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The Time Machine Mass Market Paperback – December 15, 1992
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From School Library Journal
Grades 4-7--The St. Charles Players perform this readers' theatre-style rendition of H.G. Wells' classic story. Using appropriate sound effects and alternating readers allows listeners to differentiate between characters and to develop a sense of place and time. The lively narration will hold listeners' attention from beginning to end. The story begins with a revolutionary Victorian scientist who claims to have invented a machine that allows him to travel through time. Using flashbacks, he recounts his adventures in the futurist world he visits in his time machine to a group of skeptical friends. This abridged version will work well as an introduction to classic literature in elementary grade classes, but omits too much of the original text for older students. Consider adding this title to audiobook collections that focus on classic, time-tested literature.
Sarah Prielipp, Chippewa River District Library System, Mt Pleasant, MI
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
In Moreau, Wells explores the nature of man, his place in the scheme of things, as well as man's supposed moral nature set against the amorality of science. Clearly an example of Einstein's famous fear that "our technology has surpassed our humanity." Equally disturbing is the idea that the concept and identity of God clearly is a function of your own personal point of reference and a position ready to be filled by whomever has the power to take it.
In The Time Machine, Wells tackles society, economic realities, and evolution and presents a plausible and terrifying scenario. On one level we have a great sci-fi adventure about the evil and monstrous Moorlocks and the sheep-like but sympathetic Eloi. That is what I read as a kid. However on my re-read I was fascinated when I learned who these races represent and I really can't argue with his theories. I don't want to give anything away, because I HATE spoilers, but I will say that this novel is a social commentary on a level with anything written by Dickens and although I always enjoyed Wells as a masterful and creative story-teller, I now recognize Wells as a great thinker as well. I bought the Delphi edition of his complete works because I want to read everything the man wrote and spend some time with his work.
Then, as a sort of ad-on set piece at the end, Wells' scientist sets his time machine's dial to the distant future to observe, first hand, the end of the world. So logical that a scientist would do this, it fits perfectly into the story and shows how great a storyteller Wells was. However, this scene goes way beyond mere story-telling. I read this section several times. We have read this type of scene before but I will argue that it has never been done anywhere nearly as well as this. Chilling, creepy, unnerving, dark beyond description----absolutely brilliant. This set of scenes put this book onto my all time favorite shelf.
The idea of time travel is one I have obsessed over almost all my life. I'm a little bit of a history nerd, and for that reason, if I ever had access to a time machine, the first place I would go would be the past. Much like Wells, my idea of the future is that it will be a bleak one.
I liked how the time travel was explained in the beginning. It almost made the subject graspable by my tiny brain. But I wasn't crazy about how the story was written. It's mostly a monologue from the Time Traveller (we are never told his name) with no interruptions or interjections from the Medicine Man or the Editor or the completely unnamed narrator.
I found the world he traveled to kind of unimaginative and bland. I suppose in the period this was written it was probably very imaginative, but in a world of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, it just felt kind of lame. Cannibalistic monkey men? Silly men- and women-children? The lesson HG Wells was getting at, I think, was also an important one. What if the caste system (in present day, I guess socioeconomic status) leads to the decline of the human race? Communism (true communism- not the evil dictator kind) could be great but to what end? Everyone is happy in the upper world. With beautiful clothes and vegan diets and and beautiful architecture. But they are also stupid (uneducated?) being likened to happy cattle in a happy field. Which brings us to another point, is ignorance truly bliss? You decide.
This is a very short book but in that time Wells gives the reader a lot to think about.
"And I have by me, for my comfort, two strange white flowers—shrivelled now, and brown and flat and brittle—to witness that even when mind and strength had gone, gratitude and a mutual tenderness still lived on in the heart of man."
This one line kind of redeemed the book for me. It seemed like he spent the whole book saying: "We're killing our selves! It will all end badly! Change your ways! Don't end up like stupid cattle!" and then suggested that perhaps these things don't matter so much. What makes us human is our ability to feel for others. What separates the surface dwellers from subterranean cannibal ape men was their capacity for caring. While the story itself doesn't make me feel anything, nor do the characters, I know I'll have plenty to think about for a long while.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Liked the ability of the author to immerse the reader into his imagination.Read more