwelling vegetarians, while the other species are nocturnal cave dwellers who happen to be cannibals. The time machine is stolen from the time traveller and he must find it to get back to his own world.

The Invisible Man accounts of a personal story of a man who comes upon the means to become invisible. After becoming invisible, he finds out that living in the world was going to be different. Read about how he finds shelter, clothing, and food. The Invisible Man goes into a mad-panic and starts murdering innocent people. Now the townspeople must fight back--if they can find him
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science fiction back to back., February 15, 2006
Here you get a double dose of H.G. well's rare writing talent. The man who first thought up the time travel story and the invisible man one. I'm sure that all of you out there have seen a lot of time travel and invisible man movies but none of them compares with the wit and style that the father of that genre, h. g. wells, did. You must own this book! This double book is the best thing to read on those long trips. Although, I give you pre-warning, that the time machine is written straight from the an observer but the whole story is conveyed through him telling his tale. Likewise, The invisible man, in his story, has a dialogue that lasts for four or five chapters. But, other than all that, these stories are turly creative gems that you must dig up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two-in-One, August 31, 2002
That these two novels were written over a hundred years ago makes them all the more amazing. HG Wells was the first person to pen the concept of time travel and imagine the complications the power of invisibility would bring. The writing in both of these novels is captivating (those who were first exposed to Wells in The War of the Worlds will most likely find these two more readable) and the story taut. Additionally, John Calvin Batchelor's introduction gives a necessary insight into the larger social implications of the book as well as some musings on what made these as popular as they were, and are. Wells' thoughts have been used as the basis for plays and movies for years; read these two books so you understand why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Time Machine was .., December 19, 2006
A Kid's Review
I would say a pretty good book to read. In the begining I was a little confused on all the big words in the book but i still think that it was a good book because the author lets us discover what the words meant by context clues and such things. This story will captivate you once the Time Traveller goes into the future. However someone took his time machine once he got there.He meets a woman , Weena, who is an Eloi (a creature of the future). Together they have to be careful of the carnivorous Morlocks. Can their affection for one another save them? Will the Time Traveller ever find his time machine ? Read to find out. ;]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a terrible edition, June 21, 2006
By 
Kenneth Sutton (Boston, Mass., USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Both the endnotes and the footnotes in The Time Machine contain spoilers for plot and character. The laughably uneven footnoting of terms that appear in any dictionary as well as only slightly archaic usage is bad enough, but to explain away hints and glimpses we're given by drawing attention to them and revealing their meaning prematurely is unacceptable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There is a fourth dimension beyond that which is known to man . . ., March 6, 2007
By 
Kendal B. Hunter (Provo, UT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Before you read this story, make sure you have all the equipment. First, go to Wikipedia and get a copy of the expanded Chapter 11. I'm not sure why this has not been reintegrated into more texts, or at least included as an appendix. My George Pal movie tie-in edition did have it reinserted, which, by the way, caused me a lot of consternation when I read other books, but . . .

The second thing you need is a public domain copy of "The Chronic Argonauts." It is not a rough draft, but more of a prequel or concept-forming work that led up to the classic book.

Third, get a copy of "The Time Ships," the sequel authorized by the Wells estate.

So begin with "The Chronic Argonauts," picturing Dr. Moses Nebogipfel as a cousin or uncle to the protagonist of in the full novel. This story is jerky, and is merely Gothic techno-horror, but by comparing the two, you do get a chance to see what makes an otherwise moderately interesting story into a great classic.

So to the book. Like Mark Twain's "Connecticut Yankee," "The Time Machine" is social commentary disguised as science fiction. Wells was a dyed-in-the-wool socialist, and was concerned with the social conditions of bifurcated England. Remember the late 1800's was the era of the capitalist and proletariat that Marx and Dickens wrote about. Taking that as his starting point, Wells uses his novel to illustrate the long term consequences--the very long term consequences-of the social split.

Via the Time Machine, we see that in AD 802,701, the overclass evolved into the Eloi (Aramaic for "My God"), with the underclass evolved into the Moorlock. History's irony is that the Eloi are the fatted cattle, and the underworld Moorlocks have the upper hand. Apparently the Communist Revolution took longer than Marx and Engels thought, and with a bitter ending to the dialectic materialism.

Americans who come from the tradition of railsplitter Abe Lincoln, we are not sensitive to how social standing locks people into place and position. To aEuropean, however, this class-consciousness is very obvious--think of Harry Potter's mudbloods. Considering this, Wells's criticism was well founded and well placed.

Yet, there is something more to this story than just social commentary that has been reiterated time and time again. For example, JRR Tolkien's essay "On Fairy-Stories," which is ostensibly about fantasy, cites "The Time Machine" several times. Keep in mind that the early roots of "The Lord of the Rings," especially the story "The Lost Road," was actually a time-travel story set in Atlantis.

Chapter 1 and the discussion of the fallacy of the instantaneous cube suggests that the book's appeal may just be the added fourth dimension to the story. Other books are limited to space--the moon, the Island of Dr. Moreau, the Lost World, the center of the earth, or 20,000 leagues under the sea--but this book adds another dimension to the story. In this way, the story is not flat and two-dimensional. It is not even three-dimensional like a pop-up book. Its strength is that it is fourth dimensional. As stereo speakers add to the sound, and the red-blue anaglyphic glasses add to a film's dimension, this temporal consideration enhances the story's texture. We are looking along a hitherto unseen axis, and therefore have a deeper and thus more comprehensive understanding and vision of the book's theme.

Most of contemporary Time Travel stories--beginning with the Hugo wining "City on the Edge of Forever" episode of Star Trek and perfected in "Back to the Future"--have revolved around variations of the Grandfather Paradox. The original, however, is different. It is social commentary disguised as a classic Victorian Adventure story. We don't get logic games, or any temporal reset buttons--Star Trek: Voyager's Deus Ex Time Machina--just a heart-pounding and mind-expanding advenrure.

I think time travel lends itself to social commentary because, as mortals, we are near-sighted. We have the obvious present around us, and first and second hand memories of the past, but how do we see the future? How can we get beyond Stage One of existence, to, say Stage Twenty, or even Stage 802,701? Yet long term thinking, which we are really incapable of doing, is existentially essential. The idea of Time Machines aids our thinking--we can imagine, or better yet, extrapolate from the present to a hypothetical future.

This is exactly what Wells's did with his book. He took the grubbing existence of the poor, contrasted it with the silver spoon existence of the rich, and added a touch of gritty Serling-eque irony with the Moorlock-working class living off the flesh and blood of the Eloi luxury class.

I'm not sure how successful Wells was in his day. Nowadays, he is a household name. There have been two film adaptations of this story. Certainly the situation he described has changed for the First World. The moral message seems to have worked: and it began with changing hearts by this story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Time Machine Review, March 7, 2002
By 
AshleG (Tiffin,Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
In the novel The Time Machine, the characters and setting is very interesting. The Time Traveller, who is the most important character throughout the novel, is my favorite character. The Time Traveller is telling a story, which has to do with the future and what he sees. Many things have changes and the Time Traveller explains the technology and way of life. He not only tells how things are slow he also says how things change while traveling in the future. Readers may find him unpredictable at times as many do. Though this man is lonely he manages his time wisely and very well by what he does and creates.
The characters are very laid back and always listening to what he has to say. They find themselves listening to his astonishing and so it seems non-realistic stories. Which sometimes The Time Traveller's stories sound so bizarre the listeners do not know whether to believe all the technology and all the changes the Time Traveller talks about. Sometimes he may portray himself as crazy although he is not. This man just uses the potential he has of his own mind to a great extent. The Time Traveller was just looking for something to do that would excite his life a little bit more. He does not care whether anyone believes him or likes his doings. The Time Traveller does disappear sometimes without notice and takes trips with his own machine/creation. This is when the other characters that listen start to believe his words and believe what he says about the future and how it is.
From the perspective of other readers who have not yet read this novel, it will either be boring or completely interesting. If suspense is something exciting to read the book will be a very good choice. At first it may be hard to follow and read a long, but it will eventually get easier and more understandable going along. An example would be when he starts to use his own machine. The when it gets stolen he has to find his way back to his own world. Everything portrays a big mystery. The mysteries portray both H.G. Wells and The Time Traveller's intelligence. The novel shows they can use their mind and imagination to get things going and it will all fall into place some way or another.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Two of Wells' most famous works., January 6, 2007
By 
frumiousb "frumiousb" (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
H.G. Wells is one of those writers where I find that I am more interested in him than I am in his writing. Does that make me hopeless? I liked the Time Machine and the Invisible Man, but I don't love them. They are interesting as early speculative fiction and certainly interesting in the social perspective that they uncover. But interesting is not the same as moving for me, somehow.

Of the two novels, I liked the Time Machine the best. Justly famous both for being an ancestor of modern speculative fiction and for its social message about classes, it is a strong piece of writing. The Morlocks, the Eloi, the decaying world-- Wells paints a compelling picture, and I understand and appreciate the work.

The Invisible Man seemed much less developed to me. I like the way that the main character's invisibility both led to and stemmed from his questioning of moral certainty. Unfortunately the idea seemed much more developed than the story itself-- as though Wells had been bored with carrying things through.

I think that the next Wells that I pick up would be his Experiment in Autobiography. I suspect that given how much more I like his ideas than his fiction skills I may be better off with non-fiction and letters.

Both these short novels are still must-reads by virtue of their influence and historical significance. Recommended for readers of all ages. In fact, they might have gone down better with me when I was younger.
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The Time Machine / The Invisible Man (Signet Classics)
The Time Machine / The Invisible Man (Signet Classics) by H. G. Wells (Mass Market Paperback - October 2, 2007)
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