The Time Machine – H.G. Wells

Published July 21, 2013 by bibliobeth


What’s it all about?:

“I’ve had a most amazing time….”
So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him the reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes…and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth.  There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well.  Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.

What did I think?:

This has been on my TBR list for a long time, and I’m so glad I’ve finally got round to it. The story begins with a group of men at a dinner party hosted by the Time Traveller debating theories about time and space, although interesting it did make my head whirr a little (and I’m a scientist). Queerly, the men are never referred to by name, but represent a variety of middle to upper class men (perhaps for and against science) in the 1890’s. There is Medical Man and the Psychologist, the Provincial Mayor, the Editor, the Journalist, the Silent Man, the Very Young Man and our unnamed narrator. The Time Traveller comes into the party dishevelled and exhausted, and he tells his guests that he has seen 800,000 years into the future.

He travels to a strange new world, although still recognizable as London by The Thames running through it. In the future, he meets a race of people called the Eloi, frail but happy creatures who seem to do nothing but eat fruit (the staple diet) make love and play games all day. The Time Traveller struggles to communicate with this new race a little, (they don’t seem to be that clever) although he makes a little friend called Weena and discovers that they are terrified of the dark. The next day disaster strikes!  His beloved time machine disappears and he meets a new race of creatures that live underground, the creepy Morlocks. They are the understandable reason that the Eloi are afraid of the darkness, and their relationship also has a more sinister purpose…

I finished this story feeling completely satisfied and more than a little creeped out. H G Wells has a wonderful talent for mixing science with science fiction and giving the reader a story full of imagery, suspense and excitement. His vision of otherworldly creatures, and the evolution, or devolution of the race of man is more than a little terrifying but I enjoyed every minute of it. The ending is left quite open, which I also appreciated, as I think it would allow the readers imagination to wander even further and make our own conclusions. Now, excuse me while I light a match in case there’s a Morlock sniffing around….

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):



4 comments on “The Time Machine – H.G. Wells

  • I love HG Wells – and John Wyndham. That for me is what science fiction ought to be like – well-written, strong stories, thought-provoking and fundamentally about humanity. If I haven’t persuaded you to try Ken Kalfus’ Equilateral yet, let me try again! 😉 I felt it was very much in that tradition of sci-fi and a wonderfully told tale.

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