The Time Machine: Book Review

The Time MachineIn the mood for a filling snack?

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells is a novella about time travel and the future of humankind and written as a story within a story. It begins at the time traveler’s home in England during the Victorian age. A group of men, named according to their professions, are talking about the possibility of time travel. The time traveler has made a model of a time machine and demonstrated how it works. To the men’s surprise, the model disappears. Most of the men believe it is a parlor trick and they leave. The following week, the narrator, one of only two characters with an actual name, Mr. Hillyer, returns to the time traveler’s home with some of the men from the previous week. They come to discuss time as the fourth dimension once again and find that their host has yet to make an appearance. When the time traveler finally enters the parlor, he is dirty, exhausted and confused. He leaves to clean up, promising when he returns, to tell them his extraordinary adventure in time travel.

As it turns out, the time traveler had gotten his time machine to work and landed in the future, 802,701 AD.

When he lands, the time traveler discovers the world inhabited by small and beautiful humanoids, the Eloi, who are simpletons, live a communal life, and who are terrified of the dark.

As the time traveler theories on the de-evolution of humanity, he realizes that his time machine is missing. Unable to communicate with the Eloi, he decides he’ll have to wait to learn their language before he can find his machine once again, although he suspects that the machine is stashed underneath a giant statue that he can’t get to. The time traveler befriends an Eloi named Weena, who is a mixture of a child and a pet. Soon, the traveler discovers a second humanoid group, the Morlocks, strong, albinos who live underground and who are the cause to the Eloi’s and then the traveler’s fear of the dark. What happens? You’ll have to read to find out.

Wells’ 90-paged book is filled with tension and expense on every page and exercises a long list of theme extremes: Dark vs. Light, Strong vs. Weak, Beauty vs. Ugly, Intellectuals vs. Simpletons, to name a few.

It was a fun read, though hard to get into at first due to the language used at the time this story was written, 1885.

 

 

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