In "The Time Machine" an inventor travels to the remote future where he finds both love and terror. The protagonist of "The Invisible Man" struggles ...Show synopsisIn "The Time Machine" an inventor travels to the remote future where he finds both love and terror. The protagonist of "The Invisible Man" struggles to come to terms with his condition in a narrative which is by turns comic and tragic. "The War of the Worlds" imagines planetary conflict from an individual point of view. If these themes reveal the originality of Wells as a thinker, each story displays his skill as a novelist by the ways in which he anchors astonishing events in vivid everyday details of character and place. All three have spawned countless adaptations and imitations but Wells remains the greatest poet of science we have, an inexhaustible source for speculation about the nature of the future and the meaning of the present.Hide synopsis
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The Time Machine was written in 1895 when Wells was 29. The idea of time travel has always fascinated most everyone. Wells paints a terrible vision for the future--that there is no future. The Time Traveler (we never know his name) goes forward in time to the year 802,701 A.D. and finds a race of people, called Eloi, that do nothing but sit around and eat fruit. All the buildings are in the state of near collapse, and the Eloi seem to not care about anything. Then he finds that there is another race of people living underground, called Morlocks. They turn out to be cannibals, and are eating the Eloi as if they were cattle. In fact, it turns out that the Morlocks feed and clothe the Eloi. The Time Traveler continues to travel forward in time and sees that the earth has stopped spinning and is slowly moving towards the sun. According to Wells, that is our future. Facinating but scary and sad.
The Time Machine was the first book I read in Classics Illustrated as a boy and then
read as a young adult in paperback. The idea of traveling in time has been with us
over a century although we probably couldn't do it because we would also decrease
or increase in age. The irony of the two races in 800000 AD is a thoughtful Darwinian
concept and Wells suggests that there is no future for mankind if we continue to evolve.
Traveling back in time would jeopardize history and traveling forward in time would
give us the benefit of hindsight. This book is a classic of early science fiction and
is brilliant in its concept.
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